As such, the Minnesota Timberwolves have some work to do since training camps begin on December 9th. Most importantly, David Kahn needs to finish rounding out the roster:
GUARDS: Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio, Malcolm Lee, Wesley Johnson & Wayne Ellington
FORWARDS: Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver
CENTERS: Darko Milicic, Brad Miller & Nikola Pekovic
It's clearly evident the two clear needs for Minnesota is a solid shooting guard and an athletic young center. They also need players committed to playing defense. As David Kahn stated early in the summer--before the Lockout began, he was looking for young athletic players to run with the Wolves' new franchise point guard: Ricky Rubio. Training camps begin on December 9th and so does the free agency period.
Out of the 75-80 free agents currently out there, there;s certainly a handful that stand out as very possible additions for Minnesota.
--Jamal Crawford: Jamal is a veteran combo guard that's a great scorer, whose perimeter defense is certainly below-average. Because the Hawks decided not to offer him an extensions there's little chance he'll be back in Atlanta for '11-'12. There are a number of teams that have registered interest in Crawford's "services": the Hawks, Trailblazers, Heat & Bulls.
--Nick Young: Young is a great young shooting guard with an incredible knack for scoring the basketball. After the Wizards traded Gilbert Arenas to the Magic for Rashard Lewis, Nick became an everyday starter for Washington. Young's a restricted free agent and the Wizards are likely to match any offer for him. He's not what the Wolves need as he's a great scorer who doesn't play defense.
--Shannon Brown: Brown has a player option to return to the Lakers this season, but there's a good chance he'll opt out and hit the free agency 'waters'. Brown is an extremely athletic young shooting guard who has backed up Kobe Bryant for the past few seasons and has proven he's got what it takes to be an everyday starter in this League. No doubt, some team out there will give him that chance. The Timberwolves may be that team, if he could improve his defense slightly he'd be a welcome addition to the young Timberwolves. The Lakers and Bulls are teams who may be looking to sign Brown.
--Marc Gasol: The younger-tougher Gasol is a restricted free agent and there's almost no doubt that the Memphis Grizzlies will match any offers that come, no matter what. The New York Knicks are also interested in Gasol, however, there's absolutely no way the Knicks can afford him (if they intend on acquiring Chris Paul).
--Nene: Nene had an early termination option on his contract and has decided to exercise that option. Contenders Miami Heat & New York Knicks are expected to make an offer, though both teams aren't going to have the cap space that he'll be demanding. The Rockets or the Warriors are the most likely teams for him to land with--and of course the Nuggets. The Warriors would have to amnesty Andris Biedrens.
--Tyson Chandler: Chandler is a great defensive presence at 7-1 he's the glue guy--and he's the reason that on Christmas day, the Dallas Mavericks will receive their championship rings before they play...the...Miami Heat :) Chandler is already 30 years old, so there's no doubt that whoever signs him to a multi-year deal is going to regret it eventually--because they'll willingly overspend. Kahn is just that type of guy. However, if the Mavericks have someway of resigning him, that's the first and only place he'll be looking.
--Samuel Dalembert: Dalembert is veteran defensive big man, who's getting on in years, but can still ball. There's almost no doubt that he'll end up with one of these contenders: Miami, New York or Boston. If the Wolves could sign him to a one or two year deal, he'd be a huge addition.
--DeAndre Jordan: he's certainly one of the more exciting big men on the market. But of course, he's a restricted free agent and the Clippers like the Blake Griffin & Jordan frontcourt duo. So long as the offer(s) he receives aren't too outrageous, he'll be in a Clippers uniform this season. If not, the Timberwolves are definitely interested as are the Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Heat, Knicks etc. etc. etc.
--Chuck Hayes: The 6-foot-6 center could easily follow Rick Adelman from Houston. Though that's a possibility, Hayes is happy in Houston and if they'll have him, he'll be back.
--Greg Oden: Oden is a restricted free agent and there will be a number of teams who may take a chance on him and if the contract is too outrageous, the Blazers will let him go. The Celtics were once rumored to be interested as have the Warriors and Rockets. He's not really worth the risk when you look at his injury history, so I would expect him to garner any "4-year, $40M" contract offers.
On December 9th, training camps will begin and the Minnesota Timberwolves players will finally get to meet Kurt Rambis' replacement: Rick Adelman. Rick Adelman is going into his 21st year as a head coach and he's certainly got the most difficult task yet. However, unlike Kurt Rambis' coaching approach which was attempting to force his players to conform to the triangle offense that makes zero-sense for any team without a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, Rick Adelman creates a system around the talent he has, hence the reason his teams are always so successful. The Timberwolves will have roughly two or three weeks to implement a system and form an identity as a team.
For the first time in years the Timberwolves fans have a reason to be optimistic and excited for 2011-12. With new additions: Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee & Rick Adelman and a full season of Anthony Randolph the Timberwolves are going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. We'll be here for every game and every story all season long. Thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your Timberwolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!