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What does Ronny Turiaf's absence mean?

There has been speculation regarding the future of Ronny Turiaf, and how the Wolves could use the roster position if they decide to cut him.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

A press release sent out by the Minnesota Timberwolves PR department before Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers announced Turiaf would undergo surgery on Tuesday, December 16th.

In a separate press release sent after the surgery, Wolves PR announced that Turiaf underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure on his right hip. The operation was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Turiaf has been sidelined for the remainder of the 2014-15 season.

Prior to tip-off against the Lakers, Sunday, Flip Saunders stood outside the Timberwolves' locker room and answered questions posed by people of the media. Mostly, Saunders answered questions about Kobe Bryant, and how Bryant compares to Michael Jordan, but there was also interest regarding the fate of Turiaf. Before Fox Sports North's Phil Ervin could even finish asking what Turiaf's surgery meant for Jeff Adrian, Sauders repeatedly told Ervin..

We'll know more tomorrow. (Repeat 3x)

In this column published at the Star Tribune, Tuesday, Jerry Zgoda explains the December 15th deadline has passed and that teams are now eligible to trade players they signed as free agents this summer. With Turiaf gone, the Wolves have another roster slot available. From Zgoda's column published Tuesday, December 16th..

"That doesn't mean we'll disassociate ourselves from him (Turaif), but if there's the right person available....," Saunders said before Tuesday's game at Washington. "There's a lot happening right now, so we're going to wait and see and take our time. When decisions need to be made, we'll make those decisions."

Derek James of 1500 ESPN also wrote about the Turiaf situation. In his column published Tuesday, James asserts that, if the Wolves waive Turiaf, signing point guard and training camp invitee Brady Heslip -- currently in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns -- could make sense. James quotes Bighorns' Head of Basketball Operations and assistant coach, Scott Schroeder, as saying he is astounded that Heslip hasn't been called up yet.

But James also addresses that Heslip "could potentially be a product of the Bighorns' system," and he couldn't be more correct. Without knocking his ability to knock down three point shots, Heslip's D-League leading 30.2 points per game can be attributed to the offense taught by Bighorns' coach David Arseneault Jr.

Arsenault Jr. was an assistant at Grinnell University before being hired by the Bighorns earlier this summer. You may remember Grinnell, the small liberal arts school in Iowa, the same institution that fostered Jack Taylor -- who scored 138 points in one game thanks to Arseneault's offensive-minded philosophy.

On December 11th, Chris Reichert, who covers the D-League for SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside, published an early season review of "The System."

Reichert's findings indicated that the concerning aspect of the Bighorns' system is that the players are not playing good defense, if they are playing any at all.

The helter skelter style of the full court press lends itself to wide open layups and dunks which is why opponents are shooting a ridiculous 56.3 percent against Reno this year. Giving up easier shots for opponents also explains why Reno is giving up less 3-point attempts this year but still allowing almost 34 more points per game. - Reichert.

Because the Wolves have been short handed at point guard signing Heslip might make sense. After all, Corey Brewer has been the backup point guard while Mo Williams battles..........well..........whatever injuries seem to keep him from playing. Moreover, Zach Lavine hasn't been terrible, although he, presumably like many members of the Bighorns, could certainly improve at the defensive end of the floor.

Ricky Rubio is expected back sometime during January and, from my understanding, Kevin Martin will return somewhere around the same time period. So, there may be minutes for Heslip if the Wolves decide to sign him, but the window of opportunity is only so wide with the of Rubio and Martin just around the corner (I hope).

Right now, Anthony Bennett and Robbie Hummel are the remaining bigs the Wolves can substitute at power forward and center behind Gorgui Dieng and Thaddeus Young. At a mere 6'8'', Hummel and Bennett are both too undersized to play center. Meanwhile, Young is considered an undersized power forward.

The Timberwolves are tied at 21st among NBA teams in rebounds per game. Ergo, as unorthodox as Brewer playing point guard may look -- and as badly as this club needs to attempt more three pointers -- Heslip may not be the answer right now. Perhaps Jeff Adrien could be around longer than some of us may have expected.

Adrien has appeared in eight games after being signed by the Wolves by way of a hardship exemption. He's averaging 3.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 11 minutes per game during that time.

(Sorry about the late post, peeps. I was up past my bedtime.)