Note: This article appears on www.DeROK.Net/wolves
With the Timberwolves already mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, I’m severely limited in the number of angles I can approach the team from. I suppose I could wax poetic about trying hard and building momentum towards next year, but I feel that topic has been beaten to death. Instead, I’m going to touch on a topic that covers the NBA a little more broadly, but has still had a noticeable effect on this year’s Wolves: Contract Buyouts. Since the Kevin Garnett was traded away, the Timberwolves have bought out three players, and would have made it four, had they fulfilled Antoine Walker’s request for one after the trading deadline passed. In the case of the Timberwolves’ first buyout candidate, Troy Hudson, the franchise was able to cut ties with a disgruntled veteran who did not fit into the team’s plans, had several years left on his deal, and was practically untradeable. The situation was clearly a win-win for both sides. However, the following two buyouts did nothing to improve the team and only served to save Glen Taylor some cash and "free" some aging veterans from the Wolves’ difficult season.