Hello! Long time lurker here.
I wrote a post on realgm entailing a scenario based around the acquisitions of Pau, Batum and Shved. I then polished it up a bit and posted it on my blog here http://totallygametime.com/2012/07/02/wolves-bball-nerdery-45-2/ idk what the etiquette is as far as fanpost/fanshot if I wrote the material myself, but this quite literally is a fan post so here it goes below the fold!
After the Budinger trade there have been two rumors circulating that could have big implications for the Timber Wolves. I’d like to entertain both if you’d let me divulge a bit. The first rumor being the acquisition of Portland’s swing man Nicolas Batum with sheer capspace. The second being a trade for Laker’s forward/center Pau Gasol based around Derrick Williams, filler and other minor assets. The wolves have also been in talks with the Russian swingman Alexey Shved , a crafty scorer who’s been developing abroad and went undraft leaving him free to sign with an NBA team of his choosing.
From hoophype’s salary numbers it appears we have locked up about 39 million on players we undoubtedly want to have on our roster this season, that is under the assumption Batum signs for around the rumored 45m/4y and Portland doesn’t match.
With bubble players being Williams, Wes Johnson, JJ Barea and Wayne Ellington.
Do we like Williams long term with Love and now Batum?
Do we give up on Wes?
Do we need Rubio insurance?
Do we need Ellington as filler?
With them we’re at about 55m. Clearly sans Brad Miller, Martel Webster, and Dorko Milisuck. If the cap is about 60m I’d be ecstatic to sign Alexes Shved for, let’s say 4m/year for three years.Who’s that dude you ask? I haven’t personally seen him play except youtube clips but from the draftexpress article I linked above he’d provide isolation scoring, which is a hole the wolves sorely need filled. His stat’s indicate he is an efficient scorer, a shooter with range,capable of creating for others without turning it over in excess and could improve on getting to the charity stripe. The aforementioned article also says he could work on his defense and it compares him to Goran Dragic circa his Pheonix days as the article is from June 2010. I would go further and also compare current Dragic to current Shved as both had larger roles on their respective teams this previous season and both made positive statistical strides.
After signing Shved we would then trade for Gasol. Probably something based around the four bubble players as LA wants Williams, needs a PG though dunno if they are crazy about Barea, and Wes and Ellington are at the very least expirings if they don’t pick up Wes’ option. Maybe we even throw a pick in as rumored.
Note: I don’t know if my figures are 100% accurate or if Gasol’s 15% trade kicker applies before or after the trade(or for that matter if it can even happen since he would make more than the max 35% of the salary cap but you’d think it’d get granfathered in right?).
That leaves us with
PF Love/Gasol/ Batum at times? (Seems like the nba in general is going smaller) /Veteran Minimum player
SF Batum/Budinger/Shved?/Veteran Minimum player
SG Shved/Budinger/Ridnour /Lee /
PG Rubio /Ridnour /Lee /
Yeah we’d be thin in some areas particularly PF and talent wise outside of the rotation but we’ve been thin production wise at those positions yet continued to over pay them for talent and upside. Why not grab some vet min guys that could be solid contributors or be shitty as we’ve been paying shitty players too much for too long anyways.
I have us being above the cap at about 62-65 for this season pending the trade kicker and prior to vet min players. Even if this team really clicks and it’s imperative that we resign Pek(duh) and Budinger I wouldn’t be too concerned about the future cap implications. Yes we’d be over the cap for the 2013-2014 season, as well as the luxury cap but it would most likely be only for that season. So Taylor has this year and hopefully a deep playoff run to base his eagerness to hit the luxury line.
Our payroll would be about 60/63mil(with Gasol’s trade kicker) for 13-14 prior to resigning Budinger and Pek with a roster looking like.
PG Rubio/ Ridnour/Lee
It’s too hard to speculate how much will be required to resign Budinger and Pek. However it’s apparent that we’d have almost all assets with positive value so the option of trading for more depth if we refuse to go into the lux would be availible. Let’s say we do sign them both and are in the lux for the 13/14 season and patch the rest of the roster. We’d still be able to dip down below the lux the following year as Ridnour, Pau and Lee expire. After they expire our salary would be 37 mil between Love, Rubio, Batum and Svhed, plus whatever Pek and Budinger get. I’d imagine we’d be not a lot, but quite a bit under the cap as the cap by this point will have gone up as the NBA is making a resurgence. We could possibly resign Gasol and Ridnour without hitting the lux.
Sorry I got a bit long winded and yeah it’s very speculative but I think the addition of Batum and Gasol could make us quite a force in the west for a while, while leaving us quite a few options for the future. Clearly the biggest assumption I made is that Shved will pan out which is a big leap but I like him as we need someone who can create their own shot and yes on occasion at the end of games. He doesn’t need to be Kobesque since we won a fair amount of close games on the backs of Rubio, Love and Pek. Idk if Batum is clutch or not but Gasol might even get big with the change of scenery. Instead of Shved we could patch work with Jamal Crawford/Jason Terry types or take a chance on Brandon Roy but I’d prefer to give Shved a shot and see what he’s got.
Nextly our front court would be thin, particularly thin if we suffer an injury. This would hold true at quite a few positions on our roster actually. Can Adelman pick players to surround our core who will be productive in the event they are needed? I don’t know but I’m willing to take that risk as Rick has been around too long to not know what will and won’t work.
This scenario would make us better now and for the foreseeable future. Yes it may hamper our cap space but not our ability to make moves in other ways as the assets on our team would hold positive value. Besides, what the hell have we done with cap space in the past anyways? It will most likely be impossible to maintain this roster after three seasons as Love and Rubio are due for extensions but it’d be a hell of a ride.