With the draft and free agency approaching, and a classic NBA Finals matchup that shows off a basketball product on another planet of the recent Timberwolves, I find myself asking the question of what I really want to see out of our beloved Woofies. I'll throw out a poll of vague options, but I think it's an interesting discussion, given how incredibly far we are from contending and how incredibly boring it was to watch last year's team.
Option #1 - Put a winner on the floor, as soon as possible.
This option could mean a few different things, but it almost certainly involves a free agent acquisition and/or sign and trade to use our cap space on a veteran that can contribute immediately. Basically, try to get Mike Miller or his equivalent back and forget about the fact that he's 30 years old and won't help us if we ever reach the Finals in 2016. It also means that we consider the possibility of trading Ricky Rubio for less than his perceived/projected long-term value. If we can cash in Ricky Rubio for a sure-thing "good" veteran player, we do it and feel good about flipping Foye-Miller for a better veteran player. It also puts a bit of pressure on Ramon Sessions and Jonny Flynn to take ownership of the point guard position.
Option #2 - Think championship all the way, even if it means three more lottery seasons (at least.)
This option, in all likelihood, means two things: (1) keeping Ricky Rubio, and even building around him, to an extent; and (2) ditching Love or Jefferson. More than anything else, Wolves fans know that there is not a bona fide Option #1A of a title contender on this team. I mean that generally speaking, not just in a "go-to" scorer sort of way. We all saw in 2008 that KG was that player, but just not in the Michael Jordan sense. Ricky Rubio, if he can become a Jason Kidd-type of impact point guard, could be that player, or something close. History has shown that guys like Kidd and Steve Nash can lead teams to 50+ win seasons and deep playoff runs. This option also means taking risks in the draft -- but measured risks. If DeMarcus Cousins or Hassan Whiteside look like world-class idiots (meaning this is how they presented themselves in closed-door interviews) you pass on them, even if they showed off some great abilities in college. But if they seem like good-enough guys that won't cause problems, you pull the trigger. Put simply, you make the responsible pick.
Option #3 - Make the games fun to watch.
This option sounds like a loser, and maybe it is, but there is something to be said for having a fun style of play and some personalities on the court. I rip on Cousins more than anyone around this blog, but I have to admit that I'd enjoy watching him and his antics. It'd be fun to see him mix it up with opponents and even Coach Rambis. If he crosses the line (which I tend to think he will) it could jeopardize the team goals and whatnot, and eventually it'll grow tiring. But, I can say with pretty good certainty that, sort of like Dennis Rodman back in the day, Cousins could be an entertaining show to watch. Also part of this option is getting some real shooters on the team, even if they aren't as "solid" as Damien Wilkins or players of his type. It isn't fun to watch crappy shooters, at all. The lane gets clogged up for our posts and shots never fall. We hardly ever go on long scoring runs. We never go into halftime with a lead, so many of the 2nd Halves are yawners.