Hopeless in Minnesota
Is there anything the Minnesota Timberwolves can do? They are absolutely destroyed by injuries (having lost 9 of the last 10) and at this point are desperate for some offensive spark..
In the closing 3-4 minutes against Charlotte (a game in which they lost on a last second buzzer beater by Gerald Henderson) the lineup on the floor was Rubio, Ridnour, Barea, Kirilenko, and Dante Cunningham; not exactly a go-to lineup. Where is the offense supposed to come from? Rubio is great at initiating the offense in the flow of the game, but without a go-to guy when the clock is winding down there isn't anyone whose hands you really want taking the final shot. Not to mention they were giving up serious size (which they could almost get away with because Biyombo wasn't supposed to be a threat inside). Obviously due to injuries, Kevin Love (returning mid-March), Alexey Shved (day-to-day), Nicola Pekovic (returning next week), Brandon Roy (return unknown), Chase Budinger (returning early March), Malcolm Lee (out for the year) were all unavailable. In the last week they've had to sign Mikael Gelabale and Chris Johnson to 10-day contracts just to keep a team on the floor, they both have been pleasant surprises but are not exactly long term. This problem isn't going away..
Going forward they have two first round picks (the second being Memphis') and a second rounder in the upcoming draft. There have been all sorts of trade rumors flying around and I guess I was just curious as to whether or not the Wolves ought to get involved. The only bargaining chips they have are their three draft picks, honestly there isn't much to pick from the scraps on their roster, is there anything out there for them...? I expect them to make some sort of deal before the deadline but I don't see what they can do..
Or am I completely overreacting? Staying put their future is obviously bright with Rubio, Shved, Williams, Kirilenko, Love and Pekovic if everyone can stay healthy. Then in the 2013 they can grab a good slashing wing or guard (Oladipo maybe) and they'll be all set.
Any thoughts out there?
Pekovic may be gone next season as his contract is up, so they may need to add frontcourt depth in the draft and free agency. I agree injuries have completely killed this team
Would moving him this season for whatever they can get make sense?
Minnesota was considering that, in every rumor I read involving josh Smith and Pau Gasol, Pekovics name was in it. Pek wants around 10 million a year which would be fine if Rubio didnt need a contract after next season
They can start by firing David Khan.
they've got to wait it out for now. injured guys have 0 value. if they can get to the summer (and fire kahn) they can talke a look at what they've got then. oh, and pay the phoenix suns medical staff WHATEVER THEY WANT to come to minnesota, cause damn, this can't be coincidence!!!
Pek is the best-kept secret in the NBA in my opinion. He's the only guy I've ever seen with the strength to bother guys like Howard and Cousins in the low post. But, if Brook Lopez and Roy Hibbert get max deals, so will Pek. So I have a gut feeling the Wolves will have no choice but to let him go. Here's my idea so that we don't lose him for nothing:
Pekovic to the Bobcats for their 1st rounder this year and pieces to match salaries (maybe Henderson?)
This makes sense for both teams, assuming Charlotte's pick is in the top 5. Pek gives the Bobcats low-post scoring they desperately need (let's be real, Mullens has a LONG way to go), and he's a perfect complement to Biyombo, because he's really not the greatest rim protector. With the Bobcats pick, the Wolves can take Nerlens Noel, who himself is a great complement to Kevin Love, and finally gives the Wolves a rim protecting, athletic big they've never really had. To make salaries match, including Henderson would be good because they'd have a shooter they desperately need as well who can play some decent defense.
Wolves will sign Pekovich... it's not even a question. The Wolves are no different than any other NBA franchise they have to pay their player or they might as well not be in business.
Any sane team would keep Pek. But the Wolves management is by and large beyond incompetent. They wouldn't even give the max to Kevin Love, for chrissakes! If Pek is offered the max (and he will be), there's no way the Wolves match because they've basically already bet the farm on Rubio.
Right now Pekovich is the Wolves second best player... they will sign him and will have the money to sign him.
As for Kevin Love's contract he exploded just after the contract was signed and they will always have the advantage of signing him to more years and at a higher rate than other teams. If that doesn't work out they can always trade sign and trade Love.
It's disappointing because the last two seasons, with a healthy lineup, they've proven they can be an 500 or slightly above 500 ball club. They can't seem to build on that because they can't stay healthy enough to be in the playoff hunt late in the year.
Rubio has been awful since his return from injury, but maybe towards the end of the year when he's more healthy, they can't gain some momentum going into the offseason.
The injuries are disappointing... nothing they can do at this point other than ride it out and hope everyone is able to come back healthy by next season.
Rubio at this poiont can't even dunk the ball yet. He's never going to be compared to Vince Carter but he could easily dunk prior to his injury.
That being said, Having seen Rubio play a lot lately I can't imagine Rubio becoming an impact player again until atleast next season at the earlierest the way he's looked.