Following a disappointing 2010-2011 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves saw an improvement this season that can make fans of the franchise excited for the future. Despite only winning 26 games, it was the highest total since 2006-2007 and at one point the T’Wolves were in the playoff race before fading towards the end of the season. Under new head coach Rick Adelman and the arrival of Ricky Rubio, there is now a lot to look forward to in Minnesota.
GM David Kahn is the man responsible for the current Minnesota roster and the jury is still out on whether he’s the right man to lead the franchise. While Kahn has made some positive moves, he also had made a few head-scratchers as well. One of the best moves Kahn has made while he’s been GM, is hiring head coach Rick Adelman. Adelman is one of the better coaches in the league and historically has been very successful. The T’Wolves are hoping he can be the right man to help turn the franchise around and lead them to their first playoff appearance since 2003-2004.
The current Timberwolves roster has talent but is very unbalanced. There is a logjam of talent at several positions which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the T’Wolves aren’t currently getting everything that they can out of their roster. Looking at their current free agent situation, the T’Wolves will be focused on what to do with Michael Beasley. While Beasley has had an up-and-down NBA career, he is still a talented scorer when focused. Minnesota will also face a decision whether or not to re-sign Anthony Tolliver and pick up the option on Martell Webster. Brad Miller has a team option as well but has stated he will retire.
The T’Wolves currently hold the 18th pick in the 1st round, which is from a trade with the Utah Jazz. The T’Wolves own first round pick is in the hands of the New Orleans Hornets, after they acquired it in the Chris Paul trade from the Los Angeles Clippers. The other pick that the Timberwolves have is #58, via the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Right now the Timberwolves biggest focus on draft night will be finding a wing player with their first round pick. The Timberwolves could also look at the center position but the emergence of Nikola Pekovic last season makes it a secondary need. Minnesota will be in a good position to grab a quality wing player with the depth in this draft. Terrence Ross, Moe Harkelss and Quincy Miller will all be names under consideration if they are there. Perhaps the most interesting fit would be Austin Rivers, who would fill the bigger hole at SG and give them the scoring they need on the perimeter. With their 2nd round pick, it is more than likely going to be an international player who they can keep overseas if David Kahn’s previous history is any indicator.
Looking ahead, with a good draft and the continued development of the current young core the Minnesota Timberwolves success could be on the uptick. Rick Adelman is the right coach for this team and to help lead them back to the playoffs. The question is whether David Kahn can prove his legitmacy as a viable GM and shape this roster into a more balanced, successful one. Whatever the case may be, this will be a key off-season for Minnesota with the #18 pick playing a large part in it.