It begins

Benjamin Polk —  April 10, 2012 — 5 Comments

Looking ahead to next season while the current season is still underway is almost a Spring ritual of Timberwolves fandom. It looked for all the world like we might actually be able to think about things like whether Kevin Love ever deserved to be mentioned as an MVP candidate or whether the Wolves could conceivably win a playoff game against the Thunder…but at this point those long-ago thoughts seem a little quaint.

So, given the horror of the Wolves’ last few performances, its only fitting that some of us should begin detailing the necessary off-season overhauls. Speculating as to which baroque maneuvers the Taylor/Kahn administration might conceive of has always given me night terrors; I always end up so exceptionally, bewilderingly wrong when I try. But luckily, our friend Stop-n-Pop over at Canis is both braver and more well-versed in the nuances of the salary cap than I.

Here are SnP’s most fundamental recommendations:

  • Avoid multi-year 4-for-4 Kahntracts for bench players.
  • Only splurge on your own draft picks (the good ones–cut bait as quickly as possible on the bad ones) and on players whose Bird Rights you have acquired via trade.
  • Fill out the sub 20 mpg part of the roster with foreign players, D-Leaguers, and 2nd round picks–preferably on 1 year contracts.
  • Derrick Williams and the Utah and/or Memphis picks are the best assets you have to make a move for a 2013 RFA with Bird Rights. Ideally this move would have been made this season (Batum or McGee) but that ship has sailed. In the meantime, the 2/3 should be addressed by targeting Green, Meeks, Lee, Hill (or similar .100wp48+ esque player) + some flier/filler: Evans or someone like Joe Alexander. The other wing spot will hopefully be filled via the Williams RFA trade.
  • Dump as many resources as possible into developing/maintaining a state of the art draft operation. I.e. go over to the U and find some PhD candidates who play pick up ball, count cards, and know how to use excel. This is, never has been, and never will be rocket science.

As SnP admits, this entire endeavor is dreadfully speculative and freighted with unknowns and moving parts; still his piece is quite detailed and very much worth reading.

 

Benjamin Polk

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5 responses to It begins

  1. Sounds like some good ideas. I totally agree about whom to cut the ties with. Being realistic though, knowing who owns the team and who is GM, I think they might do the exact opposite. Kahn has done some good things like bringing Rubio here, but he’s done more things that turned out for bad, Darko being the prime example. It’s not Kahn’s fault that Wes is bad. He was highly touted. Some of my friends even had him for ROY. I am very nervous about the future roster of this team.

  2. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Ivan, you’re right that it’s not Kahn’s fault that Wes is so bad. What IS Kahn’s fault is overvaluing him in the first place by drafting him at #4 when there were clear red flags pre-draft, then continually overvaluing him by not only picking up his 3rd year option and insisting that he just needs more time, but simply by not cutting bait once we realized he just can’t play in the NBA. He also undervalued the #4 pick itself by just selecting Johnson rather than moving the pick for more pieces or just drafting Cousins, who has had demonstrably more value since day 1.

    And that’s just one of the multitude of mistakes Kahn has made at almost every decision other than the absolute no-brainers that every GM would make (draft Rubio at 5, draft Williams at 2)

  4. Jeff, I’m curious what “red-flags” you’re referring to. My memory is that something of a consensus had grown around Johnson as a top-5 pick (which of course doesn’t mean that he should have been taken over Cousins). This isn’t a criticism of your comment at all, I’m just curious.

  5. I’m just hoping Kahn involves Rick Adelman to some degree concerning which players to send away or bring in. Rick did a lot with what we had this year. Think of what he could do with a roster full of players he would prefer to coach instead of having to deal with Darko, B-easy, etc?

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