The wolves are currently in the playoff hunt and they are still a team on the rise, but I see the excitement doubling for next year when Rubio comes back and if certain things pan out.
1. Malcolm Lee, you are a piece for the future...
Even in the very limited time we've seen him, ML has shown the ability to be a good defender with size and shows the ability to shake past his man and finish or make a play for a teammate. Those two things right there are enough to consider him in the mix of players who will be in the rotation next year. On top of that there is the innate confidence he shows and the athletcism that is present. I'd like to see him get some time at the 2 guard this year but I doubt he does. As long as we're in the playoff hunt the only time he'll see is emergency PG, which is too bad. I'd like to see what he has in the shooting department on the wing as well as the midrange game. And how he defends bigger 2 guards.
2. I don't like Derrick Williams right now....
A good deal of us have played the game at various levels and coached it as well. You can always tell when you've got a player who will be effective at his position and others who MIGHT be effective (to a lesser extent) if they can find a way to adjust. But it's the players who play naturally and don't have to adjust their games at all who end up being the most effective. These are the kind of players the oppenents themeselves have to adjust to. I keep hearing people say Derrick Williams will be a great player once he learns this, or once he learns that, or once he adjusts to this or that. Hell I can see in 4 games that Malcolm Lee will not have to adjust a thing when blowing past his defender. It's a natural ability. But Williams has so many things that he will need to adjust to. He will need to adjust his shot to finish better around the rim. He'll need to learn a floater. He'll need to adjust to learn how to defend larger 3's or quicker 4's. Adjust adjust adjust. I honestly didn't think there would be any of this when we drafted him. I kind of saw him as a player that Faried has turned into but with a better outside shot. I think I'd almost have the manimal on this team than DW at this point because he doesn't have to adjust to a thing. He just goes out and does his thing. Hell DW was outplayed by DJ fricking White last night. It was embarassing. So when people preach patience, I have a hard time with it. I am in the camp that because he has to learn so many adjustments, and the fact that I don't view him as a 3, that we would be better served to find a team that still loves him and use him to trade for SOMETHING. If we got the Utah pick I would not, however, package DW and the pick to move up to target a wing player. That's like trading the 2nd pick in the draft (which he was) and the 16th pick (which the Utah pick could be) for a pick in the late lotto. If you want to move up from 16 to target a wing then use other pieces, not DW. We have some other assets worth including in trades.
3. Why Terrence Ross would fit...
The most likely scenario for the wolves is the "less is more stance". I don't think we'll trade up from 16 (if we get the Utah pick), I don't think we'll land the dream 2 guard in the off season. I think the powers that be really like Malcolm Lee more than they are leading on. Adelman likes to play the vets and wait on the young'ns. Let's say we did land Kevin Martin in the off season and dealt Webster. We'd have a 2 guard rotation of Martin and Lee. Obviously Martin is the proven shooter of the 2 but they both have the ability to handle the ball well and drive and dish. Having excellent ball handling at the PG and SG positions would allow someone like Terrence Ross to play a very similar role on the wolves that he had as a husky. Nail the open J, use screens for the open J, 2-3 dribble shake and bake to create space in the mid range game, finish on the break, finish back door jams, etc. Plus he defends and rebounds well from the wing position. He is listed as a SG/SF. He is after all 6-7 and hits his head on the ceiling when he jumps.
If next year's core was:
Ross/Wes (included Wes in there because I couldn't just include a wet paper bag)
Pretty sure that team would be at least a 5 seed in the playoffs. Another piece to add would be a backup post with size and athleticism for defensive purposes. If Williams were to be dealt for a player like Martin or some other piece I could live with it. But if not he'd be the super sub at the 4 and 3 positions. Thoughts?