Last year’s record: 24-58
Head coach: Kurt Rambis
Projected Starters: Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love, Al Jefferson
Minnesota hopes the tough inside duo of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love will be enough to lead them into the playoffs. Unfortunately for the T-Wolves, there is no chance of them realistically making a run at the postseason. However, for now they can hang their hopes on the development of youngsters Jefferson, Love and Flynn, not to mention a certain floppy-haired point guard currently playing basketball in Spain.
Jay – Corey Brewer. There were high hopes for Brewer out of Florida. Many touted him as a Scottie Pippen-like defender with budding offensive skills. He’s been injured throughout his short career, but even when healthy Brewer has failed to live up to his expectations. He still has length and athleticism galore, but he’ll need to really develop to become a key player for these Wolves.
Tommy – A young team with some shocker potential. Kevin Love has to take another step forward in his development if they want to compete.
TJ – Ramon Sessions. He flashed some brilliance in Milwaukee, but must do so on a more consistent basis to bring Minnesota a few more wins.
Biggest question mark:
Jay – Point guards, point guards, point guards. Why the hell is Minnesota GM David Kahn going after so many point guards? WIth two picks in the top ten, Kahn selected two point guards, when he could have used at least one of those picks to shore up Minnesota’s glaring lack of wing players. He then signed point guard Ramon Sessions and traded for point guard Antonio Daniels. On the bright side, they’ll have a lot of ballhandlers.
Tommy – Frontcourt defense. Neither Jefferson or Love are known for their defense.
TJ – Why could I not find any good video of Al Jefferson’s post game? The man has the best low-post moves in the NBA, but no good YouTube video of him going to work in the post. Can one of our video-savvy readers please make one? Please include the pretty drop-steps, gorgeous up-and-unders, and silky jump hooks.
Most compelling storyline:
Jay – Can Al Jefferson and Kevin Love coexist in the same frontcourt? Two slow, plodding big men not known as good defenders. Last year, they didn’t play together often; Love didn’t get much playing time until Jefferson went down with an injury. It will be interesting to see how they play off each other.
Tommy – The T’Wolves really seem intent on pushing the tempo offensively this year. But I don’t see a fastbreak finisher on this roster and Al Jefferson is probably the best post up threat in the NBA, so why would you run away from him? Big Al was told to slim down – and did report to training camp at 262, the lightest he’s played at in the NBA – but he has never been very fast up and down the court and he’s always thrived in a half-court offense. Kahn has made some puzzling moves so far, especially since he whiffed on Rubio.
TJ – Al Jefferson signs his name as “Big Al”. I don’t know why, but that really cracks me up. If anyone ever asks for my autograph, it’s definitely going to have to say “Big T”.
Player to watch:
Jay – Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions. You know what you’re going to get from Jefferson, and to a lesser extent you know what Love is going to give you. You know the wings probably won’t give Minnesota much. But the point guards are wild cards. Sessions showed great potential with Milwaukee, and Flynn with Syracuse; but will either of them become an elite point guard? Flynn would if he could always play Rutgers…
Tommy – Al Jefferson; In my opinion, the best low-post player in the league. Think about it, Duncan is still good, but he’s getting older and settles for outside shots more often. Ditto with KG. Howard has zero post game. Gasol is great, but not as strong or assertive. Boozer has a claim, but he seems like a complete douche.
TJ – Jonny Flynn. This kid has hops, quickness and a great competitive desire… And in a few years he’ll be splitting minutes with Ricky Rubio in David Kahn’s bizarro backcourt.
Jay – 32-50
Tommy – 34-48
TJ – 30-52