Incoherent Rambling. Let that be the theme for this post. Incoherent rambling loosely structured in bullet proof form, in a slight effort to sum up several topics surrounding the Wolves these days. In summary, we are in a complete transitional period. We have yet to find a coach, or complete our roster changes, so lets all collectively pipe down with the talk of the Wolves winning 10 games next year. We're not done. Despite the fact that by the time I finish this write up, we could have traded another 20% of the roster for another fat, aging, three point chucker (we did get, perhaps, one of the worst three point chuckers in NBA history not named Antoine Walker (another former Wolf, ironic?), the show must go on.
Besides, it has been a few weeks since I provided material for a solid morning trip to the corner stall. Enjoy.
(NOTE: By the time I did finish this, the Wolves traded for another has-kind of-been.)
- Current Roster
If the Wolves opened the season today, here would be our extremely talented lineup:
PG - Jonny Flynn, Chucky Atkins, Bobby Brown; SG - Quentin Richardson, Damien Wilkins, Wayne Ellington; SF - Ryan Gomes, Corey Brewer, Brian Cardinal; PF - Kevin Love, Darius Songaila, Oleksiy Pecherov; C - Al Jefferson
You can see here why many think we are going to win between 3 and 6 games next year with that doozy of a lineup. A few basketball-related points of dicsussion for early on in the season, assuming the key guys stick on the roster:
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For those of us that were not able to catch tonight's Wolves-Wizards summer league game, valued forum member "YoLeo" did a great recap/play-by-play post in our forum. Feel free to check out the forums for insightful Wolves chatter, and here's hist post of tonight's game:
From forum member YoLeo:
Flynn not starting this game for some reason, Bobby Brown getting some early burn.
Ellington is coming out aggressive, hits an early 3. Nick Young is playing like he really wants to be in the starting 5 (Too bad it'll never come, buried like no other in Washington. Kid from LA's got game though.), establishing himself on the offensive end with a gorgeous fastbreak hanging layup. Brown is throwing up brick after brick. Ellington's trying to do a little bit of everything, facilitating to a useless Brown. Wayne's 2 for 3 with 6 points.
Rick Kamla just spoke with Kahn, Flynn will be coming off the bench later.
Wolves are playing really fast right now, running a lot and getting to the line a lot. Good stuff. Ellington is playing some tenacious D as well, stopping a 1 on 1 break on his own. Flynn finally in, along with Henderson.
Flynn instantly a factor in the game, splitting the D and finds an open teammate at the arc... who misses. Make that twice in 2 consecutive possessions, but Henderson/Oleksiy couldn't convert. Young still shooting the lights out.
Wow, there goes Flynn again, 3rd offensive possession, dances his defender's off balance and caught them switching, drives hard, hangs, hits, AND-1!! He's trying hard to find teammates, but it's obvious when he wants to score. He does it at will, shown by another gorgeous dribble-drive beautiful reverse lay-in.
Flynn slices through the defense with ease again then somehow finds an open teammate on the wing out of a sea of defenders, but what's new? Random white guy (Probably Kurz) misses open look after that dish. Another beautiful fake and then good find to another open teammate who bricks.
Ellington picks up a loose ball after a missed drive by Henderson, cuts to the basket and tosses it in right before the 1st quarter buzzer!
Wolves up 27-16, looks easy out there when Flynn's on the floor directing the team.
To read about the rest of the game, please click "Read More" to continue...
We here at TWolvesBlog would like to extend a congratulations to Tim Coshonet, the winner of the First Annual TWolvesBlog Mock Draft Lottery Contest. Tim took home the Wolves tickets with a total of 21 points. His winning predictions were as follows:
To see the results in their entirety, please click "READ MORE" to see how everyone did!
Transformational was the word a strange guy who keeps making my day used to describe Ricky Rubio on draft night. Yes, David Kahn, you are always selling me something, but, so far, I’m buying it. I have no idea how you landed 18 year old Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio for Mike Miller and the Brandon Roy cursed Randy Foye but you did, you magnificent goofball. Foye and Miller’s contracts were going to be up after the 2009-2010 season and you turned them into franchise changer Ricky Rubio. Yes, you needed a little luck but the fact remains, you pulled it off.
