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Tag:Timberwolves
Posted on: June 14, 2012 11:49 am
 

1st 2012 NBA MOCK DRAFT!

I only do the first 18 picks because that's when the Wolves pick and I'm an unabashed homer. Just accept it and this will be easier to digest.

1. Hornets – Anthony Davis, PF KENTUCKY

* No brainer. I think the Hornets should go with the ultimate rebranding/rebuilding plan and trade Eric Gordon for another top 7 pick. Then with the #10 pick that they already have they come out of this draft with three pretty talented rooks. This would definitely be in line with the OKC model that is awfully trendy these days.

 

2. Bobcats – Bradley Beal, SG FLORIDA

* Charlotte needs to trade this pick. They need a franchise face to build around. There’s only one of those in this draft and he’s going #1. Beal is a good player, probably the best scorer outside of Davis but he’s not going to do anything to shore up their atrocious front court. Don’t sleep on this rumor: Wolves deal Derrick Williams, #18 and their 2013 1<sup>st</sup> Rounder from Memphis for this pick. Win-Win. Wolves take Beal and fill their one glaring weakness. Bobcats get more of a #1 talent and the #2 pick in last year’s draft while also picking up some other pieces. Or they should trade down with Portland at #6 and take the hometown kid, Harrison Barnes, if he gets there.

 

3. Wizards – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF KENTUCKY

* Apparently the Wiz used Jan Vesely almost exclusively as a PF last year. I think Thomas Robinson would be a better pick for them, as he would be a massive talent, heart and IQ upgrade over former front courters, JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. However, I think they’ll go with MKG, which for me is a concern because although he’d be great in transition with John Wall that also means they wold have two poor shooters starting at the 1-3 spots.

 

4. Cavaliers – Harrison Barnes, SF UNC

*Thomas Robinson slips again because the Cavs are already invested in Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao. Barnes gives them a wing scorer and a well-known name to market alongside Kyrie Irving. I fully expect Barnes to be a serviceable, if not overrated, player in much the same way that OJ Mayo has been. Just don’t expect stardom, or anything close to it.

 

5. Kings – Thomas Robinson, PF KANSAS

* Finally. This would be a tremendous acquisition for the Kings. Robinson, known for his incredibly high motor and great character, would round out their front court and be an invaluable counter balance to DeMarcus Cousins’ lackadaisical effort and explosive attitude. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he ends up being one of the top 2 or 3 players from this draft.

 

6. Blazers – Damien Lillard, PG WEBER STATE

* The first somewhat surprise pick of the draft. The Blazers are desperate for a PG and even though they also have pick #11 they know New Orleans will snipe him at #10. Lillard was a scoring monster in college, but the question will be does the competition at Weber State translate to the NBA.

 

7. Warriors – Dion Waiters, SG SYRACUSE

* Another surprise pick. Sullinger and Drummond are the two best talents on the board but the Warriors already have Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Andres Biedrins hogging their big spots. They need to replace Monta Ellis and think Klay Thompson might be better at SF. Waiters’ stock is rapidly rising right now.

 

8. Raptors – Jared Sullinger, PF OHIO STATE

* Not a super need pick but the almost solid production guarantee from Sully forces their hand. Andres Bargnani doesn’t give them enough interior toughness and Ed Davis has been a super bust. Sullinger could be a very intriguing future match with Jonas Valanciunas.

9. Pistons – Andre Drummond, C UCONN

* Maturity issues and a lack of a track record cause Drummond to fall a bit but the Pistons can’t pass on the potential. Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko and Drummond are a nice quadrant to build around. Too bad the contracts of Ben Gordon and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer are still handcuffing them.

 

10. Hornets – Kendall Marshall, PG UNC

* Marshall fills a need for them and is a fine floor general type. He just don’t have an offensive game to speak of. He played in a big program. It seems like a pretty big flaw to still go this early but this draft is void of quality PGs so Marshall will have to do.

 

11. Blazers – Jeremy Lamb, SG UCONN

* Fits the prototype of big time scoring NBA guard perfectly but there are major knocks against his maturity, intelligence, drive and willingness to play within a system. The Blazers can take the risk at this point and hope he begins to fill in for Brandon Roy.

 

12. Bucks – Meyers Leonard, C ILLINOIS

* The departure of Andrew Bogut and the emergence of Ersan Ilyasova  leaves one major hole at the center spot. Leonard certainly looks the part of slow, clumsy white guy center, but he’s surprisingly athletic and has improved drastically every year.

 

13. Suns – Austin Rivers, SG DUKE

* It’s hard to say where this team stands without knowing the status of Steve Nash. Ultimately, I think they’ll be looking for scoring from their backcourt with their frontcourt occupied by Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris and Channing Frye.

 

14. Rockets – Tyler Zeller, C UNC

* The Rockets keep drafting big men but don’t have one that can adequately play the 5. So they reach a little bit on Zeller, a true 7 footer who seems like an inevitable bust to me but size sells and the Rockets are still trying to buy a replacement for Yao.

 

15. 76ers – John Henson, PF UNC

* Philly is thrilled to have the eventual Elton Brand replacement fall to them here. Henson strikes me as another in a seeming trend of soft UNC bigs that can’t hack it in the pros (ie. Ed Davis) but even I’ll admit this spot is good value for him.

 

16. Rockets – Quincy Miller, SF BAYLOR

*Miller is an enigma type. Tons of talent but an ACL tear and inconsistent performance in college held him back from reaching his top 10 potential. There are a few things the Rockets could do here but I’ll give the nod to the Texas connection.

 

17. Mavericks – Terrence Jones, SF KENTUCKY

* Jones is extremely raw but a super athlete. The Mavs can begin to add youth with Jones, who can eventually take over the Shawn Marion role and be for them what Lamar Odom never was.

 

18. Wolves – Terrence Ross, SF WASHINGTON

* This wouldn’t be a homerun pick but would definitely fill a need. It’s almost a bit unnerving for a Wolves fan to hear Ross’ game described as basically what we were supposed to be getting with the Wes Johnson pick. Ross is a great shooter and defender, but his one big weakness (poor handle) does concern me. If Derrick Williams is dealt look for either Perry Jones or Royce White to go here as two big man picks with higher upside than Ross. Another higher upside pick would be the SF out of St. John’s, Moe Harkless. The problem with him is that he can’t shoot very well at this point. That’s a major problem for this team. One other player to keep an eye on is John Jenkins, a SG from Vanderbilt. He’s a one trick pony, but he’s amazing at that one trick – 3 point shooting. He shot 43% from 3-land throughout his college career. He can’t create his own shot, which limits him. Jenkins would be a reach right here but the Wolves need shooting badly.



