We might as well jump right into this, it's the long awaited First TWolvesblog Open Mailbag. (Ok, so maybe it wasn't "long awaited"... heck, perhaps it wasn't even "awaited.") Regardless, I got some quality questions from eight people, covering a very large and diverse range of topics from: meeting players after games, potential massive Wolves/NBA trades, my favorite and least favorite players, and which I like more... Patron or Grey Goose.
(Click "Read More..." to dive into the MailBag.)
You talk from time to time about running into the players out and about after the games. Do you have any good interaction stories with players on the current team? Do wolves players ever party with opposing teams players downtown?
CW: Initially, I thought I could go on for days in response to this question… but, I’m not sure that’s the most professional thing to do in this type of media. So, I’ll keep it shorter than I had originally planned. No offense to you Pants, and thanks for the question. As far as good interaction stories, I’ve got some which happened last year. Marko and Justin Reed were easily the two most recognizable and approachable players when seen “out and about.” Bonk and I ran into Marko on multiple occasions, and I’ve talked to him in-depth a few times. He was very nice and our conversations were always much more than just a “Hey, it’s Marko!” type conversation. We always saw him out with his two infamous female “friends”, who we have oddly not seen this year. I guess it’s not as odd when we learned that he was dating Adriana Lima. One night we partied in the Escape Ultra-Lounge VIP with Justin Reed. One of our acquaintances had gotten a bottle of Grey Goose and JReed came over and sat by the four of us. We talked to him for quite some time and shared the Goose with him. That was a blast and is probably my best story.
We’ve seen some guys out this season, but not with the same frequency as we did last year. I’m sure that will probably increase as the season progresses and the players get to know each other and Wittman better. The best story this season was probably observing Craig Smith, Corey Brewer, Chris Richard, and Antoine Walker partying together at Club Aqua after a game. That was pretty funny. Corey was awkwardly talking to some chick at the bar, and ‘Toine was dancing/singing by himself. Lol.
As for Wolves partying with opposing players… we’ve only seen it once. One time last year after a home game against the Spurs, Tony Parker was in VIP with Foye. I know because I was there and chatted with Foye a little bit. Someone told me it was probably because they had the same agent, which makes sense. Other than that, we don’t ever see opposing players. Probably because most teams don’t usually stick around too long after games. Would you want to stay in this frozen tundra any longer than you had to? I sure wouldn’t!
So on your post, i thought id write you a quick question. Despite the ugly record of the Wolves do you think Telfair has been a nice addition.?
CW: Thanks for the question Mad_dog. I agree that our record is beyond terrible, but it can’t really be attributed to Telfair. He’s played great for us this season. In fact, he has played so far beyond my pre-season expectations it’s not even funny. So to answer your question, Yes, I think he’s been a great addition. He’s easily the “purest” healthy point guard on our roster at this point in the season. It remains to be seen if Foye can come back and help contribute as a serviceable point guard this season. Until then, Telfair is our best option. Marko is a decent point guard in a pinch, but he is better suited as a versatile 2/3 off the bench (in my opinion.) I wish that we could have signed Telfair this off-season, but he declined the (cheap) extension we offered him and is a free agent after this season. Maybe he is playing well because it’s his contract year, but that’s hard to say. I think it’s more likely that he’s simply finally learning the ropes of the hardest position to play in the NBA. Remember he’s only 22 years old and would be a senior in college if he had gone that route. I wouldn’t break the bank resigning him, but he does appear to be finally showing flashes of the potential that made him the #13 pick three seasons ago.
I know you love Bill Simmons, so here is your chance to be B.S. Jr. - Are there any realistic/feasible trades that you would like to see the Wolves pull off?
