A fairly busy couple of weeks since the draft for everyone in the league, including the Timberwolves. As we sit here today, the Wolves have added 2 immediate roster players through the draft (Johnson, Hayward), a couple of likely stashes (Bjelica, Prentiss), resigned Milicic, reached an agreement with Pekovic, and traded for Martell Webster and Mike Beasley. As we currently stand, the Wolves have 3 players still on their roster from before the hiring of David Kahn: Jefferson, Love, and Brewer, and at least Jefferson is likely gone before he plays another game for the Wolves.
I thought I would take stock of where the roster sits right now, and see what sort of team the Wolves are assembling, and what further adjustments need to be made. Over the jump.As pessimistic as I am, I will say this: at the very least, there has been addition by subtraction this summer. Minutes given to the likes of Pavlovic, Pecherov, and Hollins last year should be going to a higher caliber of player this year, which has to help the win total. The Wolves have added some more quality depth.
Have they become a team, though, that is deep in essentially (below?) average players? Guys who perhaps are legitimate rotation players in the NBA, but no more than that? Flynn, Sessions, Webster, Johnson, Beasley, Brewer, Milicic, Pekovic could all be described that way. Are we sure that ANY of them will be above average for their positions this year? I'm not sure we can be.
It's clear that management is trying to assemble a team that has length, can move, and show improved shooting from what we endured last year. Those are good goals, and there has been some progress toward them. One thing that has not been accomplished is the thing that Kahn harped on regularly: finding a "number 1" player. A best player. A dominant force. Frankly, I don't really blame him for this; getting that guy is one thing that is really a matter of luck. (He could have rolled the dice on Cousins, though...)
It seems to me that they still need a natural off-guard that can score, and at least one intelligent veteran that can help shepherd what is a very young team at this point. (A real athletic presences up front wouldn't hurt either). Can a combination of Al and any of the above mentioned pieces bring those things?
That's where we sit right now. If the season started tomorrow, I suppose we'd be looking at a lineup of:
Of course, Jefferson looks as good as gone. Is this a team that's better than last year's 15 win fiasco? I suspect it is, yes; it's hard to be that bad, and there is more quality depth. Is the front line "talent" any better? If so, it seems to me only marginally. The lack of star power is pretty glaring. I'd like to see serious improvement in the standings this year. I'm not convinced I will. What say you?