Ok. Here we go.
There is no need for a long introduction here, as you all are likely familiar with the Canis Hoopus Mock Draft. For anyone stopping by, a group of 30ish people were assigned random teams and told to run wild. We traded players, draft picks, and then eventually did a mock draft once the dust had settled. Free Agency comes next and that shall be a whole 'nother adventure upon itself.
Anyways, where better to get torn apart than being assigned your own team? As everyone has extensive knowledge of the Wolves, I'm sure the critiques shall be even tougher.
I had no gameplan other than try to make the Wolves a playoff contender. As the current roster sits, it is hard to imagine the Wolves competing for anything other than a low playoff seed next year. However, Karl-Anthony Town's playoff window should start now and I wanted to remake the Wolves to be able to do so.
This was the first step, as I wanted to bring some veterans to the team who were able to handle some of the matchups that the Wolves could not handle this year. A stretch-4 who could also play Small Forward was exactly what we needed. Carroll hasn't had the best years in Toronto, but he is still a very useful player. I'm just hoping he is not too old/cooked. I think he can be somewhere between what he was in Atlanta and what he was in Toronto. That would be huge for the Wolves and would give them so much needed lineup flexibility. Carroll can also soak up minutes as LaVine works back from his ACL tear.
This was the big one. I offered this trade to Chicago kind of to see what happened. Now, depending on your opinion of Wiggins this was probably a good trade or an amazing one. Jimmy Butler is probably an outer litmus of what Wiggins can become and Butler is on an amazing contract, through 2020, that makes the Wolves extremely competitive right now. Butler was able drag the mish-mash Bulls to the playoffs and now I reunited him with Thibs and have paired him up with one of the best young players in the NBA. I am extremely excited about a Jimmy Butler-Towns pick and roll combination. Butler also solves what is perhaps the biggest problem for the Wolves, which is Wing defense. I thought that was worth giving up Wiggins and the #7 pick for, turning two solid assets into one of the best players in the NBA. The Portis/Tyus swap was kind of a throw in, but I thought Portis was a solid shooting power forward that can hopefully grow with the roster.
The problem now, Jimmy Butler needs the ball is in hands. He also isn't a great 3-point threat. I was pretty worried about our team spacing and how the Spanish Unicorn could fit into this team. Rubio and Gorgui Dieng may not be the best players to surround Jimmy Buckets with, as close to my heart as they are, so I decided at that point I was going to make a big play in free agency for a point guard who can play off-ball as well as on-ball and shoot threes. To do that, I needed a lot more cap space now that I had Butler and Caroll taking up around 30 mill. So I decided to trade Rubio and Dieng
I wasn't too happy with this trade, but after getting around 5-8 other offers, it was the best one on the table. As Wolves fans are well aware, it was extremely hard to get good value for Rubio. I also severely undersold Dieng in this trade, as it is not clear that Favors is any better that Gorgui. However, Favors was a little cheaper, and could hopefully provide a more traditional power forward role than Gorgui being forced to play out of position. The OKC pick was helpful to get, as a future asset considering the Wolves are losing their first round pick. All in all, I was not pleased with doing this, but felt I had to sell low in order to get enough cap space for free agency.
I was pretty scared about my point guard rotation of Kris Dunn and Dante Exum heading into the year in case I struck out in free agency. This trade gave me an out in case everything fails. Pat Beverley is perfect for what this team needs, as he can play off-ball if needed, is amazing on defense, and is on an amazing cheap contract. I felt that was worth parting with Dunn for, considering I have Exum now, and a pick that would likely be in the 20s. I had a safety net now.
This one was offered to me and I snatched it up pretty quick. I had zero interest in Aldrich and was not excited about paying him 7 mill. Grant and Zipser were surprisingly interesting the more I looked into them so I was happy to fill out my lineup with cheap, semi-interesting young players
Willy looks like a fun center who can score off the bench. He will be a great backup to Towns and can hopefully put pressure on other teams when he comes in. He's also really cheap (on a rookie deal) and let's the Wolves do some fun lineups of Towns-Willy if we want to go really big. Seemed like a no-brainer considering Zipser would be riding the pine a lot.
Trade 6: Derrick Favors and Jerian Grant for Thad Young
I have a lot of players currently on my team who I am counting on coming back strong after bad years/injuries. Carroll had an up and down year, as did Favors, and LaVine is coming back from an ACL tear. Favors also does not stretch the floor (which was the goal next to Towns to play a 5-out line-up to let our guards attack the rim). I tried a lot of different trade options out, but this one ended up working. Thad had a less than great experience in MN, but hopefully this time will be much better as he is surrounded by a great starting lineup. We think he could fit in perfectly next to Towns.
Overall, I ended up trading everyone on the Wolves except LaVine and Towns. Part of that is simply due to the fact that trades are fun, but i also felt like I wanted to create a roster that makes sense around Jimmy Butler, so after that trade I felt I had a lot of work to do.
Carroll is probably the player that I wish I hadn't traded for by the end, as his contract is not helpful. I have tried all sorts of iterations to move him (so many trade offers for Al-Fariq Aminu and barely missing out on a Carroll for Jared Dudley swap), but have been unsuccessful so far.
My theoretical current starting lineup is Pat Beverley- LaVine - Butler- Thad Young - Towns with Carroll coming off the bench. I think I can compete for a top-4 seed with that line-up, and I have a bunch of young prospects who will hopefully get better as time goes on. I also have about 26 million in cap space (for an unnamed player who is good at defense, running the point, shooting threes, and recently played in New Orleans) this free agency that I am to use, as we will be going over the cap pretty soon with new deals for LaVine and Towns.
Leaving: Bjelica, Wiggins, Tyus Jones, #7 pick, Kris Dunn, Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng
Incoming: Demarre Carroll, Jimmy Butler, Bobby Portis, Patrick Beverley, Denver 2nd round pick, Willy Hernangomez, Thad Young
Excited to hear what you think (outside of the evisceration for the Rubio trade)!