CW: That I do my friend. There are a lot of trades that I’d LOVE to do, but I don’t know how feasible or realistic they would be. Also, god knows our Front Office probably wouldn’t be willing to pull the trigger on them. Anyhow, let’s take the trade machine for a little whirl:
1) Marko Jaric to Cleveland for Eric Snow: Trade ID #4365270 This is a good trade for both teams. The Wolves get out from Marko’s huge remaining contract and get a mentor PG for Foye/Telfair/possible draft pick. Eric Snow is a great character guy that can teach our youngsters and won’t complain about playing time. Cleveland gets a versatile sub at the 1, 2, or 3. They need the help and Marko would fit in with the other foreign guys on their roster. I also think Marko’s game would gel quite well with Lebron. Probability: 50%
2) Michael Doleac + Rashad McCants to the Clippers for Corey Maggette: Trade ID #4365171
What’s not to love about this trade? Granted, I would have loved it a lot more if we had kept KG this off-season, but I’d still do it if Maggette was willing. We could use a true SF like Maggette, an absolute stud at getting to the free- throw line. The Clippers do it because Maggette has been purportedly in Coach Dunleavy’s doghouse for a couple of years now. The Clippers get young “potential” in Rashad McCants, and a salary dump with by taking back Doleac, who is an expiring contract. Probability: 35%
3) Michael Doleac + Greg Buckner + Rashad McCants + Gerald Green + Craig Smith to Philadelphia for Andre Miller + Thaddeus Young: Trade ID #4365275 I like this trade a lot. Philly gets to dump Andre Miller’s contract for an expiring (Doleac), a cheap contract (Buckner), and young cheap talent (the rest of the guys.) They are rebuilding and this gives them more options. The Wolves do this because like Eric Snow, we get a mentor PG for Foye/Telfair/possible draft pick in Andre Miller. Unlike Snow, he can still play and is one of the better “pure” point guards in the league. His contract is spendy, but only has another year remaining after this season. We get a young talent at SF in Thaddeus Young, whose upside is very high. Probability: 25%
4) Theo Ratliff’s Skeleton + Rashad McCants + Gerald Green + Craig Smith + Future 1st Round draft pick if necessary to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas: Trade ID #4365195 I’d do some variation on this trade in a heartbeat… if Arenas would be willing to re-sign with us. Everyone knows that he is a free agent this season, and the Wizard’s Front Office has said that “we will re-sign Gilbert.” However, it doesn’t sound like Arenas is 100% committed to re-signing with Washington. Rather than lose him for nothing, they get two young players with “potential”, a solid “big” man in Craig Smith, and don’t take back additional salary thanks to Theo’s Ghost, which expires after this season. Probability: 5%
5) Theo’s Expiring Contract Agreement + Gerald Green + Rashad McCants + Craig Smith to the Sonics for Kevin Durant + Nick Collison + Jeff Green + Robert Swift. Just a sweet, sweet dream. That is all, nothing more. It does work under the cap though: Trade ID #4365218 Probability: -1,000,000,000,000%
6) Buckle up for this one. Disclaimer: The money doesn’t quite work out per se, but believe me, it is close. All it needs is a little tweaking and it could be legit:
- Pau Gasol + Juan Carlos Navarro + Javaris Crittenton to Minnesota
- Tyrus Thomas + Kwame Brown + Gerald Green + Craig Smith to Memphis
- Kobe Bryant to Chicago
- Theo Ratliff + Rashad McCants + Andres Nocioni + Ben Gordon + Joakim Noah + Wolves future #1 pick + Chicago future #1 pick to the Lakers
Now, is that a trade or is that a trade! Probability: 0.5%
Any chance that I email this to Bill Simmons and he adopts me?
I propose the T-Wolves begin selling half-game or quarter-game discounted tickets. They only play part of each game, anyway. Loyal fans (& I consider myself one) cannot invest emotionally in such extended futility. The players don’t. The fans shouldn’t be expected to do so, either.
CW: Ogish, that’s a very progressive thought, but I don’t think the Wolves ticket office would find it to be quite as witty. I get where you are coming from though and hope our young guys can become more consistent as the season goes on and they accrue more in-game experience. All is not lost yet, as we are only about a third of the way through the season. Don’t give up on them yet… even though I know it can be very hard at times. It would be funny though if they did sell half-game tickets and you either had to leave at halftime, or couldn’t enter until halftime. What a scene that would be, making people get up and leave at halftime. Most of the games I don’t think too many people would even put up a fight to stay, which is the sad thing. I’m positive SILENT ABABU would still find some loophole around that though.
