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It’s always fun in the Target Center when the Timberwolves play well.

Even considering the 7 wins the Wolves had coming into tonight, you have to pick and choose which of those wins can be considered “good” wins. When you factor in the Wolves’ 10-game home losing streak coming into tonight, it makes the sample size that much smaller.

A big part the team’s struggles has been with injury, perhaps most due to the severe ankle injury suffered by Ricky Rubio in early November. Rubio didn’t make his return tonight, but there were a couple new(-ish) faces that did make their returns to the Target Center, one of whom from injury. In a lot of ways, these faces may have made the difference in the fun levels of tonight’s game.

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It’s finally official. Officially official. The frequently discussed deal to send Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers has finally been announced as an done deal.

Let’s look at the breakdown:

Minnesota receives: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young, trade exception

Cleveland receives: Kevin Love

Philadelphia receives: Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Miami’s (top 10 protected) 2015 first round pick


The deal has been discussed off and on for a number of months now, but was amplified when LeBron James made the decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in early July. After the LeBron announcement, rumors and speculation took off, especially since LeBron left Wiggins and Bennett’s names off of his announcement of guys he was ‘excited to play with’.

Talks with Cleveland were temporarily put on hold after Cleveland signed Wiggins to his rookie deal, due to a rule that makes it illegal to trade a rookie for 30 days after their first contract is signed. Still, reports came out during the waiting period that a handshake deal was in place.

Most saw this deal as the best of potential scenarios for the Wolves, but any trade involving a player like Kevin Love is going to have good stuff and bad stuff.

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No huge surprises here. Kevin Love made the team; Brandon Roy made the team. Alexei Shved is from Russia, Greg Stiemsma is still tall, and etc. Interesting that Will Conroy managed to sneak onto the team along with the Wolves’ small army of PG’s and combo guards. On the other hand, he played with good energy during the preseason and, for the most part looked like he belonged on the floor. Plus, you may have heard that the starting point guard is hurt. Anyway, these are your Timberwolves:


2012-13 Minnesota Timberwolves Opening Night Roster




17 Lou Amundson F/C 6-9 225 12/07/82 UNLV/USA 6
11 José Juan Barea G 6-0 175 06/26/84 Northeastern/Puerto Rico 6
10 Chase Budinger F 6-7 218 05/22/88 Arizona/USA 3
 5 Will Conroy G 6-2 195 12/08/82 Washington/USA 2
33 Dante Cunningham F 6-8 230 04/22/87 Villanova/USA 3
47 Andrei Kirilenko F 6-9 235 02/18/81 CSKA Moscow/Russia 10
  8 Malcolm Lee G 6-5 200 05/22/90 UCLA/USA 1
42 Kevin Love F 6-10 250 09/07/88 UCLA/USA 4
14 Nikola Pekovic C 6-11 290 01/03/86 Panathinaikos/Montenegro 2
13 Luke Ridnour G 6-2 175 02/13/81 Oregon/USA 9
  3 Brandon Roy G 6-6 211 07/23/84 Washington/USA 5
  9 Ricky Rubio G 6-4 180 10/21/90 FC Barcelona/Spain 1
  1 Alexey Shved G 6-6 190 12/16/88 CSKA Moscow/Russia R
34 Greg Stiemsma C 6-11 260 09/26/85 Wisconsin/USA 1
  7 Derrick Williams F 6-8 241 05/25/91 Arizona/USA 1


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.