Category: NBA
Posted on: November 27, 2009 11:04 pm
 

The Wolves Are So Bad... (How bad are they?)

Basketball, when played well, is poetry.

Basketball is an artful combination of speed, power and finesse, that when executed skillfully is both exciting and rhythmic.

Basketball played by two determined and united teams is constant energy, with moments of amazement and inspiration possible at any second.

To me, these statements are fact. These statements are why I love basketball. These statements are why the Timberwolves are practically unwatchable at the moment.

I'm a diehard Wolves fan, evidence by the fact that I blog regularly about a team whose second greatest player of all time might be Wally Szczerbiak. I can't help it, I'm all-Wolves til the end. That being said, I find it more difficult to watch the current assemblage of "talent" than I ever have before. There have been bad Wolves' teams in the past, as recently as last season, but not like this. The 08-09 team, though not to be mistaken with the Lakers, weren't nearly as bad as they were playing early on and were instead largely the victims of coach Randy Wittman and his "bore the shit out of the crowd" offense. Once he was dispatched the team was allowed to play up to their true slightly below average potential.

But the 09-10 Wolves? Oh boy. There is no Randy Wittman to fire, nor a Kevin McHale to throw under the bus. Glen Taylor is still around but he looks just so darned smiley sitting on the sidelines that I doubt anyone has the heart to ruin his day by telling him what exactly is going on. Nope, it's ugly out there. Sam Cassell ugly.

One can justifiably attribute their wretched play to injury and inexperience. Both are relevant factors that any realistic fan knew would be an everpresent problem this year. But knowing that doesn't make the games more enjoyable. It doesn't make playing COD: Modern Warfare 2 less of a better use of your time. It most definitely does not put fans in the seats of the cavernous tomb also known as Target Center.

How many times can you watch Corey Brewer dribble the ball of his knees and grin that unremitting grin of his in disappointment as a fan in the front row picks it up for him?

How many times can you watch Sasha Pavlovic airball a wide open three point attempt and think "Oh, so this is why the Cavs let you go, you miserable sack of Euro shit."

How many times can you watch the Ryan Gomes Special (bricking a wide open mid-range jump shot and then touch fouling a vastly superior player as they are dunking on him in two consecutive possessions) and not wonder if the Lakers would be willing to deal Adam Morrison for him.  

How many times can Ryan Hollins completely disregard his 7 foot height and be manhandled on the boards in such a way that would make Earl Boykins blush, all of which leaves you longing for Bill Laimbeer to suit up and start throwing some elbows because hell, it can't get any worse, right?

Al Jefferson has been particularly brutal in this baker's dozen stretch of losses, very few of which were even competitive. First and foremost, he's clearly not back from his ACL injury. Everything that made him one of the top 3 lost post scorers in the league is missing right now. Secondly, his 30 lb. weight loss was well advertised in the offseason. Perhaps dropping all that extra weight will allow him to stay healthy over the long haul but for now I can't help but notice how he's getting pushed around in the paint on both ends of the court and think that those 30 lbs. could come in handy right about now. Thirdly, which on a sidenote, is most likely due to the first two factors but still worth highlighting, he's just not playing well. In the past I've always found the wrap that he's a defensively flawed ball hog to be blown way out of proportion and more of a generalization that lazy fans were using to pigeonhole the guy. But I call it like it is and right now he is exactly that. He's not passing unless it's to kick it out to the three point line in order to evade a double team. In other words, his passing isn't creating any kind of offense. Quicker big men are exploding past him, which is leading to the types of touch fouls you'd expect out of Ryan Gomes. Most puzzling, the ball just isn't falling through the hoop. He's doing the same types of moves he always used to embarrass opponents in the past. The shots he's taking and missing are the shots that when he used to take them you knew with 99% certainty it was going in. For the sanity of Wolves fans everywhere, he had better get it together soon or this team will be making a run at the all-time record for fewest wins in a season.

Of course, the Nets might beat them to it.

Category: NBA
Posted on: October 28, 2009 4:41 pm
 

The Season Opens

In a few short hours the Timberwolves will open the 2009-10 campaign against their mirror image in the Eastern Conference, the New Jersey Nets. In recent years both teams have completely deconstructed their core veteran team and have begun the lengthy process of rebuilding around a young and dynamic player. The Wolves with Al Jefferson, the Nets with Devin Harris. Both teams feature a promising 2nd year big man, who surpassed all expectations during their rookie seasons. The Wolves with Kevin Love, the Nets with Brook Lopez. Both teams are stock piled with young potential, which may someday amount to something special or something all together worthless. The Wolves with Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer and Ramon Sessions, the Nets with Yi Jianlin, Courtney Lee and Terrance Williams. 

As for the Wolves, success this season will come in the form of effort, development and chemistry. Wins are ideal, but if that's the only barometer for measuring success then us Wolves fans might as well start planning for the 2010 draft now. They're simply too young, too inexperienced, too injured and and too unfamiliar with each other to realistically make a legitimate push this year. What I do realistically envision is a move like Oklahoma City made last year and Portland made several years ago just before becomming a playoff caliber team. That being a transformation to a scrappy, yet inconsistent team that will be on the losing end of their fair share of blow outs but from time to time will also flash their enormous potential and beat a few of the league's best, earning the reputation as a team better than their record and most definitely on the rise. Combine that with another high lottery pick, two additional 2010 1st round picks, Ricky Rubio's perceived value, enough cap space next offseason to offer a max contract and several expiring contracts that could aide in a deadline deal, and the Wolves could be back in the playoffs sooner rather than later. Or at least sooner than the Nets.

If pressed to put a number prediction on wins I'd say somewhere between 28 and 35, which is presumably where they would have ended up last year if not for losing Jefferson for nearly half their games. I think the additions of Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, Wayne Ellington, Sasha Pavlovic, Ryan Hollins and Kurt Rambis easily offset, if not improve, the losses of Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, Mark Madsen and Kevin McHale. For the Wolves to end up on the higher end of that prediction or even exceed it, the following things will need to happen.


