Wolves Positional Status and Forecast

And before we start…yes that does make me sound like a weather man (no one else says forecast).  Given the Sessions signing and an insatiable need to analyze who will be traded in the next month and who we will simply let expire or trade at the deadline next year, I updated our positional depth charts to help clarify our current organization wide depth at each position.  I am sure everyone is familiar with the charts below.  I have removed any player no longer with the team and those that I think will be traded.  But for reference, I have added the legit prospects the wolves have the rights to.


Current Depth Charts:

Offensive Depth Chart based upon offensive position PER
1st Sessions 20.6 Sessions 16.8 Gomes 11.9 Big Al 17.9 Big Al 26.3
2nd Daniels  14.4 Brewer ? Brewer 10.5 Love 17.6 Love 22.6
3rd Flynn ? Ellington ? Cardinal 8.4 Gomes 16.0 Pecherov 16.3
4th Cardinal 9.0 Hollins 12.7
P Rubio  ?  Pekovic ?


Defensive Depth Chart based upon defensive position PER
1st Sessions 14.1 Sessions 14.3 Cardinal 13.2 Big Al 13.5 Hollins 13.9
2nd Daniels  16.9 Brewer ? Brewer 16.3 Cardinal 16.3 Big Al 19.2
3rd Flynn ? Ellington ? Gomes 17.5 Love 19.1 Love 19.5
4th Gomes 19.9 Pecherov 24.9
P Rubio  ?  Pekovic ?

Overall Depth Chart based upon overall position PER
1st Sessions    6.5 Sessions    2.5 Cardinal    (4.8) Big Al    4.5 Big Al    7.1
2nd Daniels  (2.5) Brewer ? Gomes    (5.6) Love  (1.6) Love    3.0
3rd Flynn  ?  Ellington  ?  Brewer    (5.7) Gomes  (3.9) Hollins  (1.3)
4th Cardinal  (7.3) Pecherov  (8.6)
P Rubio  ?  Pekovic ?


Color summary:

Green – Player is likely to be at the minimum associated with the wolves for all of next year and most of the following season as well.

Yellow – Player’s future is uncertain and depending on performance may be a long term part of the organization, but may be gone after this year.

Red – Player will likely be either traded at the deadline or off the roster at the end of the season.  This includes being bought out or team options not picked up. 


Please note that the P stands for Prospects.  When considering positions of need, especially related to draft, we need to consider who is in the pipeline.


Current Roster:

1.  Although we have all said it at some point, we are very deep at PG and C. 

    We can debate whether Love and Al are PF or C all we want, but their production at the positions mean they are more than capable as a starting frontcourt.  My view is that Al can go head to head with almost any C in the league (especially this year with Yao out).  I think love is a decent backup C.  His technical proficiencies and his higher talent level more than make up for the physical limitations he will overcome at the backup level.  In addition, I think that Hollins, with enough PT and tutoring will develop into a backup player that allows us to bring more agility to the C position.  For the LT, we have Pekovic who IMO will at least be a solid backup in the future. 

    For the PG position, we have Sessions and Flynn for the ST, with Rubio for the LT.  No one knows WTF Kahn is going to do.  But let’s be honest, there is no way we need to sign another starting caliber PG FA.  I will leave the draft out of this for now (see below for draft logic).

2.  We kind or already knew that we are thin on 2/3 talent anyways. 

    There have been numerous threads on what FA or draft pick to get to fill the 2/3 slots.  I will say that I don’t want either Sessions or Ellington to be our long term starters at the 2.  I will be watching Ellington very closely this year though.  What strikes me as more important is that we will likely have no one returning at the 3 position after this season.


3.  We could use some PF backup level talent depth.  After Love starting this year and Al playing a couple spot minutes at PF, after this year there will be pretty much no one.

    Note that I think Gomes will be gone.  See below for reasoning.


Depth Chart Assumptions:

First, I excluded the following players for a couple of reasons.  I included a short comment for each player on why they will be gone.  I also included each player’s potential positions…pretty much for reference only.


Player Position Off PER Def PER Net PER Min Level Min Desc Comment
Atkins PG       4.1         9.7       (5.6) Very Low 5% or less Contract worth more
Atkins SG       8.2       12.8       (4.6) Very Low 5% or less Contract worth more
Wilkins SG       8.8       15.0       (6.2) Low 5-10% Just a feeling…plus BOS rumor
Wilkins SF       9.2       19.4     (10.2) Very Low 5% or less Just a feeling…plus BOS rumor
Blount C      12.8       12.0        0.8 Very Low 5% or less Doesn't even fit Kahn's ST plan


Secondly, I assumed that since Kahn didn’t have the long term potential starter’s taken care of at the 2/3; he wasn’t going to go out of his way to avoid any trades that will add value to the organization.  I think all of the green highlighted players are safe for this year as no team will give up enough talent to make it worth Kahn’s while.  However, Gomes contract after this year is not guaranteed.  And as we have seen with the current year’s deals, this has quite a bit of value.  Dare I say more than Gomes will provide the wolves during 2010/2011 season?  This non-guaranteed portion of his contract coupled with his solid backup play will make him our most valuable trading chip at the deadline.  Contending teams with long term cap space (and luxury tax) concerns will be offering up pretty decent offers for him.  I am thinking along of the lines of a modest prospect and a 2nd rounder or so.  Don’t even get me started on Brewer.  That question is probably the most up in the air immediate question on our roster.


Remaining 2009 offseason:

As I mentioned above, I think that Atkins, Wilkins and Blount will be gone.  For Atkins and Wilkins, there is a rumored deal between the Wolves, the Celtics and the Rockets, but I find the players involved to be unlikely candidates.  I do think that between Blount, Atkins and Wilkins into at least 2 expiring players at the 2/3 and 3/4 while picking up at least a 2nd round pick and maybe a lower level wing prospect.  Other than this, I think Kahn is done for this offseason.


Trade Deadline:

I think Kahn will try to use the red highlighted players to acquire some wing prospects from a team that needs to implode.  Feel free to mention any likely candidates.  I don’t think that any green highlighted players will be off-limits.  It will just depend on the age and talent level of the player being offered.  I think this will likely be limited to the 2/3 for the most part…but with Kahn…no bets are off.


2010 Draft:

Here is really the whole point of this posting.  Upon reviewing our depth, unless a draft prospect is clearly the BPA, we don’t draft a PG or C.  I know a lot of people have been high on someone like Aldrich and I wouldn’t mind picking him with our second or third 1st round pick, but unless a C prospect complements Love and Al I don’t know why we would waste our time.  If there aren’t BPA type players at starting level 2/3 and backup 3/4 types, we really should be trying to roll our draft picks forward into the next year.  At that point I am fine using our 2nd round picks to stash players in Europe (like Pekovic).


2010 Free Agency:

I think we REALLY need to be certain of any player that we offer big money to be both the right position and right fit for our team.  I don’t want to sign someone to a big contract and hamstring ourselves just to make a splash.  If we can’t get the right kind of player, then we are better off using our cap space for sign and trade deals like Memphis did this last year to acquire more draft assets.


Let me know your thoughts.

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