This post will have little to do with facts and numbers. Probably 100% of this post will be my opinion.
I don’t know how many Minnesota Timbewolves fans are out there still, but if you haven’t heard, T’Wolves general manager Flip Saunders has hired himself as head coach, the second time in his coaching career that he will coach the T’Wolves. Honestly, I didn’t want this to happen. I wanted Saunders to hire Stan Van Gundy; but the Detroit Pistons beat us to it. Then I wanted Fred Hoiberg; but knew it was going to be tough as hell to pry him away from a great situation at Iowa State. Then Mark Jackson became available, but clearly Saunders didn’t reach out to him. The other candidates that Saunders “spoke” of, well, they didn’t impress me.
I don’t know how I feel about this move. The T’Wolves franchise has been mired over the last decades. Bad decision-making, like draft picks and coach hirings, can set teams back and it has certainly set the T’Wolves back, a lot. I’m annoyed with the situation because Kevin Love doesn’t want to be in Minnesota and since he doesn’t, I don’t want him here. Frankly, I think the T’Wolves would be better WITHOUT him. I vouched for this man for four years, and, now , if he wants to go rot in Los Angeles Lakers, let him; if he wants to go to Chicago to play with an invisible “superstar” in Derrick Rose; and if he wants to go to New York and be a second-rate player on a loser team, then be my guest, Love.
Saunders, here is what I want to see and see happen by the start of opening night in 2014: Love traded. Trade him to Cleveland for the #1 pick, Anthony Bennett and Dion Waiters, or to Boston for all of their draft picks over the next two seasons. Boston will be still be losers with Love next season because he has never been a winner since high school. Trade Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. I don’t care who you get in return, as long as the player(s) we get in return are better than Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, please. If you don’t have Roy Hibbert, only God knows why I said that name, by opening night, please start GORGUI DIENG at center. Tell Ricky Rubio to be as aggressive as a pack of wolves on deer. Please, please, I don’t want to see him passing so willingly as much this season. He is so much better when he attacks. Play Shabbazz Muhammad 20-26 minutes a game. Muhammad is not as bad as everyone thinks he is. He has a very good lefty jump-hook on the the left-box post-up. He also rebounds really well.
Now can I ask a question to everyone? Of course I can, it’s my blog. Have you seen the movie “Moneyball”? How did the Oakland Athletics make up for the losses of Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Jason Isringhausen? They filled the holes by using several different players who excelled in different categories. In baseball, on-base percentage in al most as important home runs, if not it’s more important. The Athletics used David Justice and Scott Hatteberg to help fill the voids. Of course, Barry Zito had a monster year pitching-wise along with his pitching-mates Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. Eric Chavez was a beast and Miguel Tejada won the MVP award.
If the T’Wolves do trade Love, you can make up for his rebounding in other ways; i.e. giving other players more minutes. Muhammad can help make up for some of the rebounds, so can Dieng. As for points, clearly other people are going to have to step up, but if the T’Wolves were able to get Jabari Parker, that would make up for 13-17 points.
I definitely want to my favorite basketball team in the playoffs next season, and I know it won’t happen, more than likely. But as long as they are more competitive, more consistently, next season, I will view it as an improvement. I want this team to succeed, but I don’t know if this team improved with this move.