Blog Entry

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

Posted on: April 6, 2010 8:37 pm
 
Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves (to get them on the right track) and Inspire Fans to Want to Buy Tickets (and support the team again).

It’s not that I have too much free time on my hands or that my life is simply lacking in quality. Rather, I’m sort of an insomniac and can think of nothing better to do at really early hours than stay up and scheme out the Wolves hypothetical future because frankly, at this
point the hypothetical is so much more fun than the actual. So behold, ten moves I would make this offseason if I were running the Timberwolves.

I read a lot of these best case offseason scenarios and they typically lose me when the equivalent of Kevin Durant ends up getting traded for the equivalent of Corey Brewer and a bag of Funyons. Where I am clearly so much better than those other people is that if anything, I handicap the Wolves side a bit in order to emphasize the plausibility of the deal. I wanted to explain that incase you were thinking that the Wolves could have squeezed and extra 2nd round pick out of Philly, or something to that effect.

There’s also one other assumption you have to operate under: the Wolves win the lottery and secure the #1 pick. They have the second best odds of doing so with about a 20% chance. Of course, this requires you adhere to basic probability and not their epic lottery curse history, which is much easier said than done. Anywho, you’ll figure the rest out as you read.


1. Draft John Wall with the #1 pick. Pretty self-explanatory. Wall is the top talent in the draft. Some say Turner is better. I agree that he is better right now but also believe that Wall has barely begun to scratch the surface of his talent, whereas Turner probably has less room for growth.

2. Trade Al Jefferson and Ricky Rubio for #2 pick and salary filler. Suspend your disbelief for a second and consider this possibility. At the time of the draft Rubio will only be one year away from the NBA. That’s a lot easier to stomach than at this time last year. Sure, Turner could be very good but what you get in Jefferson is a known quantity and what you get in Rubio is a ceiling far higher than Turner’s. Jefferson is a well above average rebounder and an absolutely elite low post scorer. His contract isn’t too bad either
considering his talent level and youth. Rubio has the potential to be a transcendent star, who the Wolves can now part with due to the drafting of Wall. Given their respective roster make up, I believe other likely top pick candidates New Jersey, Golden State, Sacramento, Washington and Detroit would jump all over this.

3.  Draft Evan Turner #2. Can a Wolves fan dare to dream? Pairing Wall with Turner would fortify the team’s backcourt for the next decade and instantaneously make this team relevant again. Just dream on it for a second. If you happen to disagree with the trade scenario in #2 at least acknowledge that if the resources were shuffled around the right way the deal would still be possible. I believe fully that if the Wolves made any combo of Love, Jefferson, Flynn, Rubio, picks, etc… available they could get it done.

4. Draft Ekpe Udoh #16. I loved watching this dude play for Baylor (Youtube him if you don’t know).  He’s probably not a center in the
NBA but his athleticism and shot blocking ability will definitely transfer. He’d be exactly the kind of player to spell Love. He may not last this long in the draft (2 of 4 major mock draft sites have him going before this). If he were to go before this pick Paul George or
Hassan Whiteside would be solid secondary options.

5. Draft Manny Harris in 2nd Round. He’ll definitely fall into the deep 2nd round meaning the Wolves could take him with one of their
three 2nd round picks. He’s limited in potential but would add another scoring option for the end of the bench. That, or he’d be a great addition to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. I like Kyle Singler out of Duke as a secondary option.

6. Resign Darko Milicic. With this fictional crew being assembled in mind, Darko would have the luxury of sitting back, making savvy passes, playing intelligent defense and scoring when the situation is ideal, all while meeting his “request” for heavy minutes in the
rotation. Fortunately, this is the sort of role I think would suit him best at this point.

7. Trade Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes, Ryan Hollins and the #25 pick to Philadelphia for Andre Igoudala. The 76ers were almost willing to salary dump Igoudala at the trade deadline this year so I’m inclined to believe that they would do this trade. Some wouldn’t even like Brewer for Iggy straight up, given their vast salary differences, Brewer’s much improved play this year, conversely Iggy’s plateaud play and now proven inability to be a #1 team option. Iggy gives the Wolves a much needed athletic defensive presence on the wing. I also tend to believe that his shooting percentages would go back up a bit if he wasn’t the focal point of the offense any more. The 76ers get rebuilding assets in Flynn, Brewer and #25 as well as the expiring contracts of Gomes and Hollins.

8. Sign Matt Bonner in free agency. Bonner is an unrestricted free agent and would help patch the one whole on this team: long range
shooting. He also seems like he could add a nice veteran presence on what would be a really young team. Plus, I’m trying to build a real team here. Not all the moves can be sexy.

9. Sign Kyle Korver in free agency. A few of my friends will probably disown me for condoning the signing of Kyle Korver but like I said
with Bonner, shooting is a need. They could throw this guy out there as a zone buster or simply to space the floor. I can live with all his other bullshiz for 10-15 minutes a game.

10. Bring Nicola Pekovic over from Europe. By all accounts, he’s already confirmed he’s coming. Incase you’re in the 98% of NBA fans
who have never heard of him, he’s the #1 rated Euro center. Scouting reports label him as a hard nosed defensive standout with a mean streak and a lethal scorer anywhere around the basket. The Wolves drafted him in the 2nd round a couple of years ago and it looks like he’s finally ready to play with the big boys. Perhaps backing up another Eastern Euro in Darko would help ease the transition.


