As you have all read in SnP's "April Fools!" post, Kahn had this to say about attracting free agents to Minnesota.
I'm not concerned about our ability, now and in the future, to be able to attract a high-quality player here.
Let's go with David for a moment and assume that Minnesota is capable of attracting a high-quality player, via free agency. The question remains whether there are any high-quality free agents that could help the Timberwolves. Let's take a closer look.
Here is the list of 2011 and 2012 free agents. I'll limit this post to a discussion of 2011 free agents, because 2012 is too late, for help. The help needs to come this next off-season to avoid giving a high-lottery pick to the Clippers in the '12 Draft, and to save David Kahn's job (if it isn't lost, already).
What unrestricted free agents could help the Wolves?
Jamal Crawford is a legitimate shooting guard that would be an upgrade over our current players. I have no delusions that he would make the Wolves a playoff team, but he would be an improvement in the short term. He is also 31 years old, however, and would probably not help the Wolves in their long-term plans, whatever those may be.
Ray Allen would be a huge upgrade at shooting guard. He will be 36 years old when next season starts, and would certainly be a short-term solution. Allen could help make the Wolves competitive.
Delonte West is a solid shooting guard who, at 27 years old, is about in his prime. He's an upgrade over the Wolves shooting guards and would probably improve the team to a degree in the short and long term. He has some off-court issues that are troubling, to say the least, though.
Kwame Brown is a hugely talented big man who just needs a fresh opportu... nevermind.
Joel Przybilla has knee problems. If those can be resolved or mitigated he would be an improvement over our starting center.
Caron Butler is one of the more talented UFA's in 2011. He would not come cheap, but would be a significant upgrade over our current small forwards. He has been an All-Star, but has also just recently suffered a serious knee injury. He is 31 years old.
Tyson Chandler, when healthy, is a difference maker on the defensive end of the floor. He should command a large salary, this off-season. He would make the Wolves better by a fair amount, I think.
J.R. Smith has a lot of physical talent, but has never put it together with consistency. He would be an upgrade over our shooting guards and can attack the basket off the dribble.
Tracy McGrady is way past his prime, but is somehow only 31 years old. His game is probably better-suited for Rambis' offense than our current personnel. Motivation and health are two concerns with T-Mac and he may not show either of them on a struggling team such as the Wolves.
Yao Ming may never play basketball, again. If he does, he's a big upgrade over our current center. Obviously, this is all dependent on health. He is only 30 years old.
Shane Battier is a good veteran leader, defender and shooter. He would help the Wolves improve in the short term.
Zach Randolph is probably the best free agent in 2011. Unfortunately for the Wolves, he plays the one position that we have covered pretty well. Could Z-Bo and Love share the floor? I kind of doubt it, although the huge talent bump would have to make the Wolves a fair amount better.
Kris Humphries hits the boards very hard, but plays Love's position and probably wouldn't fit in well on this team.
David West as an early termination option on his contract and just suffered an ACL tear. He plays Love's position.
Jason Richardson is one of the best UFA's in 2011. He would be a big upgrade over the shooting guards on this roster. He is 30 years old.
Earl Clark is a RECLAMATION PROJECT. He is also long and athletic.
Andrei Kirilenko would help the Wolves defense, some.
Josh Howard seems to have lost his way. I don't know if he'll find it, before his career ends. He was very good, a few years back. He is 30 years old.
What restricted free agents could help the Wolves?
Jeff Green has been a hot topic of NBA conversation, as the key piece in the Perkins trade. He probably wouldn't help the Wolves much, given the makeup of our roster, however.
Arron Afflalo has a reputation as a great defensive player and shoots the ball well. He would be an upgrade at shooting guard and is only 25 years old.
DeAndre Jordan should be a Timberwolf instead of whatever we got in return for the rights to Mario Chalmers. In any case, he'll be a name that gets tossed around, this off-season. I question whether he's a big upgrade over Darko (if Darko were used properly), but he is very young and has room for improvement. He has a pretty crazy combination of length, bulk and athleticism. He is a horrendous free throw shooter.
Marc Gasol is another name that will get tossed around, this summer. Not only is he a solid young center, but his Spanish team affiliation could be a chip to use with the Rubio situation. He would be a significant upgrade over our starting center.
Thaddeus Young is a very young player on the upstart 76ers squad that looks like a scary first-round playoff opponent. I rarely catch a '6ers tilt, but given his age, shooting percentage and playing time on a Doug Collins playoff-bound team, I'd guess he's having a quality season.
Greg Oden is a nice place to wrap up this long post, since he is the undoubtedly the most controversial free agent of this coming off-season. What do you do with a player this young and talented, but so often injured? This is the big gamble of 2011. I have no idea what his medical situation is or what the long-term prognosis will be, once his latest rehab stint is complete. If it comes down to "everything looks good, but he always gets hurt!" I would say pull the trigger. I can't think of another way to add this caliber of talent, aside from lottery luck in a the right draft (which this one appears not to be.)
What do you all think?