Al Jefferson - will need to be healthy. If his knee isn't right the Wolves are in big trouble. His well documented 30 lb. weight loss seems to suggest he'll be fleeter of foot on both defense and fast breaks but first he'll need to ease everyone's fears that his knee is going to give out every time he jumps for a rebound.

Jonny Flynn - will need to be wise beyond his years. Truthfully, he's probably the best true PG the Wolves have had since Terrell Brandon. If he can come in and be more Chris Paul than AC Law, then the Wolves will be better than anyone would have thought.

Kevin Love - will need to get healthy. A broken bone in his non-shooting hand should keep him out well short of the projected 6 weeks. When he's back he'll need to prove that his ridiculous rookie rebounding rate wasn't a fluke and that his conditioning has improved. After all, you can't average 12 rebs per game if you can only play 30 minutes a game.

Corey Brewer - will need to build on the preseason. This is the first time I have given Brewer a compliment without surrounding it with a ton of "buts" and "ifs" and "maybes". He was genuiniely good in the preseason, which can be inflated but can also be a sign of things to come. Shit, I said "but".

Ramon Sessions - will need to make Milwaukee regret letting him go. Right now, he could be Mike James (circa Raptors to Wolves, 2006) having just parlayed a bunch of empty stats on a losing team into a longterm contract. Or he could be Chauncey Billups (circa Wolves to Detroit, 2002) having just begun to show what he's capable of and on the verge of establishing himself as a force in the league. Most likely, he's somewhere in between.

Ryan Hollins - will need to block a lot of shots. They don't need him to do much. Just block shots. He should be watching every minute of Chris "Birdman" Anderson film he can get his hands on. Or rather video. The kids watch video these days.

Wayne Ellington, Sasha Pavolvic and/or Oleksiy Pecherov - will need to become reliable outside shooters. Right now the deep ball is this team's major weakness and if they can't hit shots Love and Jefferson will eat non-stop double teams.

Ryan Gomes, Damien Wilkins, Brian Cardinal - will need to be steady veterans. Outside of these three guys everyone else on the team is 25 or younger. No one is expecting much out of them production-wise, but they will need to be the on court teachers to do the little things that build a winning team.

Mark Blount - will need to sit on his couch, collect a paycheck and wait to be traded or cut. Nice career.

Kurt Rambis - will need to be as good and as patient as advertised. Hopefully, all those years sitting next to Phil Jackson pay off.



Enjoy the season.
Posted on: October 15, 2009 6:28 pm
 

Minnesota Timberwolves 2009-10 Offseason Review

On May 22nd of this year, after an exhaustive and seemingly blundered search for a new Head of Basketball Operations, the Timberwolves hired their apparent 3rd choice for the position in David Kahn. Typical fan reaction ranged from anger to disbelief to apathy, or some combination of the three. Today, I'd estimate that at least 8 out of 10 of those fans would take it all back. 

Imagine, if you will, you went into a coma back on May 22nd and awoke from it today. Also imagine that by some strange twist of fate you were a demented Wolves fan whose rabid obsession and supposed first thought after coming out of a four month coma is “What happened with the Wolves this summer?” Your family would try to convince you to talk about your emotions or them or your life, but you’d be unstoppably obsessed with talking some T-Wolves. Well, you’d definitely be a sick S.O.B. but I’ll be damned if I wouldn’t respect you for it. I’d sit you down and fill you in on the details but you’d probably have a hard time believing all that had gone down in one short summer. Sure, you’d recognize a few of the names but for the most part you’d be waking up to a whole new team.

 

Wrath of Kahn

It all started with the hiring of David Kahn. Before him, however, was a flirtation with Spurs Assistant GM, Dennis Lindsey. He has the pedigree to make him a no brainer pick for GM but in a moderate dis to the Timberwolves organization he essentially said he'd rather be an assistant with the Spurs than the main man with the Wolves. In vain, I sit here unable to think of a more cordial way to say ‘fuck him’. It's worth noting that he did the same thing with the Atlanta Hawks last offseason. Then there was Blazers Assistant GM, Tom Penn. Kevin Pritchard's (Blazers super-GM) right hand man is largely credited with being instrumental to the Blazers impressive youth movement. Penn was apparently ready to sign but at the last minute Paul Allen (Blazers uber rich owner) swept in and offered him a ridiculous pay raise to stay in Portland. This plus other illuminating details that came out in the wake of everything suggest that Penn never intended to leave Portland and was instead merely using Minnesota as leverage to get a new contract. They're only rumors, but based on the credibility of the rumors I believe every one of them, which of course earns an even more impressive and emphatic ‘double fuck him’.

And then there was Kahn. All anyone knew was that he was some ex-Pacers guy under Donnie Walsh who hadn't been in the NBA since 2002 and spent the last few years fiddling around in the NBDL and heading up a grassroots movement to get a Major League Baseball team in Oregon, which obviously never happened. Even worse, his reputation was as a business-minded man as oppose to a basketball-minded man. The story went that in Indiana Walsh was the personnel guy who put the championship contending teams together. Kahn was the finance guy who worked the cap. The prevailing thought amongst jaded fans was that Glen Taylor had gone ahead and hired a guy with the savvy to save him a few more Bucks, which was a somewhat deserved reaction considering the plethora of painfully frugal moves the Wolves have made over the past few years.

Anyways, it happens. Kahn shows up for his press conference. He's pasty white and looks to be maybe 5'7" at most. He's seems way too articulate and dainty to be a real sports guy. But then he starts to talk about his vision of the Wolves future. He talks big. He promises change. A change in organizational philosophy. A change in personnel. A change in the way the Wolves are perceived around the league. He says no team will work harder. He says no front office will be more diligent and persistent. He says once again the Target Center with be full of rambunctious and howling fans. I've got to admit, it was convincing. Only talk, but somewhat convincing. Of course, Wolves fans have heard plenty of talk over the years, much of it hollow and void of follow through, most of it from the previous man in charge, Kevin McHale.

McHale was no longer in charge but he was still the head coach. His presence in the organization was quite literally likened to a cancer. A little dramatic, yes, but I agree with the general principle of the analogy. No matter how small or potentially insignificant, he had to be removed. The team could not begin to rebuild until it was cleansed of his toxic presence and allowed to build a new image of its own. Sure, Kahn talked a big game but if he wouldn't/couldn't get rid of McHale then it would be apparent to everyone who still cared to pay attention that he was, in the end, just a Taylor pawn.

