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Timberwolves, NBA Champions

Mondogreen
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Timberwolves, NBA Champions

... in 2014. Seriously, though, the Timberwolves may have looked completely insane on draft day, but looking ahead to the 2011 draft, this is a team that's got a great chance to build a championship calibur team. It's probably years to come, but take this illustration:

The Timberwolves have two players they're going to build around- Flynn and Love. I believe that they'll trade Jefferson and Rubio in one and two years, respectively. They have three (likely) top ten picks in the next two years. Let's say they have two in 2011, the 4th and 8th picks. They take Cole Aldrich with the 4th and Evan Turner with the 8th. They trade Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer to Philly for Andre Iguodala and cash considerations.

That would mean that one year from now, they'd have Flynn, Turner, Iguodala, Love, and Aldrich as their starting five. A young team like that would almost certainly be terrible for a year or two, meaning two more lottery picks in the next two years, plus Ricky Rubio to trade for an all-star player or a package that includes even more draft picks.

The question is: do they take a potential superstar with their own pick in '11 (Favors stands out to me) and find a center later/elsewhere, or do they take Aldrich, a player from Minnesota who is a viable NBA center. A little luck and the right decisions and this team can win a championship 4 or 5 years down the road. Anything is possible... without Kevin McHale.


tli232
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No offense, new poster

Dude, this was a pointless, not-well-thought-out post. Seriously, there are many flaws to your argument. Allow me to kindly point a few out:

1. Rookies don't have a great affinity to stay with the team that drafted them after their rookie contracts. In your case, Love, Flynn, and Rubio will be done their rookie contracts by 2012/2013. They might not want to resign, it's too much of a gamble to just assume these that they will. Even if one of those important guys does not resign, that will throw off your "championship caliber" team theory.

2. Not everyone pans out exactly the way you want them to. Every team thinks that the guy they draft is the right choice in the future and WILL pan out the way they envision, hence they draft them. However, it's obvious that not everyone drafted in the lottery will be able to develop into at least a rotation player (see Rafael Araujo) It's quite possible that one or more of Love, Flynn, Aldrich, Turner, and/or whoever you think the Wolves will draft, will be a bust.

3. Team chemistry issues One or more of the aforementioned players may have issues with each other, coaches, and/or front office staff. This will cause trades to occur.

4. Every losing team thinks exactly the same thing about their team. The Hawks have been in the lottery for like 6 or 7 years before finally making the playoffs like a few years ago. They got a whole lot of high lottery draft picks. Remember DeMarr Johnson? top 5 pick. Josh Childress at 6? I mean, the draft is a crap shoot, there's a decent chance that you'll get a crappy player even if you're in the high lottery. So, if the Wolves do get a crappy player, that'll throw off your plan.

5. Championship teams are almost never created out of drafting in the high lottery and developing the players. It takes shrewd late first round and second round drafting to "make something out of nothing". See: Spurs. I mean, there can be really good teams built around their drafted players, but I doubt there will be a championship caliber team like that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Wolves can't be a championship- caliber team in 2014, it's just that it'll take some luck in the lottery, luck during the selection process, proper management of player roles and personalities, shrewd financial dealings, and being able to attract the adequate free agents. There's a lot of things that need to go right to create a championship caliber team, being high in the lottery for 2 or 3 years guarantees nothing.

Sorry if I came off being harsh.

Ryan.Cook2
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no

they will probably waste their draft picks on all point guards for the next few years.

Mr. Basketball
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2011 draft? favors will be

2011 draft? favors will be in 2010 draft... Also, wolves owe the clips their next out of the top 10 pick or their pick in 2012 draft so that won't help.

NYK2010
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2014 would be too early for them

At that rate they'll win be contenders in 2016 trading Jefferson away not likely.

