Minnesota Timberwolves: 4 Players Who Won't Be on the Team in 2012-2013
It's always difficult to predict exactly what a particular team will look like in the upcoming season.
With Rick Adelman joining the Minnesota Timberwolves as head coach this year, he's certainly spent months analyzing the current roster and debating which players fit where in his offensive scheme and vision for the team.
Taking into consideration contracts, player performances and Adelman's overall impression of specific players, there are four players I don't think will return in a Wolves uniform.
I don't know anyone that can argue this one.
Adelman clearly has the 7'0" Serbian in his dog house. Since being drafted in 2003, Milicic has found himself struggling in the league. His statistics pale in comparison to those that caught scouts' attention, and he appeared depressed and unhappy in the States.
Although it initially appeared as if Milicic might have found his home with the Wolves, the center soon regressed to the Darko known in New York—sluggish, apathetic and unmotivated.
Adelman usually keeps Milicic on the bench. The 26-year-old hasn't played in a game since March 18 and he's tallied double-digit points only six times this season. For a guy whose sole position is to stand beneath the basket and shoot, this is unacceptable.
What other players risk not being in MN next year?
I don't expect Milicic to return to Minnesota—or any NBA team—in the fall.
Although the 36-year-old center won't become a free agent until the 2013-2014 season, he announced on March 20 that he plans to retire at the end of this season.
According to the Star Tribune, David Kahn said he would be interested in keeping Miller on with the organization in some capacity following retirement.
According to Miller, his body won't allow him to play anywhere after this season "other than the 35-year-old league at the Y."
The veteran has played only 47 minutes over the course of the current season and he's ready to move on without any regrets.
At only 22 years old, Randolph holds the potential to grow into an effective role player on a team. He put up a strong start to the season, delivering a couple big plays, but Randolph soon saw himself warming the bench for extensive stretches of games.
Adelman doesn't appear too keen on the young forward's playing style. Randolph played only two games in February and four in March. He recently stepped up and contributed significantly in the wake of the Wolves' injury bug, but it won't be enough to earn him a roster spot.
Randolph becomes a free agent for the 2012-2013 season, and I expect him to go to a team intrigued by his explosiveness and energy. With some grooming and patience, the Louisiana State alum could become a strong player in the league.
Earlier this season, the 21-year-old Lee was sent down to Minnesota's D-League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Lee entered the league after playing only two years of college ball, and it's obvious he's a bit green behind the ears.
To his credit, Lee stepped up as a fourth-string point guard to be a starter when Minnesota lost Ricky Rubio, JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour to various injuries.
Despite playing in most games throughout March and April, however, Lee's numbers haven't shown much improvement. He's currently averaging three points and 1.3 assists per game.
Although Lee could eventually develop into a more influential player, Kahn will plan on Rubio, Barea and Ridnour to return at full health next season.
Lee's projected salary of $762,195 could be better spent on another position. Look for Lee to be in another city next season.
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