Kahn and McHale had a number of lunches and dinners and probably even a few brunches in which they reportedly discussed the future direction of the team and McHale's roll within it. The longer events transpired, the more likely it appeared that McHale would be retained. But then the axe suddenly fell and McHale was for all intents and purposes, decapitated. I can now empathize with the citizens of Baghdad who saw the oversized statue of Saddam Hussein ripped down by chains and drug off to a scrap heap somewhere. We knew the day would eventually have to come, but it still didn't seem possible that it would come in our lifetimes.

For the sake of bringing some order to the personnel chaos that ensued after McHale’s firing, I’ve organized the various transactions into three categories: the draft, trades and free agency. Behold.

 

The Draft

One thing you can credit McHale with his a late-tenure run in which he unloaded many of the terrible contracts he had previously signed players to for future assets. So even though David Kahn has done an impressive job in a short amount of time, you’ve also got to remember that much of the flexibility that allowed him to do so much was inherited. But, as they say, it is what it is.

Heading into the 2009 NBA Draft the Timberwolves had an impressive four 1st Round Picks and two 2nd Round Picks. Two of those picks, the #5 and #6 overall selections (I’ll get into how that #5 pick was acquired later on), would/will define this draft. Those two picks represented the organizations opportunity to add significant pieces to the core of this team moving forward.

Blake Griffin is taken #1 by the Clippers. No surprise there. Hasheem Thabeet went #2 overall. Thank you, Memphis. James Harden goes #3 to Oklahoma City. A somewhat surprising pick because, you know, this team should be in Seattle. Sacramento drops the bomb when they take Tyreke Evans at #4. Evans is a very talented player but for a team with virtually no identity it seems like Rubio would have been the ideal player to build a team around. But perhaps they saw the writing on the wall. The Wolves were then up with two straight picks and the guy who seemed like a total pipe dream is there for the taking.

The following is the approximate inner monologue of a Wolves fan in the moments leading up to the #5 pick in this year’s draft: Would he want play in Minnesota? Is he going to stay in Europe? Can he even play against us big, bad Americans? Screw it, draft him. He’s the BPA, no doubt. Shit, here comes Stern. Why does he always have that stupid grin? We took Ricky Rubio! We took Ricky Rubio! Fans everywhere erupt! We, yes “we”, got the 2nd most talented player in the draft with the #5 pick. A star caliber talent, something all NBA championship teams are built around, just fell into our laps. There are a lot of logistics still to be worked out, but who cares. We got Rubio!

What can I say, I’m a Rubeo. Get it? Rube + Rubio. I made that up.

Then came the #6 pick. Stephen Curry seemed like a logical choice, although a Curry/Rubio backcourt would have been perhaps the smallest in the league. DeMar DeRozan made sense. But taking him at #6 would be a stretch even though the Wolves needed a shooting guard to pair with their new point guard of the future. So naturally, they took Jonny Flynn, the point guard.

It didn’t make much sense at the time. Some think it still doesn’t. Why take two point guards? Well, let me answer that self-imposed question. It’s my belief that there are four types of NBA teams. 1) Legitimate contenders who are stockpiling veteran talent in order to have the deepest and most ready to win team possible. 2) Mediocre pretenders who add whatever talent they can with the goal of winning a lot, but never winning the big one. 3) Rebuilding teams whose primary goal should be acquiring as much young talent as possible, regardless of position. #4) The New York Knicks. The Wolves are that #3 type of team. Right now, taking two point guards can’t make a lot of sense from the appearance of things but if Kahn & Co. believed that Rubio and Flynn were the two best players available then taking them both is so much better than being short sighted and taking a worse player just because it fills out a roster sheet better than the alternative. Then and today, drafting Ricky Rubio was the absolute right thing to do.

Obviously, the Rubio situation has played out with the conclusion that he will be playing in Spain for at least two more years. Do yourself a favor and don’t believe any of the tabloid nonsense that the Chad Fords and Rick Buchers of the world love to spew. Rubio has no qualms about playing in Minnesota. He is not demanding to be traded to a major market. He is not afraid of snow or of playing with Jonny Flynn. If any of it were remotely true he would have played that card by now so as to increase his leverage. He, nor his agent, has ever said anything of the sort. This is all about money. When Rubio wasn’t selected in the first three picks he not only lost out on quite a bit of money on the NBA rookie salary scale but he also triggered a clause in his Nike contract that would have paid him substantially more had he gone in those first three picks. Rubio and his people made the decision that they would not come to the NBA if it would put him at a major financial loss, even in just the short term.

So now he will play in Spain for two years and will most likely come over to the NBA when he is a mere 20 years old. He will either play for the Timberwolves or he will play for whoever the Timberwolves trade him to. The options in that regard are too many to speculate on. Flynn, on the other hand, will most likely spend those two years making Wolves fans forget about Rubio. Lost in all of the Rubio mess is just how good Flynn is. His game is extremely comparable to that of Chris Paul. He’s also a natural born leader with a sense of charisma that will quickly endear him to Wolves fans everywhere.

Finally, don’t sleep on Wayne Ellington. He was taken with the #29 overall pick (acquired via Boston in the KG trade). He’s not a huge upside guy but his game right now is very solid and he will get major minutes as a rookie.

 

Trades

The Timberwolves have made seven trades since Kahn arrived. Most have been financial chess moves in order to position themselves to be heavy free agent players in the 2010 offseason. A couple of the trades have actually been about acquiring talent. In chronological order they are…

1. Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington for Darius Songalia, Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and the #5 pick in the 2009 draft. This was easily the most noteworthy of the trades made. I’ve already delved enough into the Rubio situation and the rest of the incoming assets can be summed up in the following statement: Etan Thomas was a salary chip, as was Darius Songalia, and Oleksiy Pecherov is a low-risk, low-salary Euro flier. The non-Rubio intriguing aspect of this trade was who the Wolves dealt: Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Foye, though not his fault, was the total embodiment of the McHale blunder years. People got over and even partially sympathized with the Joe Smith fiasco (thanks to Premier Stern and his resounding “FUCK YOU” to the people of Minnesota). Given the circumstances, no one could really blame McHale for letting Chauncey Billups go. Ndudi Ebi was a bust but he was also the 28th overall pick so it’s not like he passed on Michael Jordan or anything. But Foye, that was inexcusable. The Wolves had Brandon Roy in their possession. He was a Timberwolf for a few fleeting seconds and McHale let him go…for Randy Foye….and cash. Cheap and stupid. Double whammy. Roy goes on to become one of the top shooting guards in the league. Foye goes on to sustain a major injury, demonstrate the inability to play the position they drafted him to play, and struggles through unwatchable bouts of inconsistency. If Brandon Roy is on the Timberwolves, Kevin Garnett probably still is too. The Wolves are most likely legitimate contenders in the Western Conference. Target Center is undoubtedly packed with fans. But instead, the past plays out as it did, McHale goes into hiding, and the fans have no choice but to unleash their fury on the guy who represents what could have been, Randy Foye. Sad to say, trading him was trading more than a player. It was trading a scar. Mike Miller, to a lesser extent, was another McHale gem. Landing Miller when they did was the justification for trading OJ Mayo for Kevin Love. Sounded good at the time but Miller, like so many other skilled role players, failed to produce when a team actually needed him to be “the guy”. The difference here is that Kevin Love, unlike Foye, actually endeared himself to fans through hard work and definitive signs of potential. I would guess that up to 60-70% of Wolves fans today, if given the choice of Mayo or Love straight up, would go Love.

2. Ty Lawson to Denver for their 2010 1st Round Pick (via Charlotte, top 12 protected). He was the best player available on the board at the time of this pick but with Flynn and Rubio already selected he had no purpose in Minnesota. The national commentators erupted with laughter (3 point guards!) in response to this pick, but that’s mostly because they are irrational morons who either don’t know the facts or choose to ignore them in favor of sensationalism. Here’s hoping Charlotte just barely misses the playoffs this year.

3. Nick Calathes to Dallas for their 2010 2nd Pick. Solid player but he’ll be in Greece for as long as Rubio is in Spain.

4. Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith and Mark Madsen to the Los Angeles Clippers for Quentin Richardson. Q-Rich is a very unlikeable player and so trading three likeable players for him seemed strange. But alas, this turned out to be one of those 2010 cap savers I mentioned before.

5. Etan Thomas to Oklahoma City for Chucky Atkins and Damien Wilkins. Big contract for small contracts. Wilkins could actually prove to be a serviceable player.

6. Quentin Richardson to Miami for Mark Blount. Whoa, did I say Q-Rich is unlikable? What does that make Blount? He’ll probably be cut or traded before you finish reading this sentence.

7. Darius Songalia and Bobby Brown to New Orleans for Antonio Daniels and a future 2nd Round Pick. This was a very savvy move to save five million dollars off next year’s cap. Daniels has a 0% chance of being on the roster come opening day.

 

Free Agency

The Wolves didn’t throw down any serious money on players but they did drop a fair amount on their next head coach. Unlike past hires, Dwayne Casey and Randy Wittman, who were given the job as much for their low salary demands as they were their skill and acumen, Kurt Rambis was the most high profile assistant on the market. When his name came up it didn’t seem like a real possibility because that’s just not what the Wolves do. They don’t go after the big names, they go after the big bargains. Right? Well, apparently not anymore. Hiring Rambis, who has two hands full of championship rings, both from his days as a coach and as a player, is sending a message that this thing is for real. He played the bulk of his career with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. He coached the better part of the last decade under Phil Jackson and for Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. When it comes to resume building, it doesn’t really get any better than that. And for those looking for the cosmic tie, he also famously clotheslined Kevin McHale in the 1984 NBA Finals.

Rambis continued the surprises by hiring an equally high profile team of assistants. Reggie Theus, Dave Wohl and Bill Laimbeer will join him on the bench this year and for the foreseeable future. Theus already has heading coaching experience from his short run with Sacramento. Wohl was with Boston when they drafted Al Jefferson and is credited with a lot of his development as a player. Laimbeer won three championships as head coach of the Detroit Shock (WNBA) and will be probably be good for humorous post game quotes.

As for the actual players, the Wolves added three guys that fit two criteria: 1) Young, talented and a healthy upside. 2) A financially low risk contract. Enter Ramon Sessions (23 years old, 4 year deal worth 16 million), Ryan Hollins (25 years old, 3 year deal worth 7 million) and Sasha Pavlovic (25 years old, 1 year contract worth 1.5 million).

Sessions is the most talented of the three and will see the most minutes on the court. Some people questioned why the Wolves would bring him in, even with the knowledge that Rubio won’t be here for a couple of years. I tend to believe that Sessions is part of the long-term plan, as oppose to the other theory which is that he’s merely keeping Rubio’s seat warm. He’s both insurance incase they trade Rubio or a trade asset in case Rubio actually shows up someday. Sessions also lends merit to David Kahn’s claim that he wants to build an up tempo team that utilizes a two point guard system. Detractors claimed that he invented that idea after drafting both Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn in an attempt to answer critics who loudly and sarcastically questioned “Why would you draft two point guards in the 1st Round?!?!” Apparently, because he wants them to play together.

Hollins technically fits a major team need. He’s long, athletic, a true center and a great shot blocker. That’s all a technicality because he’s yet to put it together in a game that matters for any sustained amount of time. He’s been buried on Dallas’ depth chart but in very limited action has shown some big time potential. Ultimately, however, he’s completely unproven and still very raw despite two years in the league. He could easily boom or bust but for a guy they only need about 10 minutes a game out of he’s a solid prospect.

Sasha’s role on the team isn’t entirely clear but I do expect him to get a fair amount of playing time. The obvious reasons for that include he can play the 2 or the 3, he’s one of the few players on the team that can shoot from long range, they don’t have many other alternatives on roster and they need to showcase his talents. With only a one year contract he’s unlikely to be on this team beyond this one year. That means he’ll be a prime candidate for a deadline deal to some playoff bound team looking for an experienced shooter with the added bonus of being an expiring contract.


The Season Begins

That about sums it up. The season opener is less than two weeks away. Leading up to that, we all witnessed one of the two most eventful offseasons in Timberwolves history. The other being the 2003-04 season, in which they stockpiled talent for a championship run. This year is equally as momentous but for the opposite reason. This offseason was about building a core that will one day contend not just for one championship, but for several, year after year. The answer is yes, Wolves fans, you can say that with a straight face and not be embarrassed.





