R. Rubio / L. Ridnour / J. Flynn
M. Webster / W. Johnson / W. Ellington
M. Beasley / D. Williams / L. Hayward
K. Love / A. Randolph / A. Tolliver
D. Milicic / N. Pekovic / A. Tolliver
Assuming the Wolves don't make any signings or trades and make the smart, BPA selection with the #2 overall pick, this is the roster the Wolves will be running with for the 2011-12 season. That's a starting lineup that consists of five top-6 draft picks, and a group of backups that features three top-6 draft picks from the past three drafts.
At least in theory, this team should have the pieces it needs to be competitive. You have the prodigal distributor at PG with a solid shooter/defender complementing him at SG, a high usage, high scoring wing at SF, a glue guy who stretches opposing defenses and cleans up the glass at PF, and a rim-protector with reasonable offensive skills for a 7-footer at C. The backups have a nice mixture of athleticism, experience and offensive/defensive ability. This is why I believe David Kahn thinks the roster just needs some "fine-tuning"...at least on paper it all ought to mesh together fairly well. The problem is that our two best players might not really want to be here, two of our other starters need major attitude adjustments, and our coach is, to put it politely, an idiot.
However, even with those caveats, this is a team that (barring injury) ought to be able to approach 30 wins. I'm assuming here that Ricky plays at an at least league average level for his rookie year and that increased chemistry from time spent together will help our exceptionally young squad play like an actual team. I think it's safe to say at this point that we know what we're getting from Beasley/Darko/Webster, but I'm hopeful that either Wesley Johnson or Derrick Williams will step up and justify their draft position with a productive season.
So, this is the status quo. With that in mind, how do people think we can realistically improve this team? What do we really need? Perhaps we get rid of Darko, but who do we replace him with? Where can we find a legitimate, 7-foot rim protector with a skillset that translates to a triangle offense? Is Andre Iguodala enough of an upgrade over Martell Webster to justify the loss of assets/cap flexibility that bringing him over would entail? What type of shooting guard do we really want to put next to Rubio? Beasley already scores enough from the wing - if we acknowledge that our assets are limited, is it worth it to replace him with a more efficient player? If Rambis is really the problem, who can we bring in who can mentor Rubio while ensuring that our other core pieces continue to improve? If the triangle isn't the best fit for this team in the long run, what offensive system would be ideal? Is it smart to invest in a defensive-minded coach when our offense sucks too?
I'm not expecting any sort of Canis Hoopus consensus, but I'd love to hear your thoughts below.