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Back on the Horse, Tying Up Loose Ends, Tired Metaphor

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After a weekend of packing boxes, picking up boxes, moving boxes and unpacking boxes, I'm getting back into the swing of hoops just in time for the offseason. So, for your reading enjoyment, here are the strands in ole' Duder's head:

  • The contract and draft pages are updated to reflect the events of June 26th and today's official changeover to the 2008/09 season. Goodbye Theo, Beno, Eddie and Wayne. Congratulations to Big Al on becoming our highest paid player. Note that while things may look bad with the free agent cap holds, we're actually nowhere near the luxury tax right now. Also, Kevin Love hasn't yet signed as far as I know, but I would imagine it's merely a formality.
  • The Love Trade. Plenty has been said that I agree with, suffice to say I'm happy the outcome. One guy that's not mentioned as much is Jason Collins. He will be an excellent backup at center. Much more of a defensive strongman than Doleac. I'm excited to watch Love and Al on offense, it's the defense I'm worried about. Moreover, I spent half the season talking about how Al's not good at center due mostly to size. But now his froncourt mate is smaller than he is.
  • Pekovic. I was initially unhappy with the Pekovic pick given that Chalmers, CDR, Walker, etc. were all still on the board. However, given the apparent consensus that he's first round material with contract concerns, I'm happy. McHale talked to him before the draft, and the most reliable sources I've seen say he's got two years left in Europe and intends to come over thereafter. Things can certainly change, but Pekovic at #31 sounds like a pick every team would've made.
  • #34/Chalmers. I'm not too pleased with how #34 played out but there are two factors that cloud the decision. First, the timing with making and trading this pick and the Love trade aren't clear. If the Wolves hadn't already traded #34, it would've been smart to hold off on moving it once they knew something was back on with Memphis. Second, we did get a decent return. Depending on your source we got between $1.5 million and $2 million in cash and the lower two picks from Miami's collection of three second-round picks that include the Heat's own as well as Philadelphia's and Indiana's next summer. While that's a good set of assets, the talent available at #34 was unusually impressive.
  • Qualifying Offers. Giving Gomes a qualifying offer was a no-brainer. Regardless of what happens with Craiggers, they couldn't take the chance that he'd walk for nothing.  Same with Richard. Snyder: whatever. Telfair, though, really gets me worked up. I understand that $3.5 million is a lot for what Telfair produces, but after the draft it was clear that we needed another point guard. In making a qualifying offer, the most a team is locked into is that amount at one year. If another team overbids, the Wolves wish Telfair good luck and watch him get paid what they weren't willing to pay. Big woop. Now, he can just take off and we get nothing. Can anyone explain this to me?
  • Wolves free agents moving forward. In case you missed them at the old site, I posted stories on what Gomes, Telfair and Smith will likely be looking for in free agency. I, for one, definitely want to bring back Gomes and Telfair. As much as I like Craig and think he's a valuable player, he doesn't seem to fit in an already undersized frontcourt. Richard should not be in high demand, and Snyder is almost sure to be gone.
  • The Summer League roster is coming into focus. Kevin Love, Corey Brewer, Chris Richard, Drew Neitzel, Blake Ahearn, Bryce Taylor, Longar Longar and Kaniel Dickens are all apparently on board. Other potential participants include John Lucas III, Pooh Jeter and Jonte Flowers. (Strib source, RealGM source) More as the Vegas Summer League unfolds.