The Minnesota Timberwolves’ complications in the NBA draft never seem to end.
After the Timberwolves agreed to send guard Jonny Flynn(notes) in a package to the Houston Rockets for Brad Miller(notes) and the 23rd pick on Thursday, the trade hit a snag on Friday when the Rockets’ team doctors raised issues with Flynn’s hip injury, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
To keep the deal from falling apart, Minnesota sent a 2012 second-round pick to the Rockets, league sources said. The issues wouldn’t have kept Flynn off the court, but did raise some concerns for the long-term. Whether Minnesota had been forthcoming with the information prior to the trade is unclear.
Until Flynn passed his physical on Friday, several NBA trades were held up in the league office. Minnesota had traded the 23rd pick to Chicago for the 28th pick, and immediately made a deal with Miami to move No. 28 for the Heat's spot at No. 31. The T'wolves then sent No. 31 to the Nets for a future second-round pick and cash. Everything had to be put on hold until Minnesota further compensated Houston with the draft pick, and the Rockets agreed to clear Flynn on the physical.
Flynn, the sixth overall pick in 2009, had surgery on his hip last July and started only eight of the 53 games he played with the T’wolves last season.
This is the Wolves’ second issue that cropped up after the draft.
Minnesota used the 57th pick to take Tanguy Ngombo(notes), a native of the Republic of Congo who played for the Qatar national team, but DraftExpress.com reported that documents exist with FIBA and Qatar that show Ngombo’s birthday to be 1984, not 1989 as the NBA reported. If proven, this could make Ngombo 26 years old, ineligible for the draft under league guidelines and a free agent available to any team.
Ngombo had been scouted by the Wolves’ international scouting director, Pete Philo, who coached with the Chinese national team against Qatar. The Wolves had been privately thrilled over the drafting of Ngombo, a 6-foot-6 wing, and believed him to be a real prospect. If Ngombo is ruled ineligible by the NBA, he could struggle to find more suitors willing to invest the time and resources to develop him because of his age.