With the Timberwolves completely reformed this year, you have to wonder how they're going to compare to 08-09.
Well it's fair to make comparisons between last year and this year on a would you rather scale.
So would you rather have:
- Randy Foye or Ramon Sessions?
- Jonny Flynn or Sebastian Telfair?
- Last Year's or This Year's Al Jefferson?
- Last Year's or This Year's Kevin Love?
- Last Year's or This Year's Corey Brewer?
- Last Year's or This Year's Ryan Gomes?
- Mike Miller or Damien Wilkins?
- Craig Smith or Oleksiy Pecherov?
- Rashad McCants or Wayne Ellington?
- Shelden Williams or Ryan Hollins?
- Kevin Ollie or Antonio Daniels?
- Jason Collins or Mark Blount?
- Kevin McHale or David Kahn?
- Randy Wittman or Kurt Rambis?
This is a pretty general comparison, but not perfectly direct.
Randy Foye or Ramon Sessions?
At the moment, it's hard to say who will have more of an impact on the team overall. On the one hand you could argue that Foye scored a lot for the Wolves, and was considerably versatile, but that was only because he couldn't play either of his two positions perfectly.
Sessions will have to play point guard, but he may have to do it at the two position sometimes, if that makes sense. But neither is better than the other for the moment.
Jonny Flynn or Sebastian Telfair?
The closest anyone's coming to topping Blake Griffin easily beats his new teammate. Telfair never developed into the player we thought he might, and didn't fit in well with the Wolves.
Flynn had an amazing summer league trip, and looks like he is in the running to become the Wolves future second All-Star behind Big Al.
Pick: Jonny Flynn
Last Year's or This Year's Al Jefferson?
Coming off a knee injury is never good. Apparently he's fine, but I'd rather have a 100 percent knee than a 99.99 percent knee.
Pick: Last Year
Last Year's or This Year's Kevin Love?
Love struggled to find his game last season early. But once Jefferson went down, the team looked to him to become the team's best player, and that's went he found his groove. Now that he found it, it'll be easier for him to keep it.
Pick: This Year
Last Year's or This Year's Corey Brewer?
Though it is the same injury as Al, Brewer's season last year went nowhere, so it's more like comparing having Corey Brewer to not having Corey Brewer.
And I'd rather have a solid lock-down defender, who is improving on his outside shooting ability than a waste of $2 million.
Pick: This Year
Last Year's or This Year's Ryan Gomes?
He wasn't injured, he's not still developing, so there