As the off-season began, I wasn't particularly thrilled with the moves the Wolves made, starting with trading the 17th pick in the draft for Chase Budinger and followed by the pursuit of Nicolas Batum (thank you Portland for matching that ridiculous contract offer sheet). Letting Beasley and Randolph both leave at the end of the season for nothing instead of trading them last season seemed like a waste, as was giving up a future first round pick to get rid of Wes Johnson after a very solid summer league showing (for the record, I'm still scratching my head that the Wolves never sent Wes down to the D-League at some point when it was so obvious that he was struggling with his shot and could've used a trip down to the D-League to find his confidence again. During his rookie season, his confidence sky-rocketed after playing in the rookie-sophomore game. He also seemed to excel at the Summer League, which I believe is translating to playing pretty well over in Phoenix.)
However, once the dust settled and all the moves had been made, I'm excited by the look of our current roster. The addition of Roy is a calculated risk and well worth the gamble. He may not ever be the old Roy but if he can stay healthy, he will be a huge addition. The wing position has been vastly improved with the additions of Roy, Kirilenko, Shved, and Budinger, replacing the disappointing Beasley, Johnson, Webster, and Ellington. And having Stiemsma backing up Pek is a huge upgrade over Darko. I don't expect to see Cunningham or Amundson filling the stat sheet but they are solid role players who play with effort, something not seen by the triumvirate of lethargy that was Beasley, Randolph, and Darko. The only player we lost who put forth solid effort was Tolliver and his ability to shoot from long range is about the only aspect of his game that neither Cunningham or Amundson will be able to replace.
The one thing that seems apparent to me is that Kahn seems to be assembling a team with more of a European flair to it. This makes sense as Adelman had a lot of success in Sacramento with Stojakovic, Turkoglu, and Divac. The addition of Kirilenko and Shved from the Russian team that claimed the Bronze medal are both great additions in my opinion but it brings to mind a couple of questions. First, if Russia was the third best team at the Olympics, how would they fare in the NBA? Second, how would NBA teams fare in International competition? The reason I ask is because if you take two of the best players off the Russian National team and put them on the Timberwolves with Rubio, Love, Roy and Pek, you probably have a team that's better than the Russian National team. So, where would the new-look Wolves fall in the International ranks? And how does that translate to success in the NBA?
Please comment and provide your thoughts as I'm very interested to know what my fellow Wolves fans think!