Minnesota Timberwolves Offseason Analysis

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http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason2009min.php
2008-09 Season Summary:

The Timberwolves have fallen to such depths that a 24 win season created a glimpse of hope for the future. Injuries decimated the team as only one player dressed for every game (Ryan Gomes), two of their ten man rotation missed more than 32 games (Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer) and Randy Foye, Mike Miller and Craig Smith combined to miss 29 games. Kevin McHale replaced Randy Wittman as head coach early in the season and at one point led the team to 11 wins during a 15 game stretch prior to the Jefferson injury

2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Al Jefferson/ Mark Madsen

PF: Kevin Love/Craig Smith/Brian Cardinal

SF: Ryan Gomes/Corey Brewer

SG: Randy Foye/Mike Miller

PG: Sebastian Telfair/Bobby Brown

 

NBA Free Agents:
C Jason Collins (UFA)

PG Kevin Ollie (UFA)

C Shelden Williams (TO)

SF Rodney Carney (TO)

 

2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $50.7 million
2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million
NBA Draft Picks:
#6
#18
#28
#45
#47
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Point Guard – Sebastian Telfair wasn’t terrible, but he is nowhere near the distributor the T-Wolves need to go with their front court. Minnesota would really like to get a point guard that is more adept at attacking the rim and can finish or dish. Tyreke Evans is a good fit for that need and should be available in the range of the Wolves first pick.

2. Defensive Stopper – There really isn’t a player on the Timberwolves roster that is considered a lock-down defender. Most opposing teams’ scorers have a hay-day against the Wolves. Since Kevin Garnett left the team, the defensive passion has escaped as well. Corey Brewer (when healthy) could be this player but coming off a major knee injury could hamper some of his lateral movement on defense.

3. A reliable 2nd Scoring Option – After Jefferson got injured plenty of players stepped up on various nights to take on the scoring role, however when Jefferson returns, so will the top dog title. When it came to playing 2nd fiddle, no one really stepped up. Mike Miller was supposed to be that guy, but he had his worst season as a pro. Foye or Gomes have the potential but need to develop the consistency.

4. A GM with Intelligence – Since the inception of the Timberwolves in the late 1980s, the organization has been marred by terrible personnel decisions and bad luck. Hindsight hasn’t done good things for the Stephon Marbury/Ray Allen draft day deal, the Randy Foye/Brandon Roy swap, the Michael Olowokandi signing and the drafting of Paul Grant, Ndudi Ebi, William Avery, Donyell Marshall or Rashad McCants. Someone with an above-average eye for talent and even better intuition is crucial to the team’s success in the near future.

 

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05@hotmail.com.

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