The offseason is winding down and barring a few minor moves (ex. dealing Sessions and maybe Hollins for expirings/cap space) and hopefully finalizing the Pekovic deal, the Wolves appear pretty set with their roster. Kahn has been hyperactive again this summer and has taken his share of licks for it around here and by the media. For discussion, what would you have done in his position this offseason?
Ground rules: For this exercise let's say the Wolves could've signed any lower tier FA. Ex. We could have signed Travis Outlaw to the same 5 year, $35 million contract. Or signed/traded with Atlanta for Josh Childress on his 5 year, $33 million contract (Atlanta also got a future 2nd rounder). Obviously a FA still would have to agree to come here, but let's not that bog us down o.k?
Also assume that we could have made the same use of our cap space and picks that other teams did. Ex. We could have taken Mo Pete's contract and offered our 16/23 (better picks than OKC gave up, 21/26) to get 11...if you were a big X. Henry guy (he went 12th).
Let's also run with widely rumored trades that the Wolves apparently turned down: Flynn for the #10? We're not positive that something like this was actually offered straight up, but it seemed somewhat legit and I believe Kahn himself mentioned that deal in particular.
We'll ignore some minor stuff such as changing the draft in our slots would slightly alter the rest of the picks. I think this is safe to do given that our picks weren't really in the same tiers.
How would you have managed our many assets? Give me your blueprint and we can preserve this for future viewing. I'll post mine below the fold and feel free to comment, but don't forget to give your own...
I don't agree with a lot of Kahn's moves so far this summer, but I will admit that he's sticking to a plan. We're committed to building an uptempo team with good length/shooting on the wings. We're looking to keep costs down and be opportunistic with our cap space in the future. I'm not opposed to any of those things in principle. The problem that I see, agreeing with many including guys like Dan Barrerio on KFAN, is that we appear a little too committed to a system. I also am disappointed in the overall upside of our roster despite the very nice Beasley acquisition.
Here's how I would have rolled:
-Cousins at #4. Cousins has the upside we desperately need and has been discussed ad nauseum. He could implode, but I would have risked the flame out for the payout.
-Trade Flynn for #10, draft Paul George. Paul George fits so well with what we’re trying to do on the wings in terms of adding an athletic shooter. It’s not that I’ve given up on Flynn, but in the end, he’s being groomed for the bench right? Why not try for a guy that we can envision as a starter? Can you say that George won’t be a better NBA player than Wes Johnson with truthful confidence?
-Draft James Anderson at #16. James Anderson was very efficient in college and I like him to be a guy that just knows how to put the ball in the hole.
-Follow through with the Wolves trade of 23 and draft Hassan Whiteside at #30. Whiteside might bust out, but he’s got too much upside that late in the draft. I’d have taken him and stuck in him in the D league the entire season. Lazar might wind up a good bench player on the wing, but this kind of player isn’t hard to find down the road.
-BJelly was fine in the early 2nd, I would have taken Solomon Alabi with our other second rounder. BJelly stays in Europe and maybe we find a way to send Alabi there as well? Otherwise Alabi is another D league candidate. Maybe we get lucky with Whiteside or Alabi and wind up with a true defensive center for the bench.
-Sign/Trade for Josh Childress, 5 years, $35 million (he got $33). Good defense and offensive efficiency. Phoenix gave him the contract and gave up a future 2nd rounder.
-Sign Dorrell Wright, 3 years $11 million (or give him $12 to up GSW). He’s very similar Martell Webster in terms of length/shooting, but we get to keep our pick.
-Trade Al for the picks and cap room.
-Trade for Beasley. A great risk/reward move in that it's very low risk. Beasley and DMC on the same roster would put the pressure on Rambis, but I'm not opposed to making a coach work for his millions. Whiteside has character concerns as well, but I'd put him in the D league straight away to learn the ropes.
-Sign Ridnour, keep Sessions. Sessions/Ridnour would be a decent combo for a year until Rubio arrives. Drive up Sessions numbers for a trade when Rubio arrives?
Future Depth Chart
- Rubio, Ridnour
- Anderson, Childress, Wright
- George, Childress, Beasley
- Love, Beasley, Pekovic
- Cousins, Pekovic, Whiteside/Alabi