The Wolves are in Dallas, where I currently live. Dirk is back in Big D and the Wolves are on a bit of a low streak and on the 2nd half of a back to back featuring yet another blowout the night prior. Things are looking dim for the Wolves' playoff chances as of now. Very dim. Along with Dallas, the Lakers are set to wake up before long and contend for that 8th seed. Barring some sort of miracle or trade, the team's fate is sealed back to the lottery and I firmly believe it is not too early to call that as of now.
Fun Fact: I had a dog growing up named Maverick. His shot release was more fluid than Shawn Marion's
Let's have today's topic be Pekovic. Aside from perhaps Glenn Close Kirlenko, he has been this team's best player of the season. After a slow start to the year, Pek has shown he is a player in this league once and for all. The big implication from the Wolves' standpoint is that he is entering into restricted free agency this offseason and will command a solid amount of money it would seem. Now, this is all fun and dandy, but there have been some loose and unsubstantiated rumblings that Kahn has never been a big Pekovic supporter and our favorite Grinch Glen Taylor is not overly enthused about committing top dollar to him. It would appear the Wolves dodged a bullet with Anderson Varejao suffering yet another injury, for the rumors surrounding AV are in trades that most certainly would involve Pekovic. Regardless, I have a sinking, unsettling feeling Pek's time in Minnesota is coming to end either at the deadline or in the offseason where he will most certainly be signed by the Blazers.
Fun Fact: Glenn Close played the pirate who gets sent to the boo box in the 1992 Classic Hook.
Pekovic or not, and not to add fuel to the depression fire, but we very well may have reached the peak in talent acquisition this past offseason. Kirilenko could very well bolt for unrestricted free agency. Pek could be gone. Roy is done. Are we facing yet another rebuilding situation this offseason or at the deadline? Let's hope Kahn makes a move here in the next month to avert these fears and at the very least provide some ammunition to have a fighting chance of competing for the playoffs. Because, plain and simple, the current Wolves will not be able to pull it off. Not without a quick, quality addition to the roster. Not with all current injuries keeping guys out until the month of March. Not with Rubio struggling mightily since his return. Not with Adelman tending to his own matters and out indefinitely, if not permanently. And while the Wolves are apparently close to addng Mickael Gelebale, he will provide role-player production at best. So what next?
Fun Fact: Brandon Roy has earned $1 million per game played this season. This is about the amount Greg Oden will probably earn when Kahn signs him this summer.
It is tough because this season is already starting to be viewed in a "well, there is always next year" context. History repeats. And maybe that's the answer here. We only have to wait another ten months! Rubio will be healthy, Love might be in shape, Kahn may swing a deal for a real 2 guard who actually has knees. Who knows? All I know is, when it comes to the Wolves, expect the worst. It happened again.
Too negative? Let's look at a few things to be excited about for this team over the long term:
1. Love is really good and will return to form someday. In fact, Love will be back yet this year and when he is, his hand will be completely healed this time.
2. Players such as JJ Barea are finally deciding to seek 2nd opinions to our training staff and team "doctors."
3. Alexey Shved is a real NBA prospect and we have him signed for two more years.
4. Derrick Williams is actually starting to hold his own as a sixth man player capable of playing multiple positions.
5. Ricky Rubio has nowhere to go but up.
6. The season is not even half over yet. Despite the knee-jerks above, a lot can happen and probably will.
7. If the Wolves sign Gelebale, that will be interesting thing to follow. That's it.
8. The Wolves are 2 up on the Mavs this season and beat them at home the other month with an equally if not more depleted roster.
The Wolves are capable of playing some surprising ball. Tonight could be one of those surprising nights against a struggling team working its own star back into the mix. All it will come down to is, as always, team shooting. Hit a few extra shots from the outside, put in a consistent effort and keep getting to the line, and usually the Wolves fare well. It's that thing called shooting that usually gets us.