Some players/owners/analysts figure the NBA lockout to last the entire 2011-12 season (Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor is one of the owners that believes the lockout will last all season), while others are projecting possibly less than half of the season being lost. Time will tell, but the simple fact is—basketball fans will be waiting quite some time.
We’ve looked at what some of the Timberwolves players, coaches & front office personnel are doing to keep themselves busy during the lockout, but when a new deal is finally reached—all teams in the NBA will be busy: negotiating contracts, extensions, completing coaching staffs, raiding free agency etc.
Let’s take a look at what SHOULD be the TWolves plan(s) on the other end of this lockout…
- ACQUIRE VETERAN TALENT/LEADERSHIP: Whether the Timberwolves decide to attempt to acquire more veteran leadership/talent via trade or via free agency, there’s no doubt that the 2010-11 Timberwolves were without a vocal veteran to lead (Darko Milicic & Luke Ridnour certainly DID NOT ‘cut it’). The Wolves have already acquired veteran big man Brad Miller in a trade with the Houston Rockets. Don’t get me wrong—in his prime, Miller was one of the best big men in the NBA (Sacramento-days), however this is far from his prime, he’ll contribute as a solid backup center (which now means the TWolves have 3 ‘backup’ centers: Darko, Nikola & Miller). I’m unsure that Miller can be the vocal leader the TWolves are in dire need of. You can expect another posting of the TWolves veteran prospects.
- SIGN ROOKIES DERRICK WILLIAMS—MALCOLM LEE—TANGUY NGOMBO?: The 2011 NBA Draft took place just a few weeks ago and because of the July 1st NBA lockout—Williams, Lee & Ngombo haven’t been signed. Obviously D-Will & Lee will be signed following the lockout, however when you get to the Wolves 57th pick—Ngombo, things get ‘tricky’. There’s a good chance that Ngombo may not be eligible for the draft because he is in fact 26. However, the TWolves have stated that the government documents state that Tanguy is actually 21 and the Wolves as well as many other executives believe that if the documents are wrong, the Wolves shouldn’t be ‘punished’. Will we see Ngombo in a TWolves jersey next year? Not likely! He’ll be stashed overseas for a year or so more, of course he’ll be 27 by then, so the Wolves can’t wait forever to bring him stateside.
- COACHING SEARCH: The Timberwolves finally bit the bullet and fired Kurt Rambis. His buyout will be expensive, which could very well affect who the Timberwolves are able to hire as their new head coach. The Timberwolves will likely have a new head coach within the coming weeks (likely still within the lockout), but of course then the plan will be, however long the new coach and the Wolves players will have before their first game (if, of course, there are any games!). You can check under our news tab for our coaching search updates--updated daily! The current candidates are: Don Nelson, Rick Adelman, Bernie Bickerstaff, Mike Woodson & Terry Porter--there are likely some more candidates to be added within the next few days--so keep an eye out for that!
- FREE AGENCY: NBA Free Agency was supposed to begin on July 1st, but, of course that was the same day the NBA Lockout began. Who should the TWolves be targeting in Free Agency? Well, they could certainly use a better starting center, though the best options--Tyson Chandler, Nene Hilario, Marc Gasol etc. are all top-salary centers that will require big money! The Timberwolves are set at every other position, but the center position (Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic & Brad Miller) aren't great options.
- EXTENSIONS?: Some of the main Minnesota Timberwolves players are eligible for extensions--Kevin Love, Michael Beasley & Anthony Randolph. All three of these players' contracts will be up following the 11-12 season. Most analysts agree the Timberwolves should immediately offer Kevin Love top dollar (following the lockout), but give players Michael Beasley & Anthony Randolph the season to prove themselves before offering them any more years in a TWolves uni.
- TRADES?: Should the Minnesota Timberwolves make any more trades? Well that depends who they're letting go and of course who they're getting in return. As long as they aren't giving up any of their key players--and if they can get a quality starting center in return--it could be good. Who should/could they make available: Luke Ridnour, Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward, Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic & Brad Miller.
That's all for now!! Stay tuned to mnwolves.weebly.com for all your Minnesota Timberwolves news, information & updates all year round! Also stay tuned for your Timberwolves coaching search--highlighted and updated daily under both the blog & news tab. Thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!