Posted on: September 13, 2009 10:57 pm
 

The Deals Continue

School Is In Sessions

Without a doubt, the dumbest headline I've come up with to date, but hey, we got him (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO-j-WQ0fG8&feature=related). Adding Ramon Sessions on a four year deal that will pay him 3.7 million this year and slightly increasing from there on is an incredible steal. He's only 23 years old and has played in fewer than 100 NBA games. In that time he has shown the ability to be a big time scorer and distributor. His single game career high in points is 44. His single game career high in assists is 24. Detract, criticize, nitpick all you want, but you can't put up those kinds of numbers and not have some pretty special abilities. If you aren't familiar with Sessions' game think Randy Foye except with actual point guard skills and vision, the ability to drive to his left, superior quickness and more appealing upside.

Getting this kind of talent for such little risk is surprising but what really stuns me about the whole thing is that Milwaukee was willing to let him go. Yeah I know, they didn't want to go over the luxury tax. But they would have had several months to get under the tax before they'd have to pay for it. Seems like they could have found a salary dump situation somewhere in that time frame. I honestly feel for Milwaukee fans, largely out of empathy. Moves like this give the appearance of a team in a full on, down to the studs rebuild. In the same breath, they've added guys like Hakim Warrick, Carlos Delfino and Kurt Thomas this offseason. They let Mo Williams go. But then they re-up Dan Gadzuric for 7+ mil a season. They trade for Richard Jefferson and then trade him away a year later. But then they appear unwilling to part with Michael Redd. I'm sure Buck insiders have more perspective but from my view they look like a total mess.



The End of the Songalia Era

Another week. Another Timberwolves trade. Another savy transaction by the Minnesota Timberwolves. It's still feels foreign to say that on a regular basis.

Darius Songalia is shipped along with Bobby Brown to New Orleans for Antonio Daniels. Yes, THE Antonio Daniels.   I've made it a habit every time the Wolves make a trade (feels like a dozen or so times this offseason) to read about it on the website of the local Minneapolis paper. Not so much for the reporting, but rather for the comments section below the article where readers can post their various thoughts. It's pretty hilarious sometimes.

A typical response to one of the many executed deals goes something like "We traded what for who?" or "I didn't even know that guy was on our team" or "What was the point of this?" or "Fire McHale!" (some people just can't let go). I've got to admit that to the casual fan these deals must seem quite pointless. Any time Etan Thomas or Quentin Richardson is the marquee name in a deal you know it's only for the hardest core of fans. The appearance of a flurry of marginal players being shuffled out then in and then out again is sort of bizarre when you don't fully consider the business related implications of the deal. But as we have come to trust from Kahn, there is always a business angle to his transactions. After all, bringing this organization out of financial hell was one of the many tasks he was charged with upon hiring.

Take this latest deal for example. It's hard to get too excited about adding Antonio Daniels or conversly, depressed about losing Darius Songalia or Bobby Brown. So why do this trade? First of all, Bobby Brown makes almost no money and from a talent standpoint is worthless to an NBA squad, but could probably carve out a serviceable niche in the NBDL if given the opportunity. So eliminate his perceived value from the equation. It comes down to Daniels for Songalia. Songalia makes 3 million dollars less than Daniels for this upcoming season, so in the short term it allows New Orleans to add a solid roleplayer and save a little cash. For the Wolves, taking on that extra money doesn't matter because they aren't competing this year anyways. Next year is when the Wolves "win" the trade. Daniels is a straight up expiring contract. They can either package him in a trade to some luxury taxed team at the deadline or simply let his contract expire at season's end. Songalia, on the other hand, has a player option built into his contract next year for 4.9 mil, which he will undoubtedly pick up regardless of where he is playing. The Wolves clear another 5 or so million for the vaunted 2010 NBA offseason. Like I said, yet another savy move for the Wolves while New Orleans, already hemorraghing money, sets itself up for one more run in 2009 and then a brutal firesale to follow.  

This also hints at another interesting suggestion: the Wolves seriously believe they are going to be big time players in next year's free agency extravaganza. Why else would they keeping clearing every dollar they could, even by means of taking on excessive contracts for this season? Under past regimes you could cite cheapness or ineptitude or even insanity. That's the old regime. This new one is different. By all accounts, this new regime knows what it's doing. A novel idea for sure.

Looking ahead to next offseason, there's a number of past their prime vets like Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, Richard Hamilon and Steve Nash that would probably serve no purpose to the young and building T-Wolves. Then there's the megastars like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudamire, Joe Johnson and Yao Ming. After that there's the second tier stars like Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Howard, Rajon Rondo, Michael Redd and Al Harrington. After that there's a ton of quality role players that will be available, but the Wolves are pretty set on roleplayers. 

So who in that group can the Wolves seriously land? Is the whole desired location thing being overrated while straight cash, homey is being underrated? If the Wolves nip at some heels this year and give the appearance of a team on the rise will they be able to lure someone to Minnesota on that potential? I have my thoughts on the matter, but what do you think?




Posted on: September 1, 2009 10:27 pm
 

The Death of the Rubio Dream

If given the option, I would have prefered a scenario in which Brett Favre stayed retired and Ricky Rubio ditched Europe to suit up for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But it went the other way and we're forced to put the Rubio dream on hold until an unimaginable time in the future called 2011. That's two full NBA seasons from now. All along this was a likely possibility but the apparent finality of the outcome still stings. Something that really needs to be acknowledged: the Wolves made an offer that was accepted by DKV Joventut, as did Barcelona. Rubio could have gone to either locale. He chose Barcelona. This decision was not at all a result of a lack of effort by David Kahn, Glen Taylor and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Let me also clear up the following...

