I was in a play at Winona State University: "Leaving Iowa" in which I portrayed 'Dad'. I received an "Irene Ryan" nomination, with a great opportunity to earn a scholarship in the New Year. I've also been on KQAL radio during the past few months as a member of the Winona State Basketball play-by-play broadcast team. Throw in a full load of classes and I've had very little time to watch the Wolves.
Enough about me...let's get to these Minnesota Timberwolves...
The Wolves have had plenty of woes this season. Just 5-19 on the season with no real "light at the end of the tunnel" in sight. As per usual, it's injuries that have REALLY derailed Minnesota's season: Ricky Rubio (ankle), Kevin Martin (wrist), Nikola Pekovic (wrist/ankle), Ronny Turiaf (hip) and for a stretch of games: Mo Williams (back). The Wolves continue to be bitten HARD by the injury bug--as they have for continuous seasons for far too long!
Ronny Turiaf had season-ending hip surgery recently. Turiaf has an expiring contract and could be waived to make room on the roster for a healthy player--something the Timberwolves desperately need! The obvious result would be waiving Turiaf to make room for Jeff Adrien on the roster (a player the Wolves currently employ via the NBA's injury exemption).
Rubio is reportedly running on his own and could return earlier than expected. Ricky is hoping for a return right around Christmas--however Saunders wasn't quite as optimistic. It's most likely that he returns in early January.
Kevin Martin underwent wrist surgery and the rehab will be lengthy--especially considering the it's his shooting hand that he injured. He won't see the court until late-January at the absolute earliest.
Nikola Pekovic continues to sit with an injured wrist and a bum ankle. It sounds as though he won't return to the court until mid-January. There's a chance that Pek could see a brief stint in the D-League to "get some games under his belt" before he returns to the Wolves.
Mo Williams' back is still troubling him, however he did return in Minnesota's most recent game (Tuesday's loss in Washington). He's currently on a very strict minute-restriction: 10-15 minutes a game. He added that he likely wouldn't be playing right now if the Wolves weren't so shorthanded.
Who does that leave Minnesota with...?
Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger
Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III
Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Jeff Adrien, Robbie Hummel
One healthy point guard and one healthy center with a plethora of wings and undersized power forwards. Not exactly the most balanced roster.
It's no surprise that (according to @WojYahooNBA) the Wolves are one of the most active teams in the trade market. It's likely that Minnesota is offering Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger and maybe even Kevin Martin.
If there was any doubt entering this season, it's pretty clear now that this is a rebuilding year for the Timberwolves and they would be wise to try and move some of these big money contracts (Brewer, Budinger, Martin, Pekovic and maybe even Young) and give playing time to the youngsters: LaVine, Wiggins, Bennett, Dieng, Muhammad, etc. If Minnesota can parlay some of these veterans into some young potential or additional draft picks--all the better.
Build around a core of Rubio and Wiggins--with the hope that you can add another young player with potential in the upcoming draft.
Stay tuned to HOWL for more updates, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!