Now with more pictures! And even a video!
On the periphery of the early draft talk here on Hoopus has been the pretty secure assumption that Our Wolves need a wing in the form of a knockdown three guy. Some additional ability to defend would most likely be helpful. And taller than Luke. Frankly, the Wolves should simply get a Luke cardboard cutout and put a fake thought bubble over it that reads "You must be taller than this man to be our shooting guard next season."
"Hey girl...let me drain a trey into your heart."
Kyle Korver has been oft-cited, and he would be a good call. I've echoed it and today I sat down with the idea of rounding up all the available free agent wings into something spreadsheety and posting it so we'd have the comparison info all in one place. If nothing else, I wanted to feed the Unique Page View Beast that Hoopus must once become again. But then I got to thinking about this guy:
What does he want in a two-guard?
I think last offseason points us in the direction. The Wolves, as we all know, pursued two Blazers: one no-kneed and the other French. Of course, we got the broken player. Yet, despite all that surrounded the Batum and Roy pursuits was an insight into the "type" of player Coach wants at the SG spot.
Thinking back, his teams have featured the three following SGs: Clyde Drexler, Doug Christie and occasionally Tracy McGrady. While Christie doesn't immediately belong next to the other two, he does have something in common with them: the passing gene.
Clyde and T-Mac were players who could distribute to their teammates from the off-guard position (among other things, obviously). Christie also excelled at passing and although his career assist percentage of 17.7 notably trails the Glide (25.2) and T-Mac (33.0), he was not a black hole on offense. What's more, on the wing, Adelman has essentially paired these players with low assist percentage players who performed other vital functions: Kersey, Peja and Battier.
I don't think we can say for certain what Adelman thought his wing pairing was going to be last season, but I think he wanted Brandon Roy (career 23.9 assist%) to mimic that Clyde/T-Mac role. I think AK was settled on after the Batum Maneuver fell through and they had a bunch of money laying about. The thought of AK playing with Roy must have made him giddy (whatever giddy is for our sarcastic and taciturn coach). AK with Bud? Not ideal but Coach could've worked with it had the pairing stayed healthy. Again, I'm thinking here in what Adelman may have found to be an ideal setup for this team and his system. Had Roy rediscovered something. Yikes, that would have been fun. Sigh.
Anywho....where does that leave the Wolves and Adelman on their quest for a shooting guard?
"Look Mere! I can pass!"
Not sure. They did appear to be on to something with Batum, though, as his assist percentage rocketed from 8% to 20% in his increased role for the Blazers. It's not unreasonable to have seen such a jump as well with the Wolves.
Utilizing the always awesome Basketball-Reference.com I sorted out a list of players with an assist percentage over 20% and the height of a two-guard...and who played and yadda, yadda, yadda:
What to make of all that? Well, there are the usual superstars who are completely unattainable (Wade, LBJ, Kobe, etc) and then there are players who are actually true points like Ricky and Wall and Greivis. Poking a bit further I see three names of surprising interest: Manu, Stuckey and our very own Alexey.
"How you say 'I'm on same list as LeBron?'"
(btw....thank for rubbing it in, waitingfornextyear. sheesh.)
Manu will be a free agent. Can he be lured away from Pop? Probably not, but it's interesting to think about. What about Stuckey? I've always been a tad down on him but he can distribute from the off guard spot and a deal with Detroit is probably quite doable.
But in the end, after all of this, Alexey remains in the mix. If he fixes his shot and matures his game, there's no reason he couldn't be the answer. However, my money is on Adelman exhausting all other veteran avenues before he returns to Shved.
In the end, I hope this provides the wing/two-guard speculation with another prism in which to view possible Wolves machinations. Play around with B-Ref yourself, generate some other lists and, overall, just think about how the five players on the court can best work together.
Adelman, I would say, has a type in mind but can he get it is another thing entirely.
As for Flip, learn well Padawan (for Oceanary, er, Key Something Something):
Do. Or do not. There is no try. (via salazam)