Folks, recently I've been reading some discouraging thoughts on this site. It seems that, basically, a lot of people feel that the Wolves are not going to be good next season. They don't like our lineup and they don't like the moves that our front office is making. Well I have excellent news for you all: The Timberwolves WILL be good next year! They might not be "championship" good, but they will most certainly be good. I have outlined the reasons why below (using our current lineup and not a hypothetical lineup).
1. Solid core of veteran point guards. Probably our strongest position. Ricky's rehab is going great and he will be back to 100% in time for training camp.
2. MVP caliber power forward. Also the best power forward in the league. Love is coming off a career year and hasn't even peaked yet. He's starting his contract extension this year so that won't be a distraction for him like it may have been last year.
3. Nikola Pekovic. Remember: Darko started the first half of the season last year. Pek did not get to display his utter domination until Darko got hurt. AND Pek was playing with a hurt ankle for the last part of the season. He has had surgery and will be back to 100% next season. He will be dominant.
4. Derrick Williams: DWill is going to have a monster year. The lion will be released from his cage and will wreak havoc on opposing defenses and prove his detractors wrong. DW had flashes of greatness last year but he didn't get a chance to shine. Not only was he a rookie but he was behind Love in the rotation. Not to mention that the lack of training camp made it hard for him to learn the system and carve out a niche on the team. How can someone get into a rhythm under those circumstances? Things are going to be different this year: AR-15 and SuperCoolBeas are gone which means plenty of minutes at small forward and backup minutes behind Love (Love should not be playing so many minutes anyway if we want to keep him healthy). Derrick is going to be playing with a chip on his shoulder because he knows he has something to prove this year. As a bonus it would be nice if he could take some minutes away from Wes. Derrick will be good.
5. Shooting guards: Malcolm Lee paid his dues last year, rehabbing his knee and playing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce D-League team. He will be 100% and he is ready for his time to shine. Budinger is listed as a SF but I suspect he'll be playing a bit at the 2 spot as well. I also think that Wayne Ellington is somewhat underrated. His defense isn't great but he's a good shooter from long range which is something we didn't see much of last year (besides Ridnour and Love). This will be an improvement from Martell and Ridnour taking turns at the 2.
6. Youth vs. Aging teams: The Wolves are young but all of our players have NBA experience. We won't have any rookies to worry about (sorry Robbie Hummel). Our competition on the other hand is faced with some serious problems. The Lakers and the Spurs all have a significant number of players well into their 30's. The Lakers in particular will not be as good as people think. Kobe (34), Pau (32), Artest (32), and Nash (38), are all just injuries waiting to happen. They do not have a deep bench once those guys go down. The Spurs could face similar problems. The other teams in the West that were good last year will not necessarily be good this year. The Rockets have imploded their roster, as have the Mavs. They will be in rebuilding mode. I feel that the Clippers may be in turmoil as well. All of this leaves the door wide open for the Wolves.
A healthy off-season and a FULL training camp is going to help this team realize it's true potential. Adelman was not able to implement his system the way he wanted to last year. This year is going to be different...I can sense it.
As I see it the only real roadblock standing in the way of Wolves NBA domination is figuring out a way to reduce Wes Johnson's minutes down to about 0-5 per game. That's not to say he can't contribute! He can keep the chairs warm for the other guys. He can make sure that everyone has plenty of water and towels. He can pat guys on the back when they had a good quarter. There's plenty for him to do.
So I say to you, friends/wolves fans at canishoopus: don't worry. I've seen all this complaining, moaning, groaning, belly achin', negativity, criticism, etc. Is Kahn a good GM? Not really no. Do we have all of the best players that we'd like? Well...no. Has the front office made great decisions over the past few years? Of course not. But don't worry. This will be be a banner year for the Wolves. They are going to be great.