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3/29/13 Wolves/Thunder

 

Rubio, after being mauled by Kobe Bryant on a non-call that would have netted JJ Barea a 30-game suspension if the roles were reversed

 

Too bad so sad. It is becoming increasingly difficult to exhibit anything but the highest degrees of apathy towards this team right now. About the only thing worthwhile remains watching Ricky Rubio give everything he has night in and night out. The Wolves are generally remaining competitive in games and with Chase Budinger back in the lineup, you can begin to see glimpses of the team that never was.

One positive thing: Chase Budinger is great. Quick, surprisingly decent handles, athletic, actually not a bad man defender, and can shoot. I was  a fan of the trade to get him at the time and hope we re-sign him. 

Sadly, the Wolves were eliminated from playoff contention last week, not that it was ever really in question. Another draft and offseason await, this time with the flexibility at its bare minimum. Barring a salary shvedding deal or two (here's looking at you, Barea), Kirilenko opting out and bolting, or a from-left-field investment from the minority ownership, the opportunities for the Wolves to make noise in free agency are basically null. It would be surprising to see the Wolves use the midlevel exception given the cash needed to re-sign Pekovic, Budinger, and sign a top draft pick will put the Wolves well above the cap and inches from tax territory. There will be plenty of time to debate the offseason moves when the time comes. 

But I do want to stress one thing as the fake trades begin again in full force: keep the draft pick. Don't trade it. The "win now" approach exploded back in our faces and it is time to err on the cautious side of simply rebooting our Windows XP-based system, making a trade with the pick and trying again. Now, certainly a trade involving a pick could largely depend on the players available, but I would much rather see a pick made for the future of this team. A 2 guard, of which there are many slated in the top of the draft. Someone gifted offensively, for there is no arguement that exists where this isn't the Wolves greatest weakness: shooting and scoring. The teams you see winning year-after-year-after-year were built through  the draft (Miami the exception, but, yeah, Wade). Young players on the cheap. Develop alongside a playoff-level team to mortgage the future. No low-ceiling bigs (unless perhaps Noel is involved). Develop Chris Johnson, instead. No Zeller. No Plumlee (Kahn retort: "but Donnie Walsh likes him!"). No Len. CJ is more than a capable backup center. Get a young 2-guard. The position has haunted the Wolves since 1989. No big contracts or risks. Play it safe.

Meanwhile, watch closely tonight a team that was built exclusively through the draft. Watch them win easily. To be fair, the Wolves were built through the draft themselves (Love and Rubio), but the subsequent failures made by David Kahn have kept this team from reaching its full potential. I would be fine if he never made a Wolves-related decision ever again. I would rather a container of expired toilet bowl cleaner made the decisions (of which, there are many big ones this summer).

Speaking of drafts: to tank or not? Should Love play the last few games? I think he should. While playoffs are out of the picture, it would be somewhat redeeming for me, and hopefully others, to see some of that magic that defined January-February 2012 shine again, even if it is meaningless. Make the guy get back on the floor and earn some of his paycheck after the "knuckle pushups." Now, if this happens and the Wolves miss out on Oladipo/someone awesome as a result, I may come back and delete this sentence if I can still see after the fork shoved in my eye rears it's sterling silver head.

Random question: Should the Wolves draft a two guard and re-sign Chase, what does that mean for Shved?

Apologies for the lack of content on the front page. When all there really is to write are repetitive, filler comments like the above, it becomes difficult to really come up with new and creative things to say. The Wolves' performance has been on this level for most of 2013. Things will pick up during the playoffs (always exciting, although "blah, blah, blah, Heat/Thunder Finals, Heat win again" is the official new formula for the next 2-3 years in the NBA at least) and near the draft, when hopefully excitement will creep back into the forefront, and fan apathy will cease. Maybe Kahn has a few tricks up his sleeve with the Memphis pick (why, hello, cash considerations). Who knows?

In the meantime, we encourage readers to always remain active in the forums on the right side of your page.  

Also, f*ck you Kobe Bryant.

wallyworld

About wallyworld

Mike has been writing for TWB as a hobby since the Kahn era, and currently resides in a Dallas suburb where he can often be heard loudly arguing with his neighbors about his strong dislike for JJ Barea. When not working, Mike enjoys playing the drums and pretending to like other sports.

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