Seeing that the Wolves have already thrown the door open to $1/game season ticket gimmicks, here's my contribution to the Let's Build the Blueprint (Insert Next Year's Marketing Slogan Here) extravaganza: the Italian Option. It only works if the Wolves pick 2nd 3rd-6th or lower. With no further delay, here it goes:
- Draft Danilo Gallinari.
- Trade $2.8 mil trade exception and one 2nd round pick to the Warriors for Marco Belinelli.
- Trade Rashad McCants, Marko Jaric + other 2nd rounder + Heat or Celtic 1st rounder to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani, Kris Humphries (honorary Italian), and the Raptors' 2008 1st rounder (currently 17th).
- Draft best available from list of honorary Italians (in order): CDR, Chase Budinger, or Joe Alexander.
- Re-sign Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and Chris Richard.
Next year's Italian Option lineup:
NOTE: I have conflicting sources for Humphries' 2008 salary availability. If he does not have a contract, substitute a sign-and-trade option or Joey Graham to keep the Italian Option in order.
Since the Wolves had trouble getting over 2,000 fans to watch their home games, they need to find new markets to sell their goods. Why not Italy? After all, when you're selling tickets that are cheaper than Apple Valley Eagle H.S. home games, something is amiss. The Wolves would be Italy's favorite NBA team. Ami i lupi!!!
Actually, I'd be more than happy with the Italian Option lineup. It has size and shooting: 2 things the current squad can't seem to put together.
Finally, the Italian Option fits one of the off-season's most important criteria: it's not hard on Glen's wallet. Entering the 2008-09 season the Italian Option would cost the Wolves roughly $62.1 million over 14 contracts (including draft picks). 47% of that amount would be locked up in buyouts and players who don't play (Walker, Buckner, Madsen). At the beginning of the 2009-10 season the Italian Option would cost the Wolves $49.7 million over 13 contracts (not counting the Wolves' top pick which may or may not end up in LA). 27% of this amount would be dedicated to buyouts and players who don't play.
PS: Since we're on the subject of Italian basketball, why not grab former Tar Heel Kris Lang? He played in the premier Italian league last year. Could he be any less effective than Chris Richard? Come on!!! Viva the Italian Option!!!