Timberwolves Options to Fill Multiple Injured Guard Spots

Collin Kottke@CollinKottkeCorrespondent IIINovember 13, 2012

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The Wolves are off to their best start in a long time. Their record of 5-2 is the squad’s best start since 2001-02 when they started 6-1.

This start hasn’t been easy for the Wolves, though. Out of the five projected starters only Andrei Kirilenko is still standing.

The Wolves have known that Ricky Rubio would be out for the first part of the season after knee surgery, then All-star Kevin Love went down with a broken hand, next the former Portland star Brandon Roy is out with knee issues, and then on Monday, Nikola Pekovic hit the floor after twisting his ankle.

Throw in the injuries to J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger, who will be out 3-4 months after also having knee surgery, the Wolves are very depleted and need to look for some help.

On Monday, Malcom Lee started for the Wolves. If there was more need to emphasize that the Wolves need to add some depth. Lou Amundson played almost 15 minutes, you get the point.

But who should the Wolves go after?

The Wolves turned down signing veteran big man Kenyon Martin who would have come in for the veteran minimum.

Big men aren’t really needed for the Wolves who still have Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham, Greg Stiemsma, and Lou Amundson healthy.

It initially looks as if Pekovic only has a sprained ankle and should be back sooner than later, but these things are known to change.

That leaves the guards. At the moment only two, that head coach Rick Adelman really wants to play, are healthy: Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved.

Ridnour still has an aching back and Adelman would love to not have to play him 40 minutes night in and night out.

Shved has been a nice surprise so early in his NBA career.

The Wolves also have Malcom Lee and Will Conroy on the roster, but they are candidates to be shown the door once the injured are back to full health.

Brandon Roy and J.J. Barea should both be back fairly soon, but it’s not known how long Roy will be able to play and Barea has been injury prone in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune’s Timberwolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda laid out four names the Wolves could be looking at to bring in to grab a guard spot: Mikael Pietrus, Josh Howard, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Raja Bell.

According to 1500 ESPN’s Darren “Doogie” Wilson, the Wolves worked out Josh Howard on Monday in Dallas and are in talks with Mikael Pietrus. Wilson notes this:

“With no salary cap flexibility barring a trade, it's a matter of convincing someone to take what they can offer and enjoy the minutes.”

If Wolves fans are looking for a big scorer, don’t get your hopes up to high. Josh Howard averaged 14.5 points per game for his career, Raja Bell 9.9, Mikael Pietrus 8.4, and Chris Douglas-Roberts 7.7.

At this point for the Wolves it may be more about finding bodies that can play a little capable basketball while buying some time for the main cogs to get back.

The Wolves have looked impressive so far this year, but that can only go so far when a body is dropping every game.

If none of these options work out, there is always Troy Hudson who is currently playing for the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.