NBA Rumors: Are The Minnesota Timberwolves Interested In Mehmet Okur?
The Minnesota Timberwolves should be done making major moves this offseason, but there is the possibility they could look to add some more veteran depth over the rest of the summer. One recent report suggests they may attempt to offer the veteran minimum to center Mehmet Okur.
Okur is a veteran of 10 NBA seasons, playing for the Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets. The 33-year old has been limited to just 30 games over the last two seasons by recurring back issues before being traded by the Nets to the Portland Trail Blazers in March. He never played a game for Portland, who waived him in May, which creates some concern his playing career could be over.
For his career, Okur has averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game over 634 career games (460 starts). He has averaged 17 or more points per game three times, including the 2006-2007 season (17.6 points, 7.2 rebounds per game) when he earned his lone career All-Star selection while with the Jazz.
There has been speculation Okur would return to his native Turkey to play next season, but if he can draw interest from NBA teams it makes sense he would be interested in playing in this country. Where he plays, here or abroad, may come down to his financial demands and the Timberwolves would automatically be out of the running to sign him (barring a trade) if he wants more than the veteran minimum. Durability concerns do not put Okur in a good position to demand big money from anyone, but his lack of defensive prowess makes him a poor fit for a Minnesota roster that needs to add toughness around the basket on that end of the floor.