Are The Wolves Finally Moving Forward?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS (NEW JERSEY BUREAU) – At this point, we’ve come to expect the worst from David Kahn and the Timberwolves. So how does that affect our evaluation of how the Wolves did on draft night?

One thing that we know is that they did a lot…

  • Selected Derrick Williams with the No. 2 pick.
  • Traded Jonny Flynn and the No. 20 pick to Houston for Brad Miller, the No. 23 pick, and the Grizzlies’ 2013 first-round pick (lottery protected).
  • Traded the No. 23 pick to Chicago for the No. 28 pick and the No. 43 pick.
  • Traded the No. 28 pick to Miami for the No. 31 pick and a future second-round pick.
  • Traded the No. 31 pick to New Jersey for a future second-round pick and cash (not yet official).
  • Selected Malcolm Lee with the No. 43 pick.
  • Acquired the No. 57 pick from Dallas and used it to select Targuy Ngombo, who may or may not have been draft-eligible (not yet official).

Miller is recovering from microfracture surgery and probably won’t be available until at least January. So essentially, with all that movement, the Wolves are just adding Williams and Lee to their depth chart, with Ricky Rubio replacing Flynn…

PG: Rubio, Luke Ridnour, Lee
SG: Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington
SF: Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward
PF: Kevin Love, Williams, Anthony Randolph
C: Darko Milicic, Anthony Tolliver, Nikola Pekovic, Miller

With the additions of Rubio and Williams (and the removal of Flynn), the Wolves have five players on their roster who have been selected with a top-five pick in the last five years. Add Milicic and Webster and they have seven who have been selected in the top six in the last nine years.

So it’s probably time for the Wolves to move forward, but just how much they might improve next season is anyone’s guess. It will partially depend on who their coach will be and what they might get in exchange for Beasley if they think that Williams can play big minutes at the three.

Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune finds it all fascinating

We don’t know whether Rubio can play effectively in the NBA. We don’t know whether Love is an accumulator of numbers, or a franchise cornerstone. We don’t know whether Johnson will prove the Wolves were right to choose him over DeMarcus Cousins, or whether that choice will hang over the franchise like all of their other draft-day black clouds.

A good coach might solve many of these problems, or at least provide sound advice as the franchise claws upward. Kahn needs to prove he can hire such a coach.

A good coach, with the implicit backing of a solid front office, could push this group of athletes to play defense and share the ball, could make the Wolves worth watching for the first time in a handful of years.

Stay tuned. This team might actually start moving in the right direction one of these days…

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

18 Comments

  1. jake says:

    i doubt the wolves will win more than 25 games next season. or the season after that. I doubt they’ll make the playoffs in the next decade unless they get lucky drafting a superstar that won’t leave. Reasons for this…. They don’t have a point guard.(Rubio sucks, he averaged 6 and 3.5 overseas which is like 3 and 1.5 here.) Ridnour is an average backup pointguard but isn’t starter material. They lack a 2 guard.. Wesly who? if they decide to keep williams Beasly will go back to the spoiled stoner he was on Miami. Love will leave for the Lakers in the next season or 2. Milicic is not a starter. Everyone after that doesn’t deserve a top 10 roster spot on any team. They should just forfeit everygame and save themselves the embarrasment of 20+ ppg losses.

  2. Joseph V says:

    Where does Derrick Williams fit in. He’s a swing 3-4 just like Beasley technically is. And I don’t think K-Love can defend the 5, seeing as he barely defends the 4. Don’t get me wrong, Love, Beasley, Williams, maybe Rubio, maaaybee Johnson, that’s a lot of young talent and potential to grow. They just don’t fit well together.

  3. garbagetimeblog says:

    Seems like the Wolves have been treading water for years now, pretty much ever since KG left. What they need a solid franchise player they can build around (Kevin Love) and a solid veteran player who has ‘been there done that’. I’m thinking someone like a Chancey Billups would be perfect as they built that team from the ground up from discarded players. The younger guys can learn off him as he knows what it takes to be a winner physically and mentally. Rip Hamilton could also be used instead. Hell, even Derek Fisher. They need a vocal leader type player who has won it all to mentor this young team. They cant just keep stockpiling draft picks.

  4. rhan says:

    trade beasley and Lee to cavs for 3 plus jaminson, sign NENE to Wolves

    Rubio/Ridnour/gibson
    Johnson/Ellington/Webster
    Willliams/Jaminson/Hayward
    Love/Anthony
    NENE/Milicic/Miller

    that was great Wolves

  5. rhan says:

    Rubio
    Johnson
    Beasley
    Williams
    Love

  6. tenin11 says:

    spurs 2012 champs no joke

  7. SPANIARDS ATTACK says:

    TRADE WAYNE ELLINGTON FOR RUDY FERNANDEZ…RUBIO NEEDS SOME KNOWN TEAMM8S..GREATZ BACKCOURT TANDEM

  8. kev says:

    I think they should have drafted enes kanter to help love on the boards and they need a big that can play some defense…

  9. joshua Miller says:

    hey choker… you dont know ship dude. trade rubio for cash, what? start ridnour again? already went through a season of that, see how it went?? good call though. why dont you go to espn3.com and watch some ricky rubio so u know, watch him and you will see his talent outside of numbers. EVERYONE WATCH RUBIO AND STUDY THE FACTS BFOR YOU CONDEMN HIM BECAUSE YOU HEARD ON THE TELE THAT HIS STATS WERE BAD

  10. Rubio-Wolves says:

    Here is the starting five and their reserves for 2011-2012 Timberwolves

    PG: Rubio / Ridnour
    SG: Johnson / Lee
    SF: Williams / Webster
    PF: Beasley / Randolph
    C: Love / Milicic

    There will be a lot of rotation with the 3, 4 and 6 spots. Love will get some time back at the 4 and Randolph might get some time at 5. Beasley will get some time at 3, etc. You see where this is going…

  11. Ginobili says:

    People are so quick to hate on someone who doesn’t become a superstar over night. Everythings gotta happen tomorrow. Like the Bulls, what do we do?! Oh my god, what will we do?! We made it to the conference finals with a fisrt year head coach and our 3rd year point guard won MVP. We need to trade! Give some time to mesh geez.

  12. Ginobili says:

    rubio
    wesley
    beasley
    love
    milicic

    That’d be an awesome group to watch.

  13. choker says:

    BETTER T’WOLVES

    Make this as your roster:
    Center – Kevin Love
    Power F – Derrick WIlliams
    Small F – Michael Beasley
    Shooting G – Wesley Johnson
    Point G – Luke Ridnour

    WHY?

    Kevin Love – rebounder and scorer
    Derrick Williams – 2nd pick can do good to team
    Michael Beasley – Good offensive player
    Wesley Johnson – we did not expect that his performance would be like that but he is a defender not a scorer
    Luke Ridnour – may not be as good as CP3, Derrick Rose or even Rondo but he is a good point guard i see his potential to be better

    What to do to their roster:

    Trade Rubio for cash considerations he sucks unknown

    • Miami champs 2012-onwards!!! says:

      Are you insane not giving a guy like ricky rubio a chance, the franchise waited for him to play for them in two years jerk. Now here’s a better lineup for the wolves..

      PG-Rubio
      SG-Johnson
      SF-Beasley/Williams let those two fight it out
      PF-Love
      C-Love

  14. yo1 says:

    they will have a better season this year and i think they will be on the playoffs

  15. hey says:

    i think they need to waive pekovic