Over in our forums, the offseason grading has begun. How are we feeling about the flurry of moves that occurred over the last week? I would say the tone in the forums here is generally negative, for various reasons. Most seem to have particular gripes with contract terms and defensive voids. Let’s check in on the pulse now that the dust is settled and the roster is basically set. I’ll let DaddyFatSax start us off:
Flip deserves a solid C- for his work. Perhaps as high as a C+ if you are super glass-half full. I shall run down how the offseason is shaking out. Let me know what I miss.
The Draft. Take a step back. All indications are that Flip wanted KCP with the ninth pick (none of us were in love with him, whatever). There were impact players to be had, all Flip had to do was to move up 3-2 spots in a draft where GM’s were looking for reasons to give up a pick. Instead he panicked and moved down 5 spots after he lost his guy because he assumed his next guy (Olynyk???!?) would be available. He was not. The Celtics had made it no secret they would target the Christian Laettner- resembling gazelle. This was just, quite simply, a terribly run draft process. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the phenomballa himself, Mr. Muhammad. The selection is irrelevant. The point is that he fell back on his FOURTH option because he failed three times in a row (if what Doogie and others tweet is the truth). Flip had a rough time with the draft. Fail.
Free Agency. Wow. Start with Brewer. Clearly I irrationally love him. Brewer on the Wolves means Brewer and Rubio get to play together. Awesome. However, Flipnosis paid him as much as TONY ALLEN! He got FIVE MILLION DOLLARS! If that isn’t the overpay of the off-season, I can’t tell you what is. I can hear the argument that they may have overpaid by $1.5 million or so a year. Ok, hold on to that number for later.
Kevin Martin…Ya’ll are tripping. Dude was injured much of last year and then played third fiddle in OKC with fewer shots and involvement than he is used to. I don’t see decline in his game yet. He will easily put up 20 points this year of efficient basketball. Overpaid? I think once he drops in a dub a night quite efficiently it will look fine. He’s not a two-way player, however. That’s the problem. So for 2 year or so, I like the contract, but they signed him for like 19 years it feels like. So while his value is higher to the Wolves than most teams, the length of the contract could bite the team in the ass. What team was going to give this guy 4 years $6 million? I’m not sure many would have, other than probably the Bucks, and he’d rather play in MN.
C-Bud…overpay. Yea. He was injured and did nothing last year plus he wanted to return here. Though if the rumblings from Doogie of him turning down bigger money are true, fair enough. A healthy C-Bud is a damn good role player, however. Plus he will improve a bit, he’s young and still finding his game here. I don’t have much issue here if they were at risk of losing him, I guess. Still…that is big money for somebody who has done little.
Pek – I’ll assume they resign him…let’s wait to see how this develops.
Turiaf???! Aahahah. Yea right. He was trash on the Clippers. Veteran my ass. how much would Ivan Johnson command? How about Dalembert (probably too much)? Maxiell…Is he a free agent? Chris Wilcox!? He’s much better as a 2nd or 3rd backup. Jeez. That signing was clearly about name recognition.
Additionally, this team GAVE UP a second rounder to get rid of Luke?! So while the Raptors made out like kings in the Bargnani trade and the Warriors found a way to rid themselves of their trash, the Wolves can’t rid themselves of a GOOD player without giving up a pick?! Milwaukee JUST traded Prince Akeem Joffer for jackshit. The Wolves could have taken that defensive ace for Luke instead of Brewer’s longer, bigger contract.
Big overpay for Turbo. Overpay for at least one of Budinger or Martin. Probably dumping $12+ a year into Pekovic. Flip could not secure ONE bargain deal. The effect of this inability is several million dollars tied up between these players that could otherwise go to someone else. Hell, bypassing Corey Brewer and Budinger completely for a run at Iggy would have been better (but unrealistic?).
In all, this is a highly inefficient and inflexible way of building a good team. They are good, and could get as high as the 6th seed (my prediction is 8th). Though the improvement we will see is deceptive. Health will play as big a factor as the Martin/Brewer additions.
I give Flip a B- for the draft, and a D+ for free agency. I think they absolutely butchered it. No AK, and Pek hasn’t even resigned yet. Those two moves could have maybe bumped the Free Agency grade up to like a C+ or so, but not much more than that. Terrible offseason, and terrible FA overpays. Heck, even 4 years $50 for Pek is too much. Obviously we still have to resign him, but it’s just too much. No other team has even made him an offer yet, and they are all running out of cap space!
