I titled this post in honor of my historic first ever Canis Hoopus post titled “What to Do With #2” exploring possible trade options for the number two pick that eventually landed the Minnesota Timberwolves Derrick Williams. You can find that post here if you are so inclined. Go ahead and see what you said at the time. Was your take as solid as it seemed to be. Come on, you know you want to.
Anyway, moving forward and closer to an actual point. I saw a headline* on Hoopshype suggesting that the Wolves were talking to free agent shooting guard Mickael Pietrus. What’s that you say? Mickael Pietrus? But conventional wisdom has it that the Wolves remaining roster spot needs to go to another versatile big. Anthony Tolliver, Birdman, that D leaguer that was debated earlier this week, someone who can play clean up minutes at the 4/5 spot and provide insurance for possible injuries. The Wolves, after all, already have somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 guards. Dag-nab-bit, Kahn is up to his old tricks. Something needs to be done.
Let’s explore this a little further. I also recently saw a rumor, headline, tweet, or CH post, suggesting that the Wolves were still in talks with Anthony Tolliver despite the apparent fact that AT is asking for more than the vet minimum and the vet minimum is the most the Wolves can offer. Now I am really confused. The very same rumor, headline, tweet or post that provided me with the aforementioned Tolliver info also suggested that the Wolves had told him (Tolliver) that we might have more flexibility after a trade. Putting this together with other headlines, tweets, CH posts and hoopshype rumors I have digested recently I deduce through the power of my average sized brain that it is still possible the Wolves will make an additional move and that this move might include multiple moving parts. This, my fellow Wolves obsessed friends, is interesting. At least it is to me.
This brings us to the other point of the title of this post. Recently we were asked by Running with Twolves (and Scissors) (here) what we thought was the Wolves biggest area of need. To this questions I answered, and I quote, “I guess if I had to choose I would prefer we add SG who’s defense I have confidence in.” Shockingly this insight received no Rec’s. In fact this post turned quickly into a discussion on Mount Rushmore and gay marriage. (“But I thought this was a basketball forum” somebody no doubt said quietly to themselves as they clicked their fantasy football league bookmark in disgust.) Whatever, as we know these divergences do happen here and are welcome. Still this issue of the Wolves shooting guard does deserve some consideration.
So, lets consider it.
Currently, as I see it, the Minnesota Timberwolves have multiple intriguing prospects at the shooting guard position. Unfortunately all of them, at least in my opinion, come with some short coming, or at least possible shortcoming. The most exciting of these, of course, is Brandon Roy. Roy has been in the past an all star shooting guard. If he is healthy this is not even a discussion. Sadly this is a major if. Next is Shved. Now I am as excited by this young man as anyone but let’s not pretend he has played in the NBA. He hasn’t. If we are honest we are not sure what to expect and if we are even more honest we are pretty certain we cannot expect him to be a stellar defensive player. Next we have a pair of classic tweeners. Shooting guards in point guard bodies. Smarter people than me have suggested that Ridnour and Barea (the subjects of the previous sentence for those keeping score) are not as bad defensively as one would assume. Although they are admittedly small Ridnour is a smart basketball player and Barea’s feistiness is well documented. It’s not like every other shooting guard in the league has a premiere post up game. Still, I find myself skeptical. Last we have Malcolm Lee. Lee has some promise as a defensive player but can we all agree that he has simply not yet shown enough to warrant full scale relaxation at this position?
“Ok then”, you are probably saying to yourself after reading my late night evidence-less ramblings, bring on Mickael Pietrus. Now I’m not going to pretend that Pietrus is Scottie Pippen defensively but I think he does fit the description of being a “SG who’s defense I have confidence in.” At least he does for me. Still, what’s with these trade rumors. Ricky and Kevin are safe and we have been promised that Derrick Williams will not be traded (at least it seems that we have been promised this) and it damn well better not be Pek. Who then is it? It looks like it must be either Barea or Ridnour right? I personally would prefer we keep Luke over JJ but my gut tells me that Luke is more tradable. I have no concrete ideas. I have not spent time on the trade machine. I will leave that for others more skilled in that arena (you know who you are) but I do wonder if there is a trade out there that moves Ridnour and creates enough cap space to bring back Tolliver and add Pietrus. I have to say that, as much as I appreciate what Luke Ridnour has brought to the Wolves these last few years I would make such a move if it exists. Would Kahn? Would you?
*I get most of my news from headlines as I find reading whole articles takes away from time I could be reading CH comments.