Yes, absolutely, David Kahn did the right thing when he drafted Rubio with the 5th overall pick in June's draft. You'll hear from a lot of revisionists who don't actually know anything, but that won't stop them from saying how bad of a draft pick it was. First of all, Ricky Rubio is the undisputed #2 pick in the 2009 draft if he doesn't have the buyout situation hanging over him. When he was on the board at #5 the Wolves had to take him. If they would have passed on him with both of their picks they would have been signaling to the league and their fanbase that they weren't really serious about building a contender. They would have been signaling that deep down they, as an organization, don't feel entitled to acquire the top talent in the league and instead those players should be reserved for only the biggest of media markets. They would have been signaling to all the other punk ass kids across the Globe that if you pout and whine and make threats you can basically dictate to the NBA where you play. They would have been emphatically signaling that even though the guy running things was new, business was in fact business as usual for an organization with a built up reputation for letting top talent walk away on draft night. Who else should they have taken? DeMar DeRozan? DeRozan at #6 or Wayne Ellington at #29? I take Ellington as an enormous value ten out of ten times. Terrance Williams and Gerald Henderson would have been debacale picks. The only guy who makes any amount of sense is Stephen Curry but him and Jonny Flynn would have been an even worse defensive combo than Rubio and Flynn. Taking Rubio was a risk. No doubt about it. But it was a risk worth taking, regardless of the outcome.

Yes, trading Randy Foye and Mike Miller for the #5 pick, which became Ricky Rubio, was a good trade. Anyone who thinks Foye and Miller were anything more than roleplayers for the Timberwolves who contributed very little to team wins most likely isn't reading this blog. Trading those two marginal talents for a crack at a potential game changing star was a no brainer.

Jonny Flynn is the forgotten man in all of this.
Flynn, the ultra charasmatic pure point guard with Chris Paul-like skills, is a Minnesota Timberwolf. He's the guy who grinned his ass off after getting drafted by the Timberwolves. He's the guy who showed up in Minneapolis the next day for the team press conference and spoke of wanting to be part of building a contender. He's the guy who said he was thrilled to be in Minnesota and looked forward to sharing the backcourt with Rubio. He's the guy who looked like an all-star veteran in the Vegas summer league. Yeah, that guy. Post draft there were just as many "experts" who claimed they would have taken Flynn ahead of Rubio as there were the opposite. All things considered, Flynn could very well turn out to be a much better player than the Spanish Golden Child. Rubio seemingly has all the potential and intangible star power in the world but as things are now, Flynn is faster, stronger, more athletic, more suited for the NBA game, a better defender and a better overall scorer. I'm not trying to blast Rubio now that he has scorned America, only highlight that Flynn is a hell of a player in his own right. He's a natural leader and from all accounts a really solid human being. I, honestly, sincerely, hope he takes the starting point guard spot and never even lets Rubio get a look at it.

Ricky Rubio is playing a very dangerous game. Of course, the game he's playing wouldn't be as dangerous if his primary motivation wasn't getting rich beyond his wildest dreams. If he was staying in Spain because he didn't feel like he wasn't ready for the NBA, that would be one thing. If he was staying in Spain because at the age of 18 he didn't feel mature enough to handle the leap to the US of A, that would be another. But this kid wants cash. Plain and simple, he wants to get paid and he followed the biggest pay check. That took him to Barcelona. He stood up before the draft and said it was his ultimate dream to play in the NBA and he would go to whatever team took him. But really, something was lost in translation. What he meant to say or should have said was that he wanted to play in the NBA so long as it was with New York or Los Angeles and he was able to rake in some serious bank by endorsing whatever slew of products offered the biggest pay off. The "for the love of the game" stuff was cute but regrettably turned out to be as transparent as it initially appeared. So the game he is playing is called dollars and cents, but it doesn't make all that much sense. He'll make a few more mil in the very short run but really he's just deferring the only true monster pay day he'll ever get by putting off his NBA career. Two more years until he signs his rookie contract. Four more years after that until he gets his assumed max contract. What could really happen in those six years, you ask? He could get injured playing against Euro trash hacks. He doesn't develop at a fast enough pace. He flat out sucks or is simply average. Jonny Flynn dominates. Out of sight, out of mind - people forget about him because he's toiling away in the middle of Spain somewhere. There's an NBA lock out and rookie salary scales are adjusted for the worse. Any of these factors, amongst many others, could damage or destroy whatever leverage he currently holds. The door to the NBA was wide open, as was the door to Barcelona. He chose his backyard over the big stage. Draw your own conclusions from that one.

If the offer was right, I would trade the rights to Ricky Rubio right now. If he isn't here for two more seasons that means the Wolves will go another two years without landing one of their franchise faces. Are they supposed to simply twiddle their thumbs in the meantime? The Spurs could maybe get away with that. This is a team, however, that hasn't been in the playoffs for four seasons. Two more without Rubio would make six seasons, and that's making the presumptious assumption that they'd make it during his first NBA season. I'm not saying this team needs to make a run immediately, but they do need to be on the upward swing by 2011, not still in full blown talent development. As I said above, Jonny Flynn needs to claim the PG job and make everyone forget about Rubio. Note that I wouldn't give Rubio away for scraps. The trade would have to yield another core player in return. One offer I would explore is dealing Rubio and some expiring contracts to the Clippers for Eric Gordon, one of their garbage contracts and the Wolves old 1st Round Pick back. To my understanding, Rubio has an affordable buyout in 2011 but can still be bought out at any point until then but for some unGodly fee in excess of 8 million dollars. Los Angeles is one of two cities that could make that happen. I know the Clippers like Gordon but I'm betting the allure of paring Rubio and Blake Griffin in the mold of Stockton-Malone would be too much to pass on. Not only would they be able to build around the promise of a future dynasty but they could also begin to challenge the Lakers monopoly on buzz in the city of Angels. The Wolves, on the other hand, get a young and underrated dynamic scorer. Gordon's lights out shooting would pair perfectly with Flynn's drive and dish game. Both Flynn and Gordon are slightly undersized for their positions but they easily make up for that with being abnormally strong and athletic for their positions. A core moving forward of Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Jonny Flynn, Eric Gordon and 2010 Lottery Pick would be legitimate.


Peace out, ya'll.




Posted on: August 9, 2009 11:02 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2009 11:54 am
 

Wolves (and a little NBA) Talk in August

THE NEW GUY
Kurt Rambis is the new head coach of the Timberwolves and I really, sincerely, hope he still wears the thick black frame glasses. Given that he's never been a head coach on the NBA level, no one short of maybe recent Lakers' players or coaches really has any idea how good he is. David Kahn certainly believes he's the best candidate. Going off his pedigree alone, Rambis looks like a good with the potential to be great hire.

First and foremost, he was a player for several years on championship contending and winning Laker teams (four championships, to be exact). He wasn't the greatest player but was good enough to stay in the league for fourteen seasons and play on teams that featured Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and James Worthy. He went on to work for the Lakers in various front office roles. Most recently, he's been an assistant under Phil Jackson for the past several years. You could argue there aren't many better people to learn from.

