Taylor said it’s his assumption that Rambis will sign the contract, believed to be for four years and more than $8 million, on Monday and be introduced at a Tuesday news conference.
“Kurt, with his experience playing and coaching for a winning organization and working under people like Pat Riley, will bring a lot to our organization,” Taylor said. “In meeting with him and talking to him, I know he’s very excited about having an opportunity to help build his own team.”
Taylor cited the fact that Rambis is in Los Angeles, and team president of basketball operations David Kahn is spending the weekend at home in Portland, Ore., as reasons for the delay in the news conference.
The Pioneer Press said it had reached Taylor late Saturday night.
David Kahn, the team’s president of basketball operations, denied to the Star Tribune that an agreement had been reached with Rambis, the longtime Los Angeles Lakers player and current Lakers assistant under Phil Jackson.
“No deal has been reached with any prospective coach,” Kahn said by text message at 10:24 p.m. Saturday.
ESPN.com reported Saturday night that the Wolves and Rambis had reached an agreement on a four-year deal worth more than $8 million. The ESPN story cited unidentified NBA coaching sources, and Kahn’s message came in response to that report.
In past seasons, the Wild and Wolves have had as many as 15 to 18 home date schedule conflicts.
“He had a contractual obligation. But now he seems to be saying, ‘What’s in it for me?’ and the president of the club is saying, ‘What’s in it for the club?’ The president is saying they will keep him but he won’t play, and his salary is low enough that they can do it. But it could be a ploy.’’
Indeed, both sides are posturing. Joventut apparently does need the money, but it might have to settle for less than $8.55 million. But Rubio would be taking a major risk buying out his own contract because he would not earn enough in guarantees from the Timberwolves as the No. 5 pick. Had he been drafted in the top three, the guarantees would have been sufficient.