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Foye discusses return to Minnesota

In my story today on the Washington Wizardwolves, I touched on the mixed emotions that Randy Foye will be feeling when he hits the Target Center as an opposing player for the first time. Foye had a lot to say about tonight's game and how he had hoped to stay in Minnesota, even after Kevin McHale was dismissed last June.

The Wizardwolves are back in Minny. (Photo by P.A. Molumby/NBAE via Getty Images)

"I had a great relationship with all the guys out there. Al [Jefferson], Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, [Corey Brewer]. All of us, we all had a really strong bond," Foye said. "I felt last year, toward the middle of December on, our bond grew even stronger and I felt as though this year, we was going to take a big step, but they made changes and I'm here now."

Foye started feeling uneasy when David Kahn refused to meet with him after taking over general manager, but he still was startled to get the call from agent and Ernie Grunfeld that he was headed to Washington in a multiplayer deal.

"When the change came, it was a shock. But it was a new beginning for me," he said. "I felt as though I got to take advantage of this. This is an opportunity for me to make it into the playoffs. Doing well on this team. When they made the move, it was no looking back."

The trade has yet to yield major results for either team, with Mike Miller missing 18 games because of injuries to his left shoulder and right calf and the arrival of Earl Boykins and Nick Young's progressing both combining to diminish Foye's minutes until he was inserted in the starting lineup two games ago. The Timberwolves traded Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila and the fifth pick, Ricky Rubio, stayed in Spain, so the only player remaining in Minnesota is Oleksiy Pecherov.

The Timberwolves were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, but I asked Foye if he was surprised that the Wizards are only a few games better in the standings. Foye said the Timberwolves are struggling because of youth and injuries, but he doesn't expect the Wizards to remain among the dregs of the Eastern Conference.

"Ours is a little different. Ours is chemistry," Foye said. "It's early. I think our team is a team that in the middle of the year is going to knock a lot of games off. I'm not saying they can't knock games off. I'm just saying that they are a little bit younger and I know the situation when you're on a young team. Like, there is no panic here. It's a lot of veterans and they understand the situation. Coach [Saunders] understands the situation. He's been there before and he's won big games before. Toward the middle, we're going to win a lot of games. For them, they just got to keep learning. I know where they are at."

Foye said he won't try to go overboard to prove a point tonight. "I want to play well, but I want everyone to play well. The biggest thing for us, is no matter what, the team has to win. It ain't about me. As long as we win, I'm going to be happy."

By Michael Lee  |  December 26, 2009; 1:31 PM ET
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Next: The Other Side: Minnesota Timberwolves


How about we close the year on a 5 game winning streak. Minnesota is tonight, Memphis next, and Oklahoma will bring the record to 13-17...

Posted by: ATLredskin | December 26, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

An NBA executive says the struggling Washington Wizards are "open for business" for trades. The source said the Wizards are obviously very open to moving guard Gilbert Arenas, but don't think they will have any takers because of his hefty contract. "Someone will take the fall," the source said. The source added that Washington management "loves" young center JaVale McGee and would only deal him in a trade that includes Arenas.

Yahoo! Sports

I guess the way you show love is not playing a guy. How many DNP's does McGee have?
Ship out Jamison if possible. I know he's a veteran leader, but think about the future. There's no way the Wiz can contend right now in a top heavy league. He's too soft and plays no D. Not to mention jacking up way too many 3's.
Other than the Heat in '06, you can't find a team in the last 20+ years that didn't win with defense first.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 26, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I found that article on hoops hype why not put the paragraph in that was below what you posted here it is. An NBA source said the Cavaliers are seeking a power forward who can shoot the ball. The source said that Cleveland has been floating center Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ expiring contract as bait and is also open to moving power forward J.J. Hickson. Yahoo

Posted by: rnorris6 | December 26, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Other than the Heat in '06, you can't find a team in the last 20+ years that didn't win with defense first.

In the last 20 years you can find maybe 6 teams that have won a title period.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | December 26, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jenksredskins | December 26, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

get we get some more backstory on kevin mchale's fascinating relationship with david kahn???

as a wizards fan, twolves management dynamics are really what i log into the insider for, not to find updates on miller's health status or why national pubs say grunfeld loves mcgee yet he gets DNPd constantly.

any word on what Al Jefferson got his oldest kid for xmas??

Posted by: divi3 | December 26, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Go get em tonight, Wizzies. Then aim to finish 09 either 13-17 or 12-18.

That will give EG the breathing room to decide whether to stand pat, or deal from some strength to retool around Gilbert by shoring up the defense up front and in the backcourt... eg Jamison and Young to the Cavs for Ilgauskas (a potentially great tutor for McGee) and West. As a follow on, Portland may be an interesting trading partner. If we acquire Ilgauskas we might get the Blazers to part with some significant complementary talent in return for Haywood.... from among Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum, Martell Webster, and Rudy Fernandez.

No reason this team cannot finish 43-39 for a 5 or 6 seed and maybe scare somebody in the playoffs with the right mix of players to run Flip's system and lock down on D.

Posted by: khrabb | December 26, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You're kidding right?

Posted by: VBFan | December 26, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

VBFan... It was a stretch, I admit, but this type of a deal with the Cavs has been tossed around by others.

Anyway, IMO, Ilgauskas, like most European centers, will tend to have a longer shelf life than his US counterparts... in other words, he can still play some, as Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will probably attest after yesterday.

In any case, Z's contract, like Hayward's is expiring, and we are all hopeful that JaVale is the wave of the future. If he is, I would rather have a former all-star like Z, who could be resigned much more cheaply than Haywood, teaching McGee the ropes than Brendan, who has worked so hard to get where he is now, that he is not of a mind to help the next generation at this point (this is not a rap on Brendan, it just is what it is).

Portland I think is desperate for a defensive center because they seem to think they can go deep into the playoffs with the rest of their cast and they have some spare parts that could fit well around Gilbert.

Anyway, it's all speculative and it's all in fun.

Posted by: khrabb | December 26, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

trading Jamison would have to net a heck of a lot more than Z.

Posted by: divi3 | December 26, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I thought Z said this was his last year.

Posted by: VBFan | December 26, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

he's got chronic foot problems so maybe it is the end of the line for him.

Posted by: divi3 | December 26, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Trading Jamison for Ilgauskas is a good deal for Washington if the goal is to free up cap space to rebuild. If the goal is to win more games this season, it's a terrible idea. And while I could see the Blazers being interested in Haywood, I don't really see how the Wizards need more wing players (esp. since Batum and Fernandez are out until February with injuries; and it'll take more than Haywood to get them to give up Miller). Again, good deal for the Wiz if they're rebuilding for the future, not much sense if the goal is to "finish 43-39 for a 5 or 6 seed and maybe scare somebody in the playoffs . . ."

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 26, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

getagripped wrote:
When is mcgee contract up and is there's an option hopefully not he needs to get away from this organization. Who's the teams big man trainer obviously they aren't learning anything. This team will continually sink lower and lower no smart lack of heart just freaking selfish.

Posted by: getagripped | December 27, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: getagripped | December 27, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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