Maybe it's the stark contrast of this move compared to anything McHale/Taylor would have done during their reign of terror, but like the other moves made since the Kahn Era began, I'm intrigued by this one. After firing Flipnosis, McTaylor (just made that up) went to the bargain bin for their coaches. First Dwayne Casey, a nice guy but pretty much the definition of career assistant. Then Randy Wittman, literally one of the most losingest coaches in NBA history. Then Kevin McHale, which requires no elaboration whatsoever. Rambis, on the other hand, is not a bargain. He's not anyone's leftovers. It would have been easy to go with a retread like Avery Johnson or Sam Mitchell. It would have been easy to go cheap with an unproven like Mark Jackson or Elston Turner. But they didn't. The Wolves went after the most high profile assistant out there and they ponied up 8 million over 4 years to land him. Like I said, I'm intrigued.

Rambis Fun Fact: During his first year of professional basketball he played in Greece under the name Kyriakos Rambidis.

Rambis Thinking Point: A couple of months ago he turned down the Sacramento Kings offer, which was rumored to be comparable to the one he just agreed to. Why'd he do that? Is it possibly saying that he sees more hope in the Wolves situation? Is he like me and thinks the Maloofs are giant douchebags? Does he actually likes Winter?


GLEN TAYLOR OBSERVATION
It's funny. When Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor were running things Taylor was always the one who came across like the more articulate and prepared of the two. Us fans turned to him for the vision of the Wolves future. Now, in the shadow of Kahn and his overhauling ways Taylor comes off like a bumbling old Grandpa who calls you by your Dad's name and makes reference to people who have been dead for ten years as though they were still living. Just another in a long line of indictments against McHale.


THE OTHER MUCH LESS IMPORTANT NEW GUY
The Wolves signed a young center by the name of Ryan Hollins to an offer sheet. I doubt Dallas will match given that they just signed Drew Gooden and are already over the cap. Hollins is an unproven and an unknown talent and so to make a big deal out of this would be a little premature. He is, however, the type of player they need to compliment Jefferson and Love. A true seven footer, a shotblocker, a leaper, a defender. Most importantly, he won't demand a lot of minutes. The flaw I always saw in the idea of bringing in a Tyson Chandler or Sam Dalembert or in drafting a guy like Hasheem Thabeet is that it would, in effect, delegate Love into a lesser role because those guys would need minutes. Word is that Kahn thinks this kid can be the Wolves' equivilent of Chris "Birdman" Anderson, which certainly puts his planned role into perspective. Youtube Hollins. He's got some nice highlights but he looks like a walking technical foul.

I like this quote from Hollins' ESPN scouting reports: “Hollins is 7 feet tall and a plus athlete who can run the floor and jump, the type of guy who would go 12th in the draft if he was a Serbian 19-year-old.”


NEW YORK SUCKS (and everyone knows it)
Do you get the feeling that the sports media whores are the only people who actually believe that the New York Knicks are the team everyone secretly wants to play for and in 2010 they're gonna sign LeBron AND Wade AND Bosh AND Jesus Himself? Take this offseason, for example. The mighty Knicks have now been scorned by Jason Kidd and Andre Miller. Trevor Ariza would rather play for the McGrady/Ming-less Rockets. David Lee was willing to sign with Memphis instead of return to New York (but in true Grizzly form they instead opted for Zach Randolph). Nate Robinson is giving serious thought to playing in Greece as an alternative to resigning with the Knicks. Ramon Sessions is stalling in hopes that some other team besides New York will offer him a deal, even though they're the only team willing to throw the entire mid-level exception at him. The one guy who is self-serving enough to want to play there is Carlos Boozer. The Knicks would no doubt pay him whatever he wants but of couse that reveals another problem, the Knicks have nothing to trade Utah for him. What? Wilson Chandler? Eddy Curry? How about Jared Jeffries and an autographed John Starks mini-basketball? Did I mention, they're currently working out Jason Williams. Yes, the retired White Chocolate Jason Williams. Good luck in 2010, Knickerbockers.


2009 ALL STAR
Al Jefferson, if healthy, should be a lock for the All-Star game next season. Yao Ming is permanently broken. Shaq is in the Eastern Conference. Carlos Boozer will either be traded to the East or relegated to backing up Paul Milisap. Three open big man spots, plus everyone knows he got screwed last year and if they want to redeem themselves they'll have to vote him in. First All-Star Wolf since KG. Lock it in. It should be a fun weekend with the possibility of Jonny Flynn, Ricky Rubio, Wayne Ellington and Kevin Love in the Rookie/Sophomore game.


Have a good day and thanks for reading.


Posted on: July 27, 2009 5:25 pm
 

Wolves Roster Turnover 04 - Present

2004
Anthony Carter, Kevin Garnett, Wally Sczcerbiak, Sam Cassell, Eddie Griffin, Ndudi Ebi, Latrell Sprewell, Trenton Hassell, Fred Hoiberg, Ervin Johnson, Mark Madsen, Michael Olowokandi, John Thomas, Dwayne Jones, Flip Saunders

2005
Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, Ricky Davis, Ronald Dupree, Richie Frahm, Marko Jaric, Rashad McCants, Justin Reed, Nikoli Tskitishvili, Bracey Wright, Lionel Chalmers, Dwayne Casey

2006
Randy Foye, Mike James, Craig Smith, Brandon Roy, Bobby Jones, Loukas Mavrokafelidas

2007
Corey Brewer, Greg Buckner, Michael Doleac, Chris Richard, Kirk Snyder, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Antoine Walker, Wayne Simian, Juwon Howard, Randy Wittman

2008
Kevin Love, Mike Miller, OJ Mayo, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins, Calvin Booth, Rodney Carney, Kevin Ollie, Shelden Williams, Bobby Brown Nikola Pekovic, Kevin McHale

2009 & counting

Etan Thomas, Darius Songalia, Oleksiy Pecherov, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Nick Calathes, Henk Norel, Quentin Richardson, Chucky Atkins, Damien Wilkins


*** I included players who were never actually signed as long as their rights were at one point held by the Timberwolves. For example, OJ Mayo is listed even though he never actually played a game for the Wolves. Still, I feel it's relevant because it shows transaction frequency.

Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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