Which do you prefer, Patron or Grey Goose? Oh, and are the Wolves going to set the record for the least wins ever?
- Mike in Colorado
CW: That’s what I’m talkin about; we’re getting into some subjects I can relate to. Personally, if I had to pick one I’d go with Patron. Honestly, I think Grey Goose is overrated… probably because it’s perceived as the drink of the “Balla’s” if you catch my drift. In my opinion Grey Goose doesn’t necessarily taste much “better” than any other top shelf, yet still reasonably priced, vodka’s available at any clubs and/or bars. Obviously, the Goose is much better tasting than the bottom line crap like Karkov. If I had to choose I’d go with Absolut or the slightly cheaper Smirnoff. I like Patron because it’s pretty much the only Tequila that I can drink without gagging, and goes down very smooth. Ever since taking an inhumane amount of Tequila shots on my 20th birthday, I haven’t even been able to so much as smell it since. Sorry Mike, but I don’t know much about the other brands of Tequila (as I don’t drink them), so I can’t really give you any pointers there.
To answer your Wolves question: Right now the Wolves are on pace to win 12 or 13 games purely by linear comparison. So no, I don’t think we’ll win only 8 games, which would be needed to set the record for futility. The worst record ever is 9-73, set by the ’72-’73 Sixers I believe. I think the Wolves will start to gel and probably win a few of the close games that we’ve been losing so far, later in the season. We might be close to the record though!
Who is your least favorite Timberwolf and why?
Who is your favorite Timberwolf, and why?
Who is your favorite Timberwolf Dancer, and why?
- Dan in Edina, MN
CW: Dan In Edina… you related to “Dan from Woodbury” from any chance? Lol, I kid. Thanks for the questions:
1) I don’t think it’s any secret that my least favorite player is Mr. Rashad McCants. To save my knuckles from bleeding, I should just suggest you go read my forum posts… but that would be a lot of work. Here’s the short of it. He can be an arrogant punk at times both on and off the court, his game is inconsistent, and his defense is typically sub-par. One can argue that players shouldn’t have to give the time of day to fans off the court, and McCants certainly doesn’t. All the times I’ve casually said something to him or observed him, he’s been a pompous ass. Some people don’t agree with me, but my buddies and I were slightly offended by the fact that he wore gym shorts and a cutoff t-shirt to the official Timberwolves draft party this summer at NBA City. Would it kill him to dress up when representing the organization at an official function? Craig Smith was dressed nice, so why couldn’t he? He was also visibly upset and shaking his head when it was announced that the Wolves drafted Corey Brewer. Shortly after, he and his entourage left the draft party. What’s up with that Rashad? Very immature and anything but classy. As for his game on the court, he could be decent, but I am very put off by his lazy and “reaching” defense, his turnovers, his propensity to jack up shots outside of the flow of an offense, and the fact that he complains up and down the court to both Wittman and the referees. How does he ever expect to get any calls when he is constantly complaining? And don’t forget him clapping when he thinks he’s “open” on the three-point line, or neglecting to rebound and running back down court when shots go up on the defensive end. Those are the reasons why he’s my least favorite player.
2) Gomes. Not only is he my favorite Timberwolf, but he is my favorite player in the entire NBA (after KG of course.) So, needless to say, I was pretty pumped when we traded for him. I like that he’s a classy player with a high “basketball IQ”, and does the little things that teams need players to do to win. He’s what most people would call an ideal “glue” guy. He’s not excellent at anything, but rather a Jack Of All Trades, so to speak. I appreciate his hustle on the offensive boards and the way he buckles down on defense. He’s a great character guy and from all reports seems very down to earth. He would be a great piece for a contending team, but I think he’ll be able to contribute here as well. He’s only 25 and can grow with the rest of our youngsters. It would kill me if we didn’t resign him this off-season.