With the fifth pick in the 1995 draft the newly appointed Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale took a skinny 18 year old that became the face of the franchise and a global superstar. With the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft newly appointed David Kahn drafted a skinny 18 year old who has a chance to be the face of the franchise, already is a global superstar and drops a jaw with every dime. There is symmetry here but let’s hope when it comes to symmetry between McHale and Kahn, besides drafting skinny 18 year olds, never the Twain shall meet for pizza again.
David Kahn and the Minnesota Timberwolves also owned the 6th pick in the draft and the selection of Jonny Flynn sent shock waves through the basketball universe. David Kahn had the gall to draft another point guard. The reason why the national media is in a tizzy is not because the Timberwolves drafted Jonny Flynn, it’s because it seems they can’t fathom superstar Ricky Rubio playing in Minnesota. The drafting of Flynn gave them another talking point besides Rubio not wanting to play in the Twin Cities because of the weather or it’s not a big enough market.
Here are the specifics: Ricky Rubio has never stated that he doesn’t want to play in Minnesota. Ricky Rubio has clearly stated in an interview on draft night that he doesn’t care about the cold. The world stated a long time ago that it is cold in New York as well as Minnesota. The Twin Cities continue to be the 13th largest television market in the NBA and continually prove to be overflowing with culture and night life.
To continue reading, please click the "READ MORE" link below.
All this Rubio talk is driving me insane. I could post a thousand links from bloggers/writers/National Media from the past 2 weeks, but what's the point? No one really knows what's happening. It's all pure speculation and innuendo. And it should really stop. Aren't people going freaking crazy bored and tired about commenting on the same tired speculation and quotes over and over and over and over times infinity?
Here's what I think about the situation:
Let's just all step back and relax. The situation will eventually resolve itself. It's going to take some TIME. His buyout needs to be figured out with Joventut. Just take a breath and relax. If Rubio wants to play in the NBA, it will be with the Wolves (unless we stupidly trade him.) Time is on our side. Maybe he stays in Spain for another year or two, big deal. He'd only be 20 years old two years from now. The Wolves (and us fans) can afford to wait. As long as he doesn't suffer a career ending injury, he's only a BIGGER asset for our club in two years.
We can all stop worrying and focus about more important things, namely, how the hell is this Wolves team going to win games next year? We need scoring. Heck, we need actual NBA players. Let's just see what Kahn can do between now and when the season starts. I'm not overly confidant about our team next year, but I'm not going to waste time speculating on the Rubio situation.
We might be the anti-Bulls next year (record = 10-72), but at least then we'll have a better draft pick that we still don't owe the LA Clippers.
I just wanted to take a moment and respond to a recent comment that was made on Hardwood Paroxysm regarding my take on the Ricky Rubio situation. Basically, what I said was completely taken out of context and the way it was relayed made myself and this site look ridiculous. I'm not upset with Matt Moore or HP at all. I get that he was trying to look for examples to prove his point that Minnesota fans are over-reacting to the Rubio situation and there's not many Wolves blogs out there to build his case off of. He saw something that looked border-line extreme and ran with it. However, I feel the need to respond for two reasons. #1 - To prove I'm not the crazy person that Matt implied I am, and #2 - because it's a good reason to write another front page post!
For those of you wondering, the offending post, entitled "The State of Minnesota is Now the Edge of Madness", can be found here.
For those of you looking to get down to the heart of the matter, here's the excerpt from his post that I took issue with:
They’ve bought into the idea that “sure, he may not be around next year, but eventually he’ll be here.” What’s the success rate on that? And in the meantime, you have a #5 pick that has netted you absolutely nothing. Not only that, but there’s the level of exaggeration the kid has created in the fanbase, even as he makes it pretty obvious he has no interest in suiting up in Minny’s colors.
We’re not just talking “Wow, he’s going to be a great addition to this team as we rebuild, the future still is bright!” No, no. We’re talking “He is (not ‘going to be’, is) better than Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams.”
You see, I never, NEVER said that Ricky Rubio is better than Dwayne Wade or Deron Williams. That's insane. In fact, I said the exact opposite...
