Why Minnesota Timberwolves Fans Should Be Excited About This Offseason
The Minnesota Timberwolves' fanbase has to be ecstatic about this offseason.
After Kevin Love told Yahoo! Sports that his patience was not high and that he wants to win (via ESPN), the Minnesota front office has responded with an offseason that shouts, "championship!"
Rubio was done for the season and the Timberwolves went into free-fall. Without Rubio, the team did not have the same excitement and missed the playoffs.
While Rubio has been rehabbing and Kevin Love has been winning Olympic gold, Minnesota did some house cleaning and added some shiny pieces that will help Love add another trophy to his case.
Gone is the deep stable of forwards in Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Anthony Randolph, along with center Darko Milicic.
Here to win are SG/SF Chase Budinger, center Greg Stiemsma and the following trio that will return Minnesota to respectability and glory.
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The Timberwolves are using Europe as its draft pool and they may be onto something, as they have now signed Alexey Shved.
The Timberwolves drafted a young, talented point guard out of Spain and Ricky Rubio proved to be everything Minnesota was expecting and more.
Now, they have signed a young, talented point guard out of Russia.
Shved will mainly play as a shooting guard and provides size and skill to what is arguably the weakest position for the Wolves.
The 6'5" guard excelled as part of Team Russia in the Olympics. Along with Andrei Kirilenko, Shved led Team Russia to a bronze medal with his 25 points against Argentina, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Playing two ball-handlers at once worked last season between Rubio and Luke Ridnour, perhaps it will work again with Rubio and Shved.
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Andrei Kirilenko is the second part of the trio Minnesota signed, but it turns out he has already formed a dynamic duo with another piece, Alexey Shved.
Kirilenko was teammates with Shved on Team Russia and was instrumental to Russia's success.
Kirilenko dominated in the Olympics and even scored 35 points against Great Britain.
His 20 points combined with Shved's 25 points in the bronze-medal game against Argentina sealed Russia's win.
While it was expensive to sign Kirilenko at $10 million for each of the next two years, he will start at the small forward position and occasionally relieve Kevin Love at the power forward position.
Kirilenko provides shot-blocking ability as well as the ability to score inside or from the three-point line.
Kirilenko's connection with Shved should help them both get better acclimated to the Timberwolves' offense as well as provide a second tenacious scoring duo to go along with Love and Rubio.
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Shved and Kirilenko will help the Timberwolves become playoff contenders, but the addition of Brandon Roy could be what makes Minnesota a championship contender.
Brandon Roy is the "prodigal son" and could easily take Minnesota to the next level.
Roy was originally drafted by the Timberwolves back in 2006, but he was soon traded to the Trailblazers in order to get the rights to Randy Foye. Roy went on to be Rookie of the Year and eventually an All-Star selection, while Foye soon fell out of favor in Minnesota and was traded.
Of course, Roy's impact all depends on his knee. Roy actually retired because of a degenerative knee condition.
It was shocking to hear of Roy's retirement, but it was even more shocking to hear that he wanted to return just a year into retirement.
If Roy's knees hold, the Timberwolves will have one of the most complete teams in the NBA. The starting lineup would be Rubio, Roy, Kirilenko, Love and Nikola Pekovic.
Granted, Roy will most likely come off the bench to start the season, but if he becomes the Brandon Roy that was once considered an All-Star then there will be no limit as to how far the Timberwolves can go.
Roy is part of a high-risk, high-reward offseason, but for once David Kahn may have put a winning team together in Minnesota.