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Team Outlook: 2010-11 Timberwolves


Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Love is one of the league's top rebounders, but sharing the power forward spot with Al Jefferson hurt his overall numbers.

Getty Images Sport: Chris Graythen/Staff
Updated October 13, 2010
Fantasy NBA 2010: Top 100 Players | Point Guards | Shooting Guards | Small Forwards | Power Forwards | Centers | Team Breakdowns

Timberwolves president David Kahn made the trade that allowed the Miami Heat to sign LeBron James. He solved last year's roster mismatch problem -- Minnesota's two best guys played the same position and couldn't share the floor -- by acquiring yet another power forward. He threw big money at a legendary draft bust, and his big-name draft pick is still in Spain. Other than that, he had an excellent summer.

Offseason Moves

Key Additions: Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Martell Webster
Key Subtractions: Al Jefferson, Ramon Sessions, Ryan Gomes

2009-10 Outlook

Let's be charitable and call David Kahn's tenure in Minnesota "hard to figure." Among his more quizzical moves:
  • Drafting Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn - point guards both -- in the top ten of 2009 draft -- and apparently selecting Rubio without first learning whether or not the Spanish phenom would be willing to sign with Minnesota
  • Hiring Kurt Rambis as coach. Rambis installs a Phil Jackson-style triangle offense, which de-emphasizes the point guard position and hurts Flynn's production
  • Rambis also can't find a way to use power forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love on the floor at the same time -- which means one of the team's most talented players is always on the bench. Kahn addresses that by dealing Jefferson in the offseason - but re-creates the problem by acquiring Michael Beasley from Miami.
  • And he all but eliminated the possibility of using Love at center by giving big-money contracts to Darko Milicic (a.k.a., "Worst draft pick in NBA history") and Nikola Pekovic.
Kahn did address one major area of concern -- the brutal lack of perimeter scoring -- by adding Syracuse swingman Wes Johnson with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft. And in fairness, acquiring Beasley for practically nothing is a decent gamble; Beasley is still very young and has tremendous potential that he never really showed in Miami. But as a whole, the 2010-11 T-Wolves don't seem to be that much better than the 2009-10 edition, and that team won just two games after the all-star break.

Fantasy Notes

Free Kevin Love! Love might be the league's best rebounder and is an outstanding passer, but his fantasy production has been hampered by the fact that he's been stuck in a time-share arrangement with Al Jefferson. I'm concerned that the addition of Beasley will continue to hamper Love's numbers. Beasley could theoretically slide over to small forward, but Miami tried and abandoned that strategy.

Jonny Flynn isn't expected to make his season debut until late November, and even when he does, he'll be stuck in Rambis' triangle sets and splitting time with Luke Ridnour. He has excellent potential, but I won't draft him until Minnesota opens up the offense a bit.

But the triangle should suit Wes Johnson's skill set perfectly. Remember, the triangle is set up for the bulk of the offense to be run through a talented wing player -- think Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Johnson's got a long way to go before he merits comparisons to either of those guys, but he's the closest thing Minnesota's got.

Projected Lineup

Point Guard: Jonny Flynn (Luke Ridnour initially)
Shooting Guard: Wes Johnson
Small Forward: Martell Webster
Power Forward: Kevin Love
Center: Darko Milicic
Key Subs: Michael Beasley, Luke Ridnour, Corey Brewer, Wayne Ellington
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