Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves said goodbye to Wesley Johnson today and hello to 10-year NBA veteran Andrei Kirilenko.
That three-team deal that had a 'snag' in it...well apparently it was...unsnagged? desnagged? We'll just say sorted out and completed.
The three-team deal involving Minnesota, Phoenix and New Orleans, saw Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick head to the Hornets, Wesley Johnson, Brad Miller (or his contract, ultimately), Jerome Dyson and a first-round pick to Phoenix and three 2nd-round picks to Minnnesota.
The three second round picks the Wolves receive; two of them were the same picks they traded to the Hornets w/Miller's contract a few weeks back and the other belongs to the L.A. Lakers, acquired by the Suns via Steve Nash's sign-and-trade. The first-round pick the Timberwolves sent to Phoenix is in Kahn's words "well-protected" depending on how the year plays out, it will either be Memphis' first round pick or our first round pick. Either way, the first-rounder will be lottery-protected.
With Johnson's salary off the books the Timberwolves were able to move ahead and sign Andrei Kirilenko. AK is an excellent pickup and a great fit for the Wolves.
AK47 has the ability to defend multiple positions. He plays both forwards and will likely be the team's starting small forward. He'll also guard the other teams best forward, leaving Kevin Love to take the other...which is a HUGE plus (given Love's below-average D). He'll contribute 8-12 points a night, get steals, blocks and be the anchor of Minnesota's defense.
The Wolves paid Kirilenko $10million a year for the next two years (and it's sounding as though the second year is possibly a player option). I would agree it's fairly high, however he's such a great fit and fills a HUGE need...so the price doesn't bother me as much.
Andrei will be the Timberwolves' second-highest paid player next season (behind Kevin Love @$12million+) and he'll be the oldest and most experienced (years pro) on the roster.
The Wolves' starting lineup is now set AND the roster could very well be set! The Wolves will likely start: Ricky Rubio (once healthy), Brandon Roy (if he stays healthy), Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Their second unit will consist of Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea or Alexey Shved, Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams and Greg Stiemsma. While also having Dante Cunningham as a reserve forward and Malcolm Lee as a reserve combo guard. It is still unknown if the Wolves will bring back Tolliver. I personally think they should. He's a versatile player who can play 3, 4 and 5. Three-point shooter, glue guy, energy and hustle galore! I REALLY do hope he'll be back. The current roster stands at 13 players. The maximum is 15, so Tolliver would put them at 14. There's also Robbie Hummel who the Wolves selected 58th overall in last month's draft. I don't know if he'll be a 'Wolf', this season. But if they were to bring both him & Tolliver back then it'd put them at the max of 15 players.
Technically the roster will be at 13 once the deals for Roy & Stiemsma are finalized. Roy's is expected to be completed sometime early next week.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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