Wolves on the free agent trail

Benjamin Polk —  July 3, 2012 — 17 Comments

Any of these names sound good to you: Nicolas Batum, Jordan Hill, Greg Stiemsma, Brandon Roy? That’s the shortish list of players that the Wolves are pursuing in free agency this summer. The team has reportedly offered Batum a four-year deal worth around $50 million, although Batum left Minneapolis yesterday without agreeing to a deal.

The wrinkle, of course, is that Batum is merely a restricted free agent, meaning that if Portland is dead set on retaining the lithe Frenchman, there’s not much the Wolves can do about it. On the other hand, as Jerry Zgoda points out, if Batum were committed enough to coming to Minnesota–and Portland were willing to part with him–the Wolves could conceivably land him in a sign-and-trade deal. But that’s all speculation for now.

I will say that, even if the Wolves’ do swing a deal for Pau Gasol, signing Batum would be, in my opinion, their only unequivocally great move of this off-season. Batum is a young, three-point shooting veteran with ridiculous athletic ability and alarmingly long arms. He can convincingly play a few different wing positions and has a Rubio-esque defensive impact: disrupting passing lanes; swallowing up penetrators; sowing general perimeter chaos. He’s a perfect fit for this team and fills a need that’s been aching for years now.

Benjamin Polk

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17 responses to Wolves on the free agent trail

  1. For the love of god. Can something work out for this team?

  2. what postion is gasol gonna play? hes too soft for center and he gonna start .

  3. Could somebody explain to me what the Wolves obsession is with combo players? Is it a strategic approach of some sort? I mean, I guess it is pretty hard to gameplan against a team, when you have no idea who is going to be playing what position, on any given night.

    Seriously though… Roy, Batum, and Stiemsma make sense to me. If we by some miracle got both Roy and Batum, we would definitely have a log jam at the 2 and 3. But given our inconsistency at both postitions last season, I don’t think Kahn, Adelman, or anyone else particularly cares. Especially since Roy’s health is such a huge question mark. Plus, more than likely, some of that logjam would be cleared up, if they did have to do a sign and trade with Portland, to make the Batum thing happen. I doubt Budinger would be involved, as I don’t believe he can be included in a package deal… only straight up for another player. And, even if Portland was ok with that deal, I don’t believe the money would work out.

    No matter what they are able to do though, I am just thrilled to see the Wolves being so active, so early in Free Agency. It has seemed like nothing more than an afterthought, for the last decade!

    Btw- Loved the Budinger trade! Already developed, and ready to roll. Smart move. Would have loved to have seen Royce White back in Minnesota. But I could see people turning on him, in a hurry. And he was already gone by 18 anyways.

  4. Benjamin Polk July 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Oh I think he’d definitely play center. He’d have that major quickness and perimeter game advantage on offense. And as for defense, there aren’t a ton of physical offensive centers that he’d have to guard, besides Bynum and Howard.

  5. I love Batum coming to the wolves especially paired with Budinger. Both can play SG or SF but there real position is somewhere in between, i.e. a wing in the T-wolves system. Both are not only amazing fits to the system but great complements to each others games. I can see those two being very successful together for the wolves, with Rubio, and K-Love running the show and Pek holding down center this team could be really dangerous. Plus they have a good bench with Luke and JJ and the rest

  6. Is there any chance we could get Roy, or is that a long shot rumor? He’s been my favorite player since his college days and I would love to see him restart his career in MN.

  7. Benjamin Polk July 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Oh I think there’s a great chance. The question is: should the Wolves really be giving the mid-level to a guard who recently retired because his knees stopped working and who hasn’t been much good since 2009? That said, I’ve always loved Roy too. Even with those knees, the Roy/Foye trade was a major blunder.

  8. what is our obsession with gasol? love is a better PF and pek is a better C.

  9. According to 1500ESPN, Andre Iguodala is our “option B,” while the guys Ben mentioned are all “option A.” Why in the world do we value Roy, Stiemsma, Hill, or even Batum over Iguodala? Batum is honestly somewhat overrated as a defensive stopper (look at adjusted +/-, etc.) whereas Iguodala is one of the league’s premier defenders, and they are pretty similar offensively.

    #GetIggy.

    That is all.

  10. Agree with Jon. Get Iggy!! But even Nic Batum would be a plus. Get Roy, J Hill, and a decent Center backing up Pek. Rubio,Batum,Williams,Love,Pek. Bench…Luke/JJ,Roy,Chase,Hill,? Center. Just worried about the bench defense.

  11. Batum isn’t a good defender. Statistically he’s pretty clearly a BAD defensive player. To say he has a “Rubio-esque” impact on defense is just absurd and makes me think you haven’t really watched him play much.

  12. KennisTheMenace July 5, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Why can’t the Wolves throw $50 million at someone who is not a SF? For f’s sake how many SF’s does one team need?!!!!!

  13. Having 5 SF’s on your roster doesn’t mean much if you get nothing from them. 1 Batum is worth more than all 5 of Budinger, Johnson, Ellington, Webster, and whatever other square peg the wolves have tried to hammer into that round hole (Beas\Williams).

    The reason we would try to get Batum before Iggy is simple: we don’t have to give anything up. To get Iggy, we will have to lose Williams.

    To all of the “why get Gasol at C” questions- You have to understand what he would do at C in Adelman’s system. The way that Adelman uses the C position (Yao, Divac, Miller), Gasol would be devastating on the offensive end. In defensive situations, or if we had to defend another power C (Kings, Lakers, Howard, or possibly Blazers) then Pek would get more minutes.

    You have to admit that with Gasol, Love, Batum, Buddinger (or Roy) and Rubio, the offense would be pretty good. That is a team that should lead the NBA in 3 pt %. With the potential subs of Berea, Williams, Ridnour, and Pek, you have shooters and Defense available off the bench.

    The team would still need more perimeter D, and would need someone who can create their own shot. Not a bad need list for a team that hasn’t won 30 games in quite a few seasons.

  14. wolves should get gasol and put him at the PF. Then put love at the C because Love can rebound. Also adding Gasol to the team will take the some pressure off Love because Gasol is a very good offensive player. Gasol and Rubio would work well together in 2 man game. Also Pekovic can come off the bench

  15. The Wolves are going to regret letting Beasley go for nothing. He’s gonna blow up with the Sun, I guarantee it!

  16. Batum is a defensive beast. I have a friend in Portland who goes to every home game. She won’t quit talking about how the Blazers need to resign him. Batum would be a HUGE get for the Wolves. Having that length in the backcourt with Rubio would be deadly defensively.

    @JT….and I guarantee you’re smoking the same stuff that B-Easy frequents if you honestly believe that

  17. @Matthew…Lol!! I would argue that, but who am I kidding. Your worthless!

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