2013 NBA Off Season Preview, Depth Charts, Trades and Transactions: Minnesota Timberwolves

2012-2013 Record: 31-51, 5th in Northwest
Stat Leaders: Nikola Pecovic, 16.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg. Ricky Rubio, 7.3 apg, 2.4 spg. Greg Stiemsma, 1.2 bpg.

Current Projected Rotation (Updated 5/13/2013)

C - Kevin Love Greg Steimsma (TO)
PF - Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham (TO)
SF - Andrei Kirilenko (PO)
SG - Luke Ridnour, Alexey Shved, Malcolm Lee
PG - Ricky Rubio, JJ Barea

Restricted Free Agents: C Nikola Pekovic

Unrestricted Free Agents: G Brandon Roy, GF Chase Budinger, GF Mickeal Gelabale, F Chris Johnson



5/10/13: Waived G Brandon Roy. Unfortunately it looks like this is the end for Roy. His comeback bid only lasted five games. The three time All Star's knees are completely shot after a staggering seven surgeries. David Kahn doing things like giving Roy a two year contract is the reason he was the butt of all jokes among NBA GM's.


Off-Season Preview (5/13/13)

The Good: Minnesota has done a great job developing Nikola Pekovic, and he has become one of the better centers in the league. He is a solid source of points and rebounds, and is just now entering his prime and set to cash in during free agency. Alexey Shved was another nice Euro find by the Timberwolves. He proved a solid scorer as a rookie and should grow into the starting shooting guard spot with more experience. JJ Barea, yet another non US born player, was a solid scorer off the bench all season.

The Bad: Minnesota held strong for a while, but the lack of talent and leadership eventually reared it's head, and the Wolves only won 31 games. When your best player appears in only 18 games, it is pretty certain you are not going to make the playoffs. Kevin Love just could not shake a couple of injuries, and thus, 2012-2013 was mostly a wasted year. As far as the rest of the roster, much maligned David Kahn couldn't build a winner and was finally let go this off season. Pekovic and Ricky Rubio were both successes, but he swung and missed big time on guys like Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer and Wesley Johnson at the top of the draft. The jury is still out on Derrick Williams, who was easily the consensus number two pick in the draft a couple of years ago. He needs to play power forward, but that won't happen with Love on the team. Of course, you cannot forget about the comedic genius Kahn giving the broken down Brandon Roy a two year deal. Roy lasted all of five games.

Rookie Report: Shved was the only rookie on the roster last season. He showed good scoring ability, but needs to improve his shooting percentages. He should be a key member of the Wolves rotation next season, and could wind up as their starting shooting guard.

Free Agents: Pekovic is the latest young 7 footer to reach restricted free agency. Like Javale McGee, Roy Hibbert and DeAndre Jordan before him, he will most likely get an offer sheet from a team for more then 10 million a year. The Wolves should and probably will match that. Chase Budinger could be brought back, but he was injured the entire season and is nothing more then bench fodder. Minnesota should aim higher.

Projected Salary Cap Space: $11,863,418. All of this space will likely be used up if the team chooses to resign Pekovic. Andrei Kirilenko has a ridiculous player option of over $10 million he will most likely pick up. Not picking up team options on Greg Steimsma and Dante Cunningham can clear about $5 million.

Free Agent Possibilities: David Kahn has tied up much of this roster with high contracts to role players, and there is little flexibility to add difference making talent. Top free agents will not exactly be knocking down the door to offer their services at discounted prices in Minneapolis, so the Wolves might have to try to find a diamond in the rough or two. Ex Wolves Randy Foye and Martell Webster could offer cheap production.

Draft Possibilities: I mocked UCLA scoring wing Shabazz Muhammad to the Timberwolves during my most recent update. I think the Timberwolves really need to add players who san score. Kevin Love is the only player on the roster that can create his own offense. If Shabazz is off the board then a guard who can shoot like CJ McCollum or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could be an option. So could Dario Saric, who is gaining momentum to be a top ten pick. He is not the scorer the Wolves covet, but Minnesota has had success with foreign prospects in the past and Saric could slide right into the small forward spot when he comes to the states. Minnesota also has a late first round pick, which they could use on another wing scorer or big man insurance like Jeff Withey or Steven Adams.

2013-2014 Outlook: A lot depends on the health of Greg Adelman, who got the most out of a weak roster the past two seasons. If he can refocus on coaching and the team resigns Pekovic, they could squeak 40 wins out of this roster. The new GM needs to decide if he is truly going to build this team around Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. If so, he may need to let Pekovic walk, trade Derrick Williams and get some more athletes to go along with Rubio. There will need to be major rebuilding in Minneapolis once again.


2013 NBA Mock Draft: Minnesota Timberwolves Selections

2013 NBA Mock Draft: v 5.0 (5/10/13)

Round 1, Pick 9. SF Shabazz Muhammad, Fr, UCLA

While Muhammad's stats look pretty good, he definitely had a disappointing lone year in Los Angeles. He did not do much for the Bruins other then score, and he wasn't terribly efficient at doing that. I think once he gets into an NBA rotation he won't be such a one dimensional ball hog, but it is troubling when you can't even average an assist per game. Then of course there is the news that he is actually a year older then thought. That will make scouts wonder how much his high school numbers were inflated playing against kids a year younger then him. Still, I think he is a pretty safe bet to eventually be a 20 point per game scorer in the NBA, and the Timberwolves desperately need to find wing players who can create their own offense.

Round 1, Pick 26. SG Tim Hardaway Jr, Jr, Michigan

Like I said earlier, the Wolves need wing players. Brandon Roy only lasted a handful of games, and Alexey Shved looks like the only shooting guard on the roster with any long term potential. Hardaway is not great at any one thing, but is a solid shooter, a good defender and will be a good, smart teammate.

Round 2, Pick 52. C Zeke Marshall, Sr, Akron

Marshall is thin but he is a 7 footer and can block shots. Some team could draft him and try to develop him.

Round 2, Pick 59. PF/C Colton Iverson, Sr, Colorado State

Iverson was a beast for the Rams but probably is not talented enough to make much of an NBA living.

Jonathan Carrano

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