There were three big steps Minnesota needed to make to start heading out of obscuritytown this offseason…
1. Sign Rubio. Complete!
2. Draft Derrick Williams. Pending.
3. Deal Beasley and get a real center OR an upgrade at shooting guard. Long way off…
I think the team is still pretty in love with Wes Johnson’s potential, and adding Derrick Williams necessitates sending Beasley away. Darko proved he’s a capable backup, but pretty awful as a starter, so common sense tells me that’s our next move. Either sign a center, or trade for one. If we sign one, the obvious move is to pair Beas with something to get Demar DeRozan.
Of the potential Center options, these seemed like the best to me:
Samuel Dalembert – The main problem with trying to acquire Dalembert is that the Wolves probably don’t have the cap room to get it done. Looks like Minnesota will have around $50 million in salary when it’s all said and done (draft + Rubio), and it’s possible Sammy D could get more elsewhere. The Salary Cap is supposed to be around $58 million, but it could all change when the new CBA is in place. I’ve always been a fan of his rebounding/shot-blocking, and it would fit in nicely here. He’s just better at it than Darko. Plus, ATHLETICISM!
Tyson Chandler – Chandler has never been a hotter commodity, after anchorning the Mavs’ interior defense in their championship season. He’d be a fantastic addition for any squad if he can stay healthy, but he might want more than we can offer.
Kwame Brown – Bargain basement, here we come! Brown was a surprising contributor when guys like Nazr Mohammed fell apart for Charlotte last year. Brown averaged 7.6 rebounds a game after January, and is a pretty big, athletic guy who could help solidify the interior as a two-headed monster with Darko.
Marc Gasol – The Grizzlies have a lot of money dedicated to other players on the roster, and might just be willing to let Gasol out of their clutches. He’s not an ideal compliment to Kevin Love, however, as he’s pretty offensive-minded. Shoots the ball pretty well, rebounds OK (probably better than his stats show, but next to Randolph, he had no chance), and is willing to block shots.
DeAndre Jordan – I watched a lot of Clippers basketball this year, and while Chris Kaman was out with that awful ankle injury, Jordan made a name for himself. He’s an explosive shot-blocking center, but he shoots free throws like he’s using a slingshot instead of the hands God gave him. Thing is, he fit pretty well next to Blake Griffin and he’s pretty young yet, so Kaman is likely the guy who’ll be on the move.
I’m trying to think of ways we could get a center via trade, too, using ESPN’s trade machine. The money works in this one:
Anderson Varejao ($7,281,818, 5 years remaining)
Michael Beasley (4,962,240, 2 years left) and Anthony Randolph (1,965,720, 2 years left)
I particularly like this one if we get Derrick Williams. Seems like Cleveland is pretty committed to JJ Hickson, and they don’t have anything at Small Forward right now. And they get Randolph too, who is at least not terrible. Their lineup would improve, and our frontcourt/rotation gets some REAL solidification. The main issue is that I think the Cavs see him as an enormous piece to their rebuild puzzle.
Here’s how our lineup would look if this somehow happened:
I suppose we could draft someone with the #2 overall pick, but that’s not nearly as fun.