Ricky Rubio is a once in a generation talent, and, at the moment, I can count on one hand the number of players I'd accept as compensation for him (LeBron, Kobe, Dwight, Chris Paul, and maybe Bosh). I'm not saying that Dwayne Wade, or Deron Williams, or a handful of players aren't better than Rubio, but Ricky is one of a kind. If you trade away Ricky, you're never going to be able to replace him. As large of a haul as Kahn may be able to receive in a Rubio deal, I'd much rather see him hang onto Ricky and try to acquire those important pieces with our other assets. Rubio's a special player, and if he'll simply embrace the people of Minnesota, the T-Wolves nation is more than willing to make him our superstar.
Maybe that wasn't 100% clear, but what I essentially said was this - "I'd trade Ricky for LeBron, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and maybe Chris Bosh. Even though Dwayne Wade and Deron Williams and a handful of other players ARE BETTER, I'd rather hang onto Ricky.
So maybe you're thinking, "Yup, Derek, you aren't crazy for saying that Ricky Rubio is better than Dwayne Wade, but you ARE crazy for not being willing to trade Ricky Rubio for Dwayne Wade." If so, fair enough. However, I have my reasons for feeling that way, and I think they're at least fairly legit and not on "the edge of madness":
#1 - Dwayne Wade already has a lot of miles on that body of his. How much longer can he continue to to play the way he does before it takes its toll? Personally, I see Wade as a great player, but one with a limited shelf-life. Ricky Rubio is 18 years old. The Wolves aren't ready to contend at the moment, even with Wade. I'd rather see the Wolves stick with somebody who's going to be 21 in 2012, than somebody who may be limping around the court.
#2 - Guys like Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, and whatever other all-stars you want to throw in there, all have, or will soon have, fat contracts. Ricky's going to be making rookie money for another three seasons. If we go and trade for Deron Williams and you put his salary next to Al Jefferson's, we're done. That's your team - Williams, Jefferson, and Love. You're done with free-agency and you're flirting with the luxury tax on any trades. Williams, Jefferson, and Love aren't winning you a title. It's a definite upgrade, and a likely playoff team, but I'm going to pass. I want Kahn to build for a championship. With a core of Ricky, Jefferson, and Love, potentially three 1st rounders in 2010, youngsters like Brewer and Flynn, and tons of expiring contracts, I think the better route for the Wolves to take is to keep Rubio and build the remainder of this team with those other assets.
#3 - I just flat-out love the way Ricky plays basketball. He's fun to watch and he brings a dynamic to the game that no other player does. I'd really like to see where he'd be able to take this team. Our guard play for the past three seasons has been beyond pathetic. We haven't had a legit point guard since the day Sam Cassell was traded away. Maybe, just maybe, having somebody who can orchestrate the offense the way that Rubio can will finally help all our other players reach their potential. He himself may not be better than the other players I've listed, but if he indirectly makes Jefferson better, and Love better... Now we're talking something special. Maybe I'm just pulling this out of my rear, but I'd really love to at least what the kid can do before we just ship him away sight unseen.
So am I on the "edge of madness"? I would like to think that I'm not. I didn't go into great detail in my initial claims regarding Rubio, Dwayne Wade and Deron, so it's understandable why they were taken out of context. Like I said before, no hard feelings with Matt. I just felt like I should clarify my statements as HP is one of the web's premiere baskeball blogs. I do have a blog network to run after all. Nobody's going to want to turn their site over to a crazy guy!no comments
After a scathing post-draft article in 2008, I feel I owe the Timberwolves a moment of praise following their masterful 2009 effort. Let the haters say what they will, Kahn took the two best players on the board with his back-to-back #5 and #6 picks. When you're a team in the middle of a major rebuilding phase and you can use help at nearly every position, you draft the best player available. Period.
Right now, the focus on the Timberwolves needs to be acquiring as many assets as possible, first, and wondering how those assets fit together, second. There's plenty of opportunity to fill in the gaps and exchange parts through free-agency and trades. The Wolves are far better off parlaying Johnny Flynn into a proven young veteran shooting guard via a trade, than trying to make due with Stephen Curry if they really weren't convinced about his game. The undeniable truth is that, two years ago, this Timberwolves franchise was in draft-pick debt, cap-strapped beyond repair, and had one tradeable asset - Kevin Garnett. After last night, we now have four very hot commodities - Jefferson, Love, Rubio, and Flynn, have potentially three first-round picks in 2010, and tons of cap flexibility. Kahn has the world on a string and will be involved in practically every trade conversation requiring a third party for the next year or two. Not since the days of KG, Steph, and Googs has the future looked so bright in Minnesota.