Mondogreen
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Atlanta? EXACTLY

I'm a bit amused by the response "look at Atlanta," because Atlanta is currently the best existing example of my point. Atlanta was absolutely horrible for years and they missed out over and over again in drafts. But eventually, they acquired the assets with which they built the team they have now, which I view as a playoff contender for many years to come. Josh Smith and Al Horford are a solid anchor for any team, and they even had the goods to deal for Crawford AND resign Bibby.

If you'll notice, my post didn't say that the lineup I mentioned WAS their championship team. Nobody can project the lineup of a team five years down the road. My point was that the Timberwolves have an enormous quantity of assets now that, if played correctly, will expand in the following two years. The lineup I mentioned wasn't the final product. It was the beginning of the next phase of rebuilding, a phase when Minnesota will have lots of talent but, as you said, no experience and no chemisty. Atlanta is in the final phase of their rebuilt lineup. Oklahoma City is a year ahead of the Timberwolves and they look like a very solid team in the near future. Chicago too, all three did it without simply paying enormous amounts of money to free agents like Ron Artest.

Sure, if your team happens to play in a big market like Boston or LA, then you can just pay enormous amounts of money to free agents like Ron Artest. Minnesota doesn't have that luxury because the fans don't care anymore (which is justified) and players don't want to play here because of the team's reputation. The Lakers method of winning doesn't interest me because anybody that posts on this message board could figure out that it's good to sign Pau Gasol and Ron Artest. What Atlanta and OK City and Memphis and now Minnesota are going to do, that's interesting and that's what basketball is all about.

And to the other gentleman, I am aware that Favors is in the 2010 draft, but I think it's clear that the entire time I said 2011 when I meant 2010. The reason for that is that it's very late. Or I'm stupid. A bit of both, perhaps.

doubledribbler
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To Mondogreen

You are still missing some points. First off Ron Artest did not get an enormous amount of money (by NBA standards) to play for the Lakers. He actually gave them a discount to play for them. The Lakers also traded for Gasol. Some people may hate that the trade was lopsided, but realistically it was a salary dump, which a lot of teams have been doing recently because of the economy. Always keep in mind that as much as the fans hate to hear it, that the NBA is a business to make money. The best teams are able to make money and win.

Oklahoma city is probably at least 3 years ahead of Minnesota. They have made some excellent draft picks and some great signings. Minnesota currently has no NBA caliber shooting guards, just drafted two point guards (one which will NEVER play for them) and are probably going to start two power forwards next year. Oh and they don't even have a coach yet and if I remember correctly, their GM used to be a sportswriter.

Minnesota had maybe one legitimate championship contending team the whole time Kevin Garnett was there. The same guy that the Celtics were able to assemble a championship team with as soon as they traded for him. They probably would have gotten to another finals this year if he had not gotten hurt and should be in the hunt this coming year. The crazy thing is that they have Garnett in his declining years. Minnesota had him in his prime. This city hasn't had a worthwhile team since the Lakers left town and it's not getting better anytime soon.

By the way, at some point they will have to be able to sign quality free agent or two. The Hawks had to sign Joe Johnson a few years ago to help them out and the Bulls are probably going to have to sign at least one next year if they are really wanting to contend.

Mondogreen
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I'm In Total Agreement

I agree with everything you said. There's really no argument all there from me, save a few minor points.

Being from Minnesota, I know as well as anybody how lousy this franchise has been. The fact that I find this team very interesting right now has very little if anything to do with their status as the hometown team. Rather, the Timberwolves are the only team in the NBA right now that is starting with a fresh team and a fresh perspective, as far as I can see. I think that the 2010 draft class is extremely strong, and any team that's going to have two top ten picks is going to have more than a 50% chance of getting a perennial all star.

Regardless of what fans want to think, superstars come from lottery picks. You can trade for them, you can sign them, but it's extremely rare that a Michael Redd or a Mehmet Okur comes along, and those guys are far from elite players. Have plenty of seeds to sew and you're going to get a few sprouts.

Free agents, yes. Role players, yes. But nobody gets there without a LeBron or a Kobe or a Wade, and there are only so many to go around.

