Fizer's Take: Minnesota Timberwolves
Wasup guys? Anyway, it's been awhile since I wrote my take on this upcoming season and so I shall continue the thread. Up next is the Minnesota T'Wolves... Well, I guess they've moved on without KG and replaced him with Big Al Jefferson. A lot of interesting things had happened last season and it wasn't pretty. Draft Night had them drafting OJ Mayo, finally somebody that can help them at the 2 spot, oooh wait... All of a sudden a burst of ha's and what's happened as the so-called genius Kevin McHale traded OJ Mayo for Kevin Love including a bunch of players like Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins... Well, I could only mention Mike Miller in this take because the other 2 are buried underneath the bench... Well, they did get 5th pick and UCLA Bruin frontman Kevin Love... It was a puzzling move since they already have Al to man the post but having Kevin Love could probably put off some pressure of their big guy. With guys like Sebastian Telfair, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer bannering the team, the Wolves came out poorly in the tougher Western Conference. They just couldn't get enough consistency especially with Mike Miller... You can describe Mike Miller's stint with the Wolves as a "shooter that is afraid to shoot"... He took fewer shots in Minnesota than he has had since with Orlando or at Memphis and everyone was puzzled why... Corey Brewer played only a few games before missing the rest with knee injuries... Randy Wittman was fired as a coach and was replaced by...you guess it... Kevin McHale AKA The guy who started the mess... The guy who traded OJ Mayo for Kevin Love... The guy who traded Brandon Roy for Randy Foye and so much more... So, its him who will finish the season with the Wolves as their head coach. The Wolves finished an uninspiring 24-58 that season and marked another year where they sorta miss the Garnett era. They failed to make the playoffs for the 5th straight year.
With new GM David Kahn as the decision-maker for the Wolves, the team is looking to start fresh and if they want to start now, they have to start at the 2009 Draft. They have the 6th pick and was very vocal on having point guard prospect Ricky Rubio as the guy they wished to have. As "luck" would have it, the Wizards were eager to trade their 5th pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye... A good deal since the Wolves will have quality players at 5th and 6th pick... they could even trade both picks to go higher... Draft night came and the Wolves were shock to see Ricky Rubio available at 5 and without hesitation, they took him. With the next one, well, it's pretty much head-scratching especially when you draft simultaneously and then take 2 players with the same position... They took Jonny Flynn at 6. Jonny Flynn is a pretty solid point guard and has shown impressive skills in his games. His physique reminded me of Avery Johnson alot and his game is much like a Damon Stoudamire. But David Kahn had me unimpressed with his draft picks so far though he made solid decisions in the late first round by acquiring sharp shooter Wayne Ellington and at second round by drafting Henk Norel an unpolished mid-range shooting big man. They also drafted Ty Lawson at 18th but cleverly traded him up to Denver which was a solid move for the Wolves, but it isn’t enough to make up for the potentially devastating effects of taking Rubio and Flynn back-to-back.
The off-season was underrated but I should say quite solid. The Wolves gave up Sebastian Telfair and Craig Smith and acquired Quentin Richardson though he didn't last long with the team. The Wolves have acquired interesting potentials in Sasha Pavlovic, who could provide scoring at #2 and #3 off the bench and Ryan Hollins, who has all the potential in the world with his raw 7'0, 230 lbs-Tyson Chandler like body frame. He has the shot to make it big especially when you're talking about a Wolves team that needed size. They also acquired solid PG Ramon Sessions, a puzzling move since they drafted two point guards and acquired Sessions for a four-year deal... (probably a trade may ensue in the future for them)... I like some of their acquisitions but they aren't enough to make this team contend for even a playoff spot in the West. My question would only go in one direction, how bad will the beating be? Surely in a tough Western Conference, everyone's counting out this team especially when they have unproven Kurt Rambis as their head coach but still, the Wolves are looking for answers and the answer may not be here this season.
NBA Draft Grade: C
NBA Off-Season Grade: B
Predicted W-L: 18-64
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone care to comment I am open for it^^
In the overall picture, I think the wolves are doing the right thing but I don't expect them to do much. The only thing I like about the wolves right now is that thier highest paid player is Big Al at 12 Mil a year. That's nothing compare to all the other teams around the league. Khan has clear house and bad contracts. All he has to move now is the Janitor and then I'll give the Wolves for an A move for the year because their rebuilding and their doing a good job by moving all bad contacts and keeping the team as competitive as possible.
peronally i feel oj mayo will be a better pro then love but the trade doesnt seem as bad to me as it did when it happened because love is a very very good player and wouldnt suprise me if he made more then one allstar game before hes done because he would average 17 and 10-3 rebound a game( hes a very good rebounder even though hes only played one year
The Mayo - Love trade was perfect for Kahn. That trade got rid of Walker and Marco's horrible contracts. After looking at it now, it was a great move to get rid of Marco's horrible contract. Who signs a guys lik Marco for that much money?
It's not gonna be pretty this year. Love just broke his hand and will likely miss the first 20 games of the season. This makes him our fourth first rounder to get injured in their rookie or sophmore season: McCants, Foye, Brewer, and now Love... time for Flynn to start worrying?
Big Al is a legitimate all-star to me... WHEN HE'S HEALTHY! I read unconfirmed rumors that his playtime was limited in our last preseason game against the Bulls due to tendonitis. This could be minor, or it could be major. Personally, I'm hoping it's not true and Big Al just had a bad game. If we lost Al for the season from tendonitis ala Corey Brewer... well, welcome to Minnesota John Wall.
I'm a big fan of the changes in coaching and front office. I also think Kahn's done a good job getting out from under a lot of terrible contracts. It's just a shame that our coaching staff probably beats our team in a pick up game right now. If I was a Clippers fan I wouldn't be banking on that first rounder from Minny this year. Minnesota is, unfortunately, once again headed for the lottery.