As far as all the talk of Rubio and Flynn not being able to co-exist goes, I find it to be quite short-sighted. I agree that Kahn's scheme to play both guys at the same time is a pipe-dream, much like the Love/Jefferson front-court that was hyped following the Mayo swap. The pairings may work in short bursts or in certain situations, but, in general, the Wolves will be much better off with a true shooting guard next to Ricky and a center next to Big Al. However, nobody plays 48 minutes per game. Having Flynn come off the bench ensures that the Wolves will have solid play at the point throughout the entire game. Finding a quality point guard is perhaps the most important, and probably the hardest, part of building a contending team. Kahn can now check that box on his to-do list and focus on filling out our shooting guard, small forward, and center positions.
Finally, a lot of people have stated that the Wolves have somehow shown a "lack of confidence" in Rubio by drafting Flynn, which has caused the young phenom to want out of Minnesota. My bet is that this is a bunch of smoke being blown by talking heads looking for an interesting post-draft story, and a typical ploy by the New York media following a draft in which they missed out on every player they wanted. Regardless of whether or not he feels threatened by Flynn, the bottom line is that if Ricky Rubio wants to play in the NBA - and he does - he's going to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. If he wants to go play in Spain for a year or two and work on his game, he can be our guest. In America, the Timberwolves hold his rights.
If Kahn is smart, and thus far he's done nothing to make me think otherwise, he'll continue to hold on to them and ignore the trade hype that everyone now seems to eager to spew. Ricky Rubio is a once in a generation talent, and, at the moment, I can count on one hand the number of players I'd accept as compensation for him (LeBron, Kobe, Dwight, Chris Paul, and maybe Bosh). I'm not saying that Dwane Wade, or Deron Williams, or a handful of players aren't better than Rubio, but Ricky is one of a kind. If you trade away Ricky, you're never going to be able to replace him. As large of a haul as Kahn may be able to receive in a Rubio deal, I'd much rather see him hang onto Ricky and try to acquire those important pieces with our other assets. Rubio's a special player, and if he'll simply embrace the people of Minnesota, the T-Wolves nation is more than willing to make him our superstar.
At the end of the day, the Timberwolves took their 5th and 6th picks, and, without making a trade, managed to walk away with my #1 (Rubio) and #4 (Flynn) prospects in this draft. How anyone could possibly call this outcome a failure or cause for concern is beyond me. Outside of the Lakers, Cavaliers, and Magic, I can't think of a single team in the league with as many assets or as much potential as the T-Wolves. We're certainly not ready to contend with the likes of those three, but the plan to get us there is fully in motion. Al Jefferson is a beast, Kevin Love is a work horse, Ricky Rubio has basketball in his DNA, and I'm already beginning to form a KG-ish man-crush on Johnny Flynn. We've got picks galore. We've got nearly an entire roster of expiring contracts. And most importantly, we finally, after five long years, have a future.no comments
The Timberwolves selected Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio with the fifth pick of the draft, and Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn with the sixth pick. New York is rumored to be hot on Rubio's trail, trade-wise.
At #18, they picked North Carolina PG Ty Lawson, but they will trade him to Denver for a first-round pick from Charlotte, with the pick coming in one of the next five years.
That pick is protected as follows:
- Top-12 in 2010
- Top-10 in 2011
- Top-8 in 2012
- Top-3 in 2013
- Unprotected in 2014
With the 45th pick, the Wolves took point guard Nick Calathes from Florida. Reports are that the Wolves will trade Calathes to Dallas for future cash and draft considerations. That's as attributed to a league executive.
With the 47th pick, Minnesota selected Dutch forward Henk Norel, who immediately has one of the best names of any Wolves draftee. He played with Rubio for DKV Joventut this year. We won't be seeing Norel anytime soon - three years at least.
Click "Read More" to see a night's worth of updates, under the cut.