Are the Wolves in the Market for Veteran Help?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of another poor performance by the Wolves reserves, there are a couple of reports in the national media that they Wolves are actively seeking help for their second unit.

We've been noticing it all season: the Wolves second unit has been brutal. Once again in last night's loss to the Clippers, the entire starting five was plus, all reserves minus. It has been a consistent theme in the early going, with the starters creating leads and the reserves handing them back.

Part of the problem is, of course, injuries to Chase Budinger and Ronny Turiaf. However, injuries are part of basketball, and neither of them is riding to the rescue anytime soon.  The current group consisting mainly of J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham, Derrick Williams, and Alexey Shved has been disappointing, both as a group and individually. Nobody has stepped forward in that lineup, and it has struggled mightily to find a way to score points.

As a result, the Wolves starting unit has played the most minutes of any five man combination in the league, which is not ideal.

This morning come rumblings that the Wolves are already shopping for some veteran help for their second unit:

Young Minnesota players Derrick Williams and Alexey Shved are available in deals for veterans to help these T'wolves now, league executives told Yahoo Sports.--Adrian Wojnarowski

In the meantime, according to Zach Lowe at Grantland, who has a couple of interesting Wolves notes in this column,

The Wolves picked up Williams's $6.3 million option for next season despite the fact that it endangers their ability to use the full midlevel exception, but they're barely playing him now...Other front offices have been monitoring {Derrick} Williams for a while, sensing a buy-low opportunity, but there's not much to monitor right now.

Indeed, Williams is averaging just over 17 minutes a game in the six games he's appeared in, and whatever forward momentum we were hoping for has not materialized.  The option guarantees him $6.3 million next year, and it's hard to imagine a team embracing that commitment (and returning something useful for it) when his play has been erratic in limited time.

Meanwhile, local guy Darren Wolfson cautions:

He's right. Although most of the league's GMs (including Saunders) will be in Chicago scouting college prospects, teams are not ready to talk trade seriously. If they get a lopsided offer, sure, but at the moment, nobody is in a hurry.

I am having a hard time constructing anything helpful that I think another team would do right now, in part because of the time of year, and in part because the Wolves' tradeable pieces aren't helping anyone right now and will still be around in January and February.

Which means the Wolves will have to play the hand they have, hope things improve on the bench, and wait for the return of their injured players. Hopefully everyone else stays healthy in the meantime.

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