Fixing The Wolves Ch. 2
Should have made the connection before chapter one but better late than never. Fixing The Wolves (FTW) also means For The Win, which is the goal so now and going forward, there it is.
Alright, so the Wolves added three potential players a week and a half ago. First a lockdown defender then a shooter for the bench and finally a reserve big. Cash strapped as they are, it could turn out to be a very successful draft day for the Wolves.
Now comes the real test though.
Over paying Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng & the dude from Canada makes it all but impossible to acquire high caliber free agent talent when the market opens on Sunday. Nonetheless rumors continue to swirl that Rosas and the gents will be able to surround one of the best big men in the NBA with the sort of talent required to keep him here well beyond the length of his current contract. The easiest way for them to get some of that this week would be by finding a dumping ground for one, two (🙏) or three (🙌) of the aforementioned deals. Except by the time a team or two has struck out and is desperate for the type of splash that those guys could be spun as, the best of the current free agent pool would be much closer to dried up. Which would require a verbal agreement to be in place before shelling those contracts. That's a lot of moving piece's and seems below 50/50 of actually happening, like way below!
Of the three, Teague may be viewed as the best option to other teams but which other teams could use a $20 million dollar point guard with recent health issues? None, but for the sake of conversation I think the Hornets could prove to be a trade partner. Making a deal with Charlotte for Bismack Biyombo would be a swap of expiring contracts that would work within each teams' salary cap & fill a need for each team. It's not a SC headlining type deal but would make sense. If they can pull off something that works out better for the Wolves then Glen Taylor's latest hire would be well on it's way to success!
One team that has plenty of space and may be willing to add an expensive veteran are the Kings. The difference with them being that they may not want to save their money for their own young players but that could pay dividends considering the types of deals the Wolves could send. I'd say that's an even longer shot but it's worth making note of.
In the event that no deals are agreed upon. the Wolves would be limited to the use of their trade exception and league minimum deals. It's possible to successfully add players for the minimum, it's just not perceived the same way. For example, Derrick Rose & Luol Deng were both on minimum deals for Minnesota this past year and each made some contributions over the course of the season. The best case scenario would be for them to find two or three guys that could make impacts equal to what Rose did.
For the sake of conversation, think of Kenneth Faried as the type of guy that could be had for such a contract. There are better options who played for similarly low money this past year but I'd expect that they'll try to get paid because of what they did. Finding a guy or two who can just rebound or pass well will help the team play better, even if they're severely limited in other aspects of the game.
It's the situation that the Penguin put the Wolves in and while it's the opposite of ideal, it's reality. As such, to fix the Wolves for 2019/2020, it's how things may have to be. If the rumors are true then Rosas may be able to pull a unicorn out of thin air (possibly in the form of D'Angelo Russell or at least that's what a lot of fans would like) but I've lived through too much to buy all that until it's happened, thanks Twins.
Since I brought up the former Laker by way of New Jersey, let me expound on that for a second. Timberwolves fans may have the most damaged of all the MN pro psyche's. Considering all the missed kicks & the Pohlad's & the Wild it's an unfortunate but possibly accurate description. Few franchises have been as absymal for the near totality of their existance so I have to measure all the remarks with that in mind. Russell's a good player, don't get me wrong and he is coming off of his best season but from some source's he is being heralded some kind of a savior. That is a bridge too far. Cards on the table, I am always skeptical of players who managed their best seasons right before the money is about to come their way. And that would apply to Russell. It's possible that he is just beginning his ascent into the ranks of the NBA's best but I am not sold on him the way that a large swath of the Wolves intensive community seems to be. If he signs here I won't be mad about it but I'm at best at the take it or leave it level.
With that though, I have said my peace. If there's big news over the next couple of days, I'll react to it but for now, it's just about following Jon Krawczyski & the rest of the rumor mill.