Tyrober
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to double dribbler. the

to double dribbler. the hawks did not sign joe johnson. the phoenix suns could not afford to pay him so they traded him for boris diaw and a hawks future pick

gatorheels
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Trading Rubio & Jefferson

Trading Rubio & Jefferson would be awful.

Jefferson > Love
Rubio > Flynn

If anybody needs to be traded it is Flynn & Love.
Right now Flynn is no better than Telfair.

Hale
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Flynn is better then Rubio.

Flynn is better then Rubio.

gatorheels
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No way. ha

No way. ha

sheltwon3
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I will say this right now if

I will say this right now if you look at the NBA and the surplus of talent with no more team being added for quite some time. Any team with a good GM and great coaching system can win it all in like 3 years. Vets are playing longer and guys are coming in more ready in some drafts. We have yet to have a real terrible draft in a while and no new team will be added. You have guys that could be starting as the 8th and 9th man on a good team. The only reason so team are doing so bad is healthy and chemistry. There are a lot of talented players that can play an excellent bench role that are not on teams. If you had to choose between Flip Murray or Vujacic on your bench. who would you choose. Pargo went to Europe but this year is back in the league and he was missed by the Hornets whould did not want to pay him. He is a great bench player. Guys are coming in younger and taking a while to develop and when they do they come back and make noise. Gerald Green will still be good. He may be forgotten but when it clicks he will be good and he is still young. The key thing now is what players are retiring to make room for the new.

sheltwon3
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Jefferson will not be

Jefferson will not be traded. They would be stupid to trade him. his is one of the best low post big men in the game. Defensively he is lacking though. Minnesota should find a way to get Kirelenko for Jazz. That would give them a shot blocker a the 3 and help on defense and also Love can make perimeter shots so Andrei can work inside some. Timberwolves have the assets to do it.

arc1212
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well

minnesota is loaded with talent
okay and flynn is better than rubio....watch a freaking college basketball game
i know rubio can pass and has great vision but the guy can't shoot and he might be a tad slow footed...not certain on that yet...i've watched lots of vids of rubio and they're both good but no question who the better player is....
IF everyone sticks around in minnesota things might work out but the bottom line is no one (if they had there choice) would play in minnesota...just not a stellar market

gatorheels
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arc1212- I have watched a

arc1212- I have watched a ton of college games. Time will tell.....Rubio is better than Flynn...that is my opinion. Flynn isn't even better than Telfair right now.

NYKnicksuperFan
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ahah

i didnt even read the post i just noticed -19 haha

Hale
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Rubio has proven nothing.

Rubio has proven nothing. Johny Flynn will be a good to great pg for a long time. Rubio has vision but that is about it.

gatorheels
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What exactly has Flynn

What exactly has Flynn proved?

Knicksboy34
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Minnesota is in a good

Minnesota is in a good shape.

I think Love and Jefferson wont work. I think they need to add a legit Center then play Love off the bench.

They May lose their 2010 pick but they have Utah's and Charlotte. So the guy they need to target is Lance Stephenson, Evan Turner, Paul George or Xavier Henry ( if they come out)

Mondogreen
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Good call, Knicksboy

Lurking around here in the past, I figured I'd disagree with Knicksboy on most things. Nevertheless, I completely agree here- that Love and Jefferson won't work, and if Kahn's shown us anything thus far, it's that he'd rather have assets in the bank for when it counts than assets in the lineup now, when it doesn't matter because they can't win squat.

Evan Turner and Paul George would both be fantastic building blocks for the Wolves, or even the Knicks. Right now, New York and Minnesota have one big thing in common: two of their three best players are power forwards who aren't great defensive players.

I've got to be the only newbie who is thrilled with getting negative 19 points (so far). I'd rather have positive 19, but as long as people react strongly, I'm happy. Incidentally, I'm not sure what I said that people are reacting to... I just thought Minnesota's lineup will be interesting after cashing in their 2010 picks and Jefferson or Rubio. Probably 19 huge Kevin McHale fans. That would be all of them, I believe.

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