So there you have it. Ten moves. Dramatic moves, but arguably realistic I believe. The 12 man rotation would look something like this.

PG – John Wall, Ramon Sessions
SG – Evan Turner, Wayne Ellington, Manny Harris
SF – Andre Igoudala, Kyle Korver
PFKevin Love, Ekpe Udoh, Matt Bonner
C – Darko Milicic, Nicola Pekovic

A good balance of youth and experience. Scoring and defense. Fundamentals and electricity.

Most importantly, what do you think?

Comments

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: April 11, 2010 2:55 pm
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

I like it, Wall and Turner would set this team up in the backcourt for the next 10 years however I don't see it happening. Here's my plan for the draft.

We get pick 2 and draft Turner than we trade Al and or Jonny or whatever it takes besides Rubio and Turner to get another top 3-4 pick to draft Favors. Resign Drako, draft James Anderson at 16. Imagine this lineup in a few years.

Rubio
Turner
Brewer/whatever
Favors
Darko

That team's going to have some impressive defense, Rubio, Turner and Brewer all have huge wingspans they would cause problems for opposing backcourts, Favors is athletic enough to cover those perimeter bigs and he could be the big that runs the floor and finish's those alley opps from Rubio. Drako would be are paint defender, he has legit size, a good shot blocker. If we could keep Love and bring him off the bench in an Odom type role that team would contend for a tittle and would have the highest basketball IQ in the NBA. This team would also fit the triangle very well but it won't happen.



Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: April 8, 2010 12:11 pm
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

I'm not fried on Rubio but I do feel like Kahn is playing a dangerous game by clinging to the idea that he will eventually play here. Trading him upon the acquisition of Wall makes sense from a positional standpoint but also because Rubio's value is still very high. Any number of factors could take away from that value between now and the time in which he decides to come over.




Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: April 7, 2010 10:04 pm
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

      I agree with alot your takes on what the Twolves need to do to improves this squad. I agree that if we win the lottery, we should take John Wall. In fact I would say take Wall #1 and then trade Flynn and our 16trh pick and move up to take Wesley Johnson.

     I completely agree with your take about trading Big Al. However I wrote about this months ago that they should trade Al straight up fo AI. There salaries almost match perfectly. Getting Igoudola woulld be huge. Getting an athletic 2 who can also play defense is a perfect fit.

  If we dont witn the lottery and are fortunate to pick 2nd, WITHOUT HESITAION they need to draft Evan Turner. I would also rather have us draft Greivis Vasquez out of Maryland.

     I agree that they need to absolutley sign Darko. Getting a free look at him has been huge. His size is something that the Wolves have been lacking for years. He can do all of those things. Play good defense, is a good passer and will score when needed especially if his conditioning is no longer an issue.

   Sign Rudy Gay in free agency. Getting an athletic 3 who can score and finish is exactly what this teams needs. This offense will want to run and having both AI and Rudy Gay would be fantastic. People are going to harp on the fact that neither are shooting 40% from 3 Point range. They shoot good enough from downtown and do so many other things well especially what this team desperatley needs that both should be the perfect fit.

   I dont like your trade scenario other than I want us to get AI and feel we can do that just for Al Jefferson.

    Dont like either of your ideas of who to sign in free agency. I agree that we need to bring in some players that can shoot but dont feel either of those players are the solution.

   Luckily I am part of the 2% of the people who know who Pekovic is. I agree his presence is deperately needed on the defensive end of the floor and adding some much needed toughness to this squad. The man can finish around the rim and can score in the low block.

   PG- Wall, Sessions, Rubio
   SG-Igoudola, Brewer, Ellington
   SF- Gay, Gomes
   PF-Love, FREE AGENT
    C-Milicic, Pekovic

     What do you think?



Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: April 7, 2010 4:32 pm
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

I agree with the overall premise, that being if you get John Wall you tear down and build around him.   Unfortunately as a Wolves fan I know that we won't get our draft position. I am guessing around 4th.   But, deserved pessimism aside I wonder about the Turner thing.  I really like him but I hear a lot of Dewayne Wade comparisions which I'm not sure are fair.  They both stuff the stat sheet but, and maybe I'm remembering it wrong, I remember Wade being an athletic freak that found a jump shot when he came to the pros. Turner doesn't scream athletic freak to me.  He seems crafty with a jumper you have to respect and is good at getting his shot off.  In a strange way he reminds me of Bird. Turner is certainly more athletic but I do see comparisons.  I don't know if I see them getting Turner and Wall.

I love Udoh.  I absolutely agree that his a real piece on a good NBA team. 

I would never to the Iggy thing.  He is better than Brewer but I'm not sure Brewer is done growing and frankly I'm a little attached to Brewer. I mean how many players have you truly watched develop?  I think he made a leap this year and not sure I'd be willing to let him go.

Milicic is a stiff.  Jesus how the hell did he get drafted 2nd.  Why did you stick a fork in the Jefferson, Flynn, Wall for Tuner, Lopez and crap?  Assuming Rubio is coming I see that as a better team.  Rubio, Turner, Brew, Love, Lopez.  I truly thing that wins more games than Wall, Turner, Iggy, Love, Milicic.



Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: April 7, 2010 3:24 pm
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

Is there any scenario that has you keeping Rubio or are you fried on him?



Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: April 7, 2010 10:01 am
 

Ten Moves to Remake the Minnesota Timberwolves

i think you owe me $5.



Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: April 6, 2010 9:05 pm
 

France

Bonner = Yes
Krover = No


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com