First, as the games have come to an end for a few months, I have to say: thanks for making the season interesting and entertaining. Being a part of this blog is one of the things that make being a Wolves fan fun. Of course, the off-season is when we have even more fun, analyzing moves, dreaming of everything coming together, and we'll have plenty of time to do that in the upcoming weeks.
We'll also break down what happened this year, the good and the bad. The Wolves won 40 games, which is something that they hadn't done for a long, long time, so let's take some time to remember the good stuff. Kevin Love was a monster, and played in 77 games. They emerged with a tremendous rotation at the center position, with rookie Gorgui Dieng developing into something late in the year to go along with Nikola Pekovic and energy backup Ronny Turiaf.
We should know for certain the future of coach Rick Adelman in the next couple of weeks at most. He has a year left on his contract, but both sides have opt outs, and it seems that the writing is on the wall, and that he's finished coaching. It's probably time for someone new, but given the Kevin Love contract situation, they Wolves have to get the next coach exactly right. The names bandied about: Hoiberg, Izzo, Karl...we'll see who become actual candidates once the search begins.
The NBA draft lottery is scheduled for May 20th. The Wolves are pretty locked into the 13th pick. If somehow the Suns jump into the top three (less then 2% chance), pushing the Wolves back to 14, they would then have to give that pick to the Suns to complete the Wes Johnson trade. Of course, the Wolves could also jump into the top 3 (ha), giving them a shot at a real star player. Almost certainly they will stay at 13, where you will hear names like Gary Harris, Kyle Anderson, James Young, and Doug McDermott. Hopefully, vjl110 will give us more of his excellent draft analysis in the coming weeks.
On the roster front, there is only one free agent: Dante Cunningham. He is unlikely to be retained after his legal problems and domestic abuse allegations over the last couple of weeks. On the court, Cunningham has been a useful backup power forward who has been worth his rather inexpensive contract. They have gotten what they could from him, however, and he almost certainly will be moving on.
Ricky Rubio will be eligible for an extension this summer, up until the start of the season. If he does not sign, he will become a restricted free agent next summer. In truth, there is no urgency for the Wolves, as they have control of his short and medium term future. There is no reason to overpay him now. If they can get him for a good price going forward, it would be nice to have it settled, but my guess is that his agent is going to demand a max or close to max deal. The Wolves are in position to let him play out his fourth year and see what they RFA market says before committing to a huge contract for him. We'll see.
The Playoffs start tomorrow, and we'll have a thread with my capsule previews up for those games. Go Raptors. Hopefully there will be a lot of chatter about the playoffs around here even though the Wolves aren't in it. The playoffs are always great basketball. Enjoy.
Today in history
1506: Cornerstone of St. Peter's Basilica is laid
1521: Diet of Worms: Martin Luther is questioned
1775: Paul Revere rides with his warning
1783: End of fighting in the American Revolution
1861: Battle of Harper's Ferry, VA
1925: World's Fair opens in Chicago
1948: International Court of Justice opens at Hague
1980: Zimbabwe declares independence from UK
Instead of a musical link, today I will link to a list of youtube highlights for all 82 Wolves games produced by Late Round Productions, who did a great job with the season. Here is an example: highlights from the Wolves win in Miami earlier this month.
Enjoy your Friday.