The Timberwolves Have Options and Needs

matt ericksonContributor IJune 10, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  Eric Maynor #3 of the VCU Rams reacts during the game against the UCLA Bruins during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bruins defeated the Rams 65-64.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

There are a lot of obvious holes in the Timberwolves line up.  The Wolves are in desperate need of a point guard who can run the offense and lead the team, Telfair is not a starting point guard in the NBA, he is a change of pace backup who can come in and spark the team. 

Foye is a shooting guard, he is to turnover prone to have the ball in his hands and be expected to run the offense.  The good news?  This year’s draft is loaded with talent at point guard, and there are several players who can come in and have an immediate impact on the team and take command of the offense. 

Rubio is most likely out of the question unless the Wolves trade up to get him, and while extremely talented would not be able to come in and run the team immediately.  The way I see it, there are two very good fits for the Timberwolves and several players who would work well with the team also, but are not going to be as sure of a thing. 

Curry, many people think he is too small, is too turnover prone, is not strong enough, well he’s heard it all before, and continues to play with a chip on his shoulder.  They said he couldn’t be a point guard, then he led his team in assists, and we all know he can score. 

He has an amazingly quick release on his jump shot and has limitless range.  Curry would come in and be able to run the point and hold his own defensively until he is able to put on a little more muscle, Foye can also guard bigger and stronger players.  The second player is Eric Maynor. 

Yes, both of these players come from small schools, but they both played at a very high level, and Maynor improved each and every year over his four years in college basketball.  Maynor has the leadership qualities the Timberwolves need in their future point guard, he can score, he can pass he can defend. 

The knock on him is he doesn’t do anything great, just does everything well.  So what’s the problem?  He has no real holes in his game, but he also won’t be able to take over games.  He has a Sam Cassell like quality, he hits big shots and plays almost mistake free during the game. 

There are other good fits for the wolves, Darren Collison has experience and is one of the fastest players in the draft.  He knows how to play in a half court set, but prefers to run and gun, Collison has also developed into a lock down defender, which is something the Wolves desperately need at the point. 

Patty Mills is a hot name floating around.  He is the fastest player in the draft and can get to the rim at will and is a good finisher, however he has a tendency to over dribble and is a bit turnover prone, he also has a streaky jump shot. 

He needs to develop a consistent jump shot to be a starting point guard in the NBA, right now, he would just be a better version of Telfair for the wolves, and I would only take him with the 28th pick, no higher.  Jrue Holiday has been shooting up the charts, and he has a ton of talent, but will most likely not contribute immediately, he is in the same boat as Rubio and is a few years away from being a starting point guard. 

Johnny Flynn is also a hot name.  Amazing athlete and competitor, a bit undersized but makes up for it with strength and will power.  Flynn would be a good fit in the Wolves system but has a bit of a temper and that Is not something the Wolves need right now.

The Wolves cannot simply be content at using their three draft picks, they need to make some trades and dump some salary.  Madsen, Miller and Cardinal both have contracts expiring in 2010, and would be hot commodities on the trade market. 

Minnesota should look at possibly moving the sixth pick along with Miller and Madsen  for a center, small forward or point guard and future picks, or a later pick in this draft depending on the player they receive in return. 

The Wolves should consider trading Miller and the sixth pick to Milwaukee for Joel Alexander or preferably Richard Jefferson and the tenth overall pick.   Milwaukee would like to move up to select either a point guard, possibly Curry, or pick Jordan Hill to partner with Bogut down low.   

The Wolves can then in turn use the tenth pick to select Eric Maynor.  Then, Minnesota can use the 18th pick on Austin Daye, Earl Clark or DaJuan Summers, all who can learn behind Richard Jefferson, who most likely would not resign after his contract expires after the 2011 season.  The 28th pick should be used on a player who can be stashed overseas for a season or two and then come over and contribute.

The Timberwolves roster would look like this:


Miller or Cardinal






Richard Jefferson



Carney (Resign)


The starting lineup would be:



R. Jefferson


A. Jefferson