I’m also not really convinced Budinger is all that good. He is below average defensively… and what does he do? Shoot 3’s? He shot like 32% last year for 3pters. And on top of all that, he tore up his knee. AND we signed Kevin Martin, who will presumably shoot a lot of 3’s.
In no way whatsoever is that worth $5+ million per year.
Please click the “Continue Reading” button to continue with the roundtable…
First, we will regret passing on McSmeagol (Ed: Wolfenstein’s creative nickname for CJ McCollum. McCollum = McGollum = McSmeagol. Get it?). Mark. My. Worgs. Dude can hoop. He will get major buckets soon in his career. He was hamstrung by the fact that he looks like and is built somewhat like Randy Foye which meant Flip would have gotten killed for picking him in Minnesota.
Re: Brewer, Budinger, Luke, and Martin… I am thinking there is basically $4M of overpay per year there. I like Brewer. He and Rubio = awesome, unpredictable, chaotic basketball destructive beauty. However, call it 2 years, $9M or 3 yrs, $12M. $15M is a bit heavy. Same deal for Chase, I think he and Corey are similar caliber players, although Chase has upside.
Martin you could *easily* sell me on 2 years, $16M with a team option for year 3, or fully guaranteed 3 years $20M or something. Why Minnesotans are such shitty negotiators I will never understand. This is not your neighbor bumping into you at your Lutheran Potluck. This is someone trying to take your boss’s money and making it harder for your organization to be successful.
Luke absolutely should have resulted in picks coming back our way, or we should have held onto him until the deadline. Oh wait, we couldn’t do that because we overpaid a bunch of roleplayers and then signed an end of bench guy for no reason (I like Turiaf, but come on).
I give Flip a D grade. He doesn’t get an F only because the Kevin Martin signing was actually good. The draft, the Brewer and Turiaf signings, and the Ridnour trade were so fail. Very Kahn-like. If he somehow messes up the Pek situation, this offseason will be the ultimate failure. Worse than the Jonny Flynn pick.
Turiaf doesn’t appear to be too bad of a signing considering this Dieng character looks like he hasn’t played basketball a day in his life in summer league so far. As far as the signings, I’m taking a wait and see approach. Most early projections have us as a playoff team and this roster is much better than last year. A healthy Love and Rubio should finally arrive after a season and a half of waiting. I want to see how the team can actually play in Adelman’s system. Last year with all the injuries it couldn’t even be run
I think to really grade this offseason, you really have to consider the context. Are you grading from a financial standpoint or a basketball standpoint? The main gripe people seem to have is with how much money was given out to Corey Brewer and Chase Budinger. These are fair gripes if such matters keep you awake at night. But the gripe always seems to be paired with something like “well….well…. we should have just not bothered with either and then targeted Iggy instead!” Well….there are $14 million reasons per year why that guy is not exactly a “value signing.”
If you are grading on pure use of financial resources, then yes, he gets a C or below and there is really no arguing with it. But I have not kept it a secret I am sick and tired of people wasting their energy shouting “this guy is overpaid.” If Martin were to have signed a 2 year deal instead, people would be bitching that he will just “bolt to a contender in two years.” Etc. Typical Wolves-fan logic: whine when Glen is cheap and whine even louder when he spends.
What is most important, and I think everyone here including me gets caught up in too much of the non-basketball related aspect of this stuff, is that this is a pretty versatile team that is much more intelligently built around the strengths of our best players, particularly Rubio. I adored AK and understand his impact well and am surely in defense mechanism/denial mode….but surrounding Ricky with knockdown shooters just seems to make way too much sense. Sure, an extra year or two were given out to get negotiations smoothed over quicker, but none of us know which player had which option from which team. The reality is that Chase and Brew are league average salary or below and have enough value as plus players (of which they both are) to be movable if really desired. Neither are albatross contracts.
Turiaf above the minimum and trading a pick with Luke are definite head scratchers, although both minor complaints in the grand scheme of course. We are also remarkably weak at the backup center position. I’m not comfortable with Dieng starting when Pek gets hurt. Maybe Love will play center though.