3) Erica (http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/dancers/profile_erica_0708.html ) I have my reasons.
Looking into the crystal ball, give me the Wolves' final win/loss record for the season.
Will you be able to convince your girl to name your child anything Wolves/sports related?
Outside of Britt Robson, who's your favorite sports mind in town?
- N. Ebi
CW: Lol, it’s always nice to hear from someone named Ndudi. I digress, but I thought you were toiling away in Europe somewhere? Nevertheless thanks for emailing. To answer your questions:
1) Wolves Record: My guess is that we end up 14-68 as our team currently stands. If you were still on the team and playing any minutes at all, I’d guess 6-76.
2) If it’s a boy, I might try for some variation on Ryan Gomes Kelsey, but I’m 99.9% sure it won’t fly. Still, there’s always a chance no matter how slim. Ohhhh yeah.
3) Well, you nailed that. Britt Robson is not only my favorite local writer, but he’s honestly the best basketball mind I know, and my favorite person to read in regards to anything involving the NBA. I would have said Steve Aschburner, but he was recently “let go” by the Star Tribune and now writes for CNNSI.com. Ok ok, I’ll stop beating around the bush and pick a local writer. I’d have to say probably Jim Souhan because he’s not afraid to rip the Wolves Front Office and can be brutally honest at times. Sometimes his schtick can be lame, but he can also be rather witty too. Next up would be bloggers… I like reading the stuff from my fellow columnists on TWolvesblog a lot too. There are some good Wolves bloggers out there right now.
lissen up. first of all, im lissenin to a combo of everclear, snoop doog, & 36.. like diiisss. (says the hot boyz.) but for real, what happened tonight. we dropped one thirty one. one thirty one? DAM! so whats up with telfair. hes lookin good. but we dont have him after this year. eh. here comes my question - if a walker raced bevetta right now, who would win? and question number two reads like this: who wins in a woman-pickin-up contest on this team?
ps - dickau and frahm both play for the clips?? really!?
- Baked man kg fan
palmdale, CEE AYE! - me & afROman.
CW: I think this is the point where Simmons would say “Yep, those are my readers.” However, I did promise that I would respond to every email/comment, so I won’t leave poor Baked Man hanging. My guess is that you were “baked” while typing this, which is cool and all… it really adds to your persona. If you are just faking it… well then, hell, more power to you because I love reading your forum posts.
In regards to the Indiana game, I have NO idea how the Wolves managed to drop 131 on them. Even more impressive is that the Wolves only scored 20 points in the first quarter, and then 111 points through the final 3 quarters. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. I believe that the 131 was the second most points that the Wolves have ever scored in a game, fyi.
I wish we had Telfair beyond this season. However, as I mentioned above, he turned down the contract extension we offered him. We can’t negotiate with him again until after the season is over. My guess is that some other team will offer him more money than the Wolves are willing to, and he’ll leave. It might not be a terrible loss if Foye can come back healthy and/or we draft a top point guard in the draft this off-season. Still, he’d be a good backup if we can keep him reasonably cheap. I just don’t think that will happen.
Lol, I love that you have some Wolves thoughts but then your “question” is who will win in a footrace between Antoine Walker and Dick Bavetta. Haha, that’s priceless. If I had to guess, I’d say Antoine beats him by a hair. Charles Barkley is deceptively fast and I think he could beat Walker. However, Walker is not as fat or out of shape as everyone jokes about. So yeah, Walker would win… but just barely. I think question that begs to be asked is, if Antoine and Bavetta race, will they kiss each other on the lips after it’s over?
Marko wins a “woman pickin-up contest” easily. No one else on our team would even be close. You can’t compete with his Euro-Flair.
P.S. No doubt right? What a trip.
Palmdale, California huh? That’s cool… good to see we got readers from some far off places.
Thanks to everyone that participated and sent in questions or comments, I couldn’t do it without you all. Feel free to leave any comments or whatnot below.
Hopefully we can do this again sometime… feel free to email me any questions or comments and I can save them for the next edition. The more questions I get, the sooner I can open another Mailbag.