Archives For Anthony Randolph

The 2011 draft was always going to be a bit tricky.

In what was assumed to be, and what will most likely prove to be, a bad draft for teams seeking rescue from the lottery dungeon of the NBA, there was always going to be the very real possibility that the top picks in the draft may not be worthy of the stigma and expectations of being selected near the top of the draft. I, myself, was worried that selecting someone like Derrick Williams with the second pick would make us all fall in love with the number of the selection and assume he’ll come in right away and give immediate impact to the product on the floor.

After reading Jerry Zgoda’s notebook from today, I’m starting to think that Williams will be brought on a lot slower than we anticipated:

Derrick Williams’ NBA introduction is having its ups and down, enough so that Adelman said he’s asking him now solely to focus on playing power forward.

So much for some fans’ expectations I’ve picked up on Twitter and this here blog that he’d overtake Michael Beasley for the starting small forward job by as soon as opening night.

Remember Beasley was the second overall pick in a stronger 2008 draft and he’s played three pro seasons already.

Williams is struggling with defending small forwards — namely Beasley in practice — out on the floor and for those who wondered at draft time how much he was a duplication of Beasley for now must ask themselves this. Is he rather a duplication of Love?

The allure of Williams was not only his athleticism and skill, but the versatility he should be able to give to the Wolves. He could theoretically dominate at both the 3 and 4 positions and allow the Wolves to play both big or small at any given time. Having him guard someone as skilled offensively as Michael Beasley in training camp was a perfect way to baptize him by fire. See if you can stop him, kid, and we’ll see where you fit in to what we do.

Problem seems to be that he’s not ready to play so much on the perimeter as his college exploits might have hinted. If Williams can’t play the 3 in the NBA right now, then he adds even more to the logjam in the (high) post. This might not be a problem, per se. Going small with Love at center, Williams at the 4 and Beas at the 3 is something we’ve all dreamed about when thinking about the lineups for this team. But knowing it will be difficult to go the other way and play Love with Randolph and Williams flanking him means the hopes of versatility with the Wolves’ lineups quickly begin to vanish like people in photo due to changes in time travel.

Hopefully, this is just a rookie trying to get adjusted to the speed of the game. It’s a bit early to start to worry if Williams is going to be a building block long-term. At the same time, having realistic expectations of what we can expect from him may make things more enjoyable this season, just in case he either starts off much slower than we’d like or ends up breaking through those realistic expectations to make things more exciting for us.

Maybe Williams will stretch out uncomfortable PFs on the perimeter and be able to blow by them with ease. Or maybe he’ll struggle being such a tweener at the 3 and 4 positions and go into the off-season looking to drop 20lbs like Josh Smith did this off-season.

Either way, I trust Adelman to figure out how to best use him and bring him along the correct way.

Does anyone out there know how good Anthony Randolph is? This is not a rhetorical question; I really want to know.  #NBARank says he’s the league’s 220th best player, a solid 4.18 out of 10. But Randolph somehow both much more magnificent and more underwhelming than that.  Is he the dude who dropped 31 points on the Mavs (on only 14 shots) and who laced the Pistons with a steady stream of melted-butter turnarounds, pivots and spinning jump-hooks? Is he the lost soul with the glazed 12-hours-of-Playstation eyes who narcotically floats through entire quarters, only to come fiercely alive with five minutes left of a 20-point loss? Is he the airborne, rim-attacker that all of his compelling athletic gifts suggest he should be? Or is he the languid jump-shooter, who wanders the perimeter and happily obliges whenever teams beg him to shoot from outside?

Here’s what I do know. I know that after he joined the Wolves late last season, he was second on the team in usage rate, using a rather astonishing 27.1% of the Wolves’ possessions when he was on the floor. That’s some serious volume. (To put this in further perspective, that number would have put him at 10th in the league had he played the entire season). Now a lot of that is due both to the Wolves’ rash of injuries towards the end of the year and to Randolph’s extreme garbage time voyages. But still: his true shooting rate was a below-average 53.7%; his turnover rate was a very high 14.6%; he showed an alarming affinity for grabbing a rebound, wildly, triumphantly dribbling the length of the floor and booting the ball out of bounds. Something is deeply out of balance here. And his defensive shortcomings at center, where he’s likely to spend the majority of his minutes this year, just about cancel out the advantage his quickness gives him at the offensive end.

It’s hard to tell what will become of this strange dude. But here’s my best guess: with his blank, far-away demeanor, Anthony Randolph falls into that vast category of NBA player with overwhelming talent but a temperament that prevents that talent from ever fully flowering. This is a pretty magical group. They’ve blessed us with some of our most meaningful crossovers; they’ve given Summer League performances of real transcendence; they’ve blown out birthday candles resting on the rim. There’s really no shame in calling yourself a member.

It’s not every day that an opportunity arises to write about the Timberwolves on the main Truehoop page. But today, by virtue of the Wolves’ glancing involvement with Carmelo Anthony, is one of those days. As such, our boy Zach got his pretty face in the lights. Suffice it to say, he was underwhelmed with the Brewer-for-Randolph deal:

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ESPN is reporting that the Knicks have finally landed Mr. Carmelo Anthony. In exchange, the Knicks have traded almost all of their young players plus Governor’s Island and three scuzzy, bro-infested East Village bars. For us, though, here’s the important part:

New York will send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota as part of the deal in exchange for Corey Brewer, a league source told Broussard.

I hope that, just once, the Wolves deign to put Darko and Curry on the floor together. That would be pure magic.

By the way, Corey Brewer is/was my favorite T-Wolf. This hurts a little.

As you may have heard, Carmelo Anthony wants to play for the New York Knicks. You may have also heard that, for various reason, consummating this seemingly modest desire has been extraordinarily difficult. Well, it seems our very own Timberwolves may have been pulled into this convoluted narrative. It goes a little something like this (from ESPN’s Marc Stein):

In the proposed trade, New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York.

A Timberwolves source told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher on Sunday that the team would not approve of a deal where the team received just New York’s Randolph and Curry with Brewer and a first-rounder heading to Denver. While these are the names currently being discussed, additional players could be added to make a deal possible, sources said.

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