The Minnesota Timberwolves have had some ups and some downs this offseason. First, they made the trade to send their 18th pick to Houston for Chase Budinger. Then, they won the battle over Brandon Roy, who agreed to terms with the Timberwolves for just below the mid-level exception.
They also lost their pursuits of Nicolas Batum, Courtney Lee and Pau Gasol because they couldn't find the right deal for any of them. They've recovered recently with deals in place for Alexey Shved, Greg Steimsma, Dante Cunningham and possibly Andrei Kirilenko.
The T-Wolves have parted ways with Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, Wayne Ellington, Brad Miller, Anthony Randolph and Martell Webster. Anthony Tolliver is still a free agent.
Now if this new deal to send Wes Johnson to the Phoenix Suns, and in return sign Andrei Kirilenko goes through, I have one piece of advice for the Timberwolves.
Don't do anything else this offseason. Just stay right where you are with this roster, and play some games.
This roster has too many question marks around it to really start making any more deals this offseason. Sure, Nikola Pekovic's trade value is at an all-time high, but you can't really say the same for anyone else on the roster who's movable. Derrick Williams will not get a high return back anymore, and Rubio and Love are pretty much untouchable to the Timberwolves.
We need to see who is going to play well for the Timberwolves, and who is not. First of all, almost all of the guys on the team cannot be traded until January 15th, just a month before the trade deadline. This is because they have all signed new contracts with the team and cannot be traded due of them.
Also, players who were traded cannot be moved while adding another player to the deal because of a similar clause.
Because of this, the Wolves need to wait. See how everyone plays going into this season. Chances are Derrick Williams, Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved and Andrei Kirilenko are not going to all emerge as All-Stars next season.
However, if some of them become attractive trade chips, they can be moved to acquire another All-Star for the Timberwolves mid-season. The Wolves can also put together some attractive assets for a three-team trade for a team looking to swap All-Stars for young, developing players.
The point is that this cannot be done in the off-season. Shved, Roy, Kirilenko, Budinger and Steimsma all have to wait for the January 15th mark to pass by before they can be moved to another squad, if the Timberwolves so desire.
At this point, the Wolves should hope that most of these players emerge as guys who can start for an NBA franchise, and move enough people around so that they aren't a team of 10 starter-caliber players, but instead a team of 3-4 potential All-Stars.
So let's see how they do. Hopefully Brandon Roy will return to his former glory. Hopefully we can sign Andrei Kirilenko, and he's as good as he once was. Hopefully Derrick Williams follows Kevin Love and Kevin Garnett into the list of guys who went from being Timberwolves All-Rookie Second Team members, and then transformed into superstars. Then let's hope that Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio return to full health, and Budinger, Steimsma, and Shved play as well as we expect them to.
If all of those things fall into place, then the Timberwolves can start making trades.