The Timberwolves Approach: A System


The Timberwolves 2013 offseason has had a bevy of moves. These moves have been critiqued from a defensive perspective, predominantly because of the loss of Andre Kirilenko, but lauded from an offensive perspective, with the addition of Kevin Martin and the resigning of Chase Budinger. I think we need to look at these moves through a different lens.

From a system perspective lens.

I'm a large proponent of hiding the negatives and accentuating the positives. The best teams of all time find a way to do this. Is Chris Andersen the best post-up player in league history? No, but he isn't asked to create buckets for himself. His athleticism crashing the offensive boards and off of the pick and roll make him at least usable in a two-way sense.

The Wolves have gotten players that fit into Rick Adelman's system. Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger are two personal favorites of his, and the productivity of Budinger last year when healthy bodes as a good sign for Kevin Martin's future. Adelman's system produced the best years from Chris Webber and Vlade Divac. Sometimes, players just thrive in a certain system.

The San Antonio Spurs are a shining example of the system strategy to building a team. Gary Neal isn't a player many of us would've expected to contribute respectable minutes during the postseason, but he did. Did the Spurs have to give him a qualifying offer of $1.1 million to keep him? Maybe. They may have been able to get him at a cheaper price if they would have let him go to unrestricted free agency. They knew that his value to the team may be higher than his market value though, and spent their money accordingly.

Is the Martin contract a bargain? Absolutely not, but you wouldn't expect it to be for somebody who is historically as proficient as him on the offensive end. The Wolves may have paid more, but his value to the Wolves is probably higher than it would be to any other team in the league.

Minnesota has put together a roster of guys that Rick Adelman likes to go along with our big three of Love, Rubio, and Pekovic. We did so by remaining under the cap, and by targeting system friendly players. There will be defensive lapses to be sure, but do Martin and Budinger really represent a massive defensive downgrade from the revolving door of 10-day contract players from last year's team?

As a fan of a small market team, I believe this is the best way to approach the offseason, and am excited to see what the free agent fruits bare.

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