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Harden, Ibaka, and '12 and '13 Offseason Strategy


More below the jump.

The biggest issue for the Wolves in trying to improve their team is probably who they decide to spend money on in the next 2 offseasons. A lot of options have been thrown out there, but ultimately, there's only so many funds to go around, and most would probably prefer them to improve sooner rather than later.

The main issue lies with the possibility that the Zombie Sonics are probably going to have to make a decision on paying two players, each of whom would fit very well with the Wolves (obviously, they're named in the title). If each of these guys were available this offseason, it wouldn't be a problem. But because Sam Presti doesn't have to deal with those players until after this offseason and because the Wolves have to prepare for the possibility of another team giving Nikola Pekovic a substantial offer sheet, they have to determine how active to be this summer.

Now, I'm not saying that they have a chance at either of these guys. My guess is that the Thunder pay Harden no matter what and figure out whether to let Ibaka go or amnesty Perkins. But the possibility is out there, and either of these guys would be excellent fits for this team. Not only that, but any young free agent who the Wolves could sign to an offer sheet this summer could also be signed by one of the numerous other teams with cap space or be matched by that player's current team (Batum being the best example of this). If they try to preserve enough space to go after guys who sign a qualifying offer this summer (Batum, Eric Gordon) or guys like Harden and Ibaka, they limit their options this summer in taking on salary.

So my questions are these: Should the Wolves consider Harden and/or Ibaka as legitimate options? Even if they're not, should the team try to a) use all of their cap space and assets this summer to get better before next season; b) save up those assets for in-season trades and/or 2013 free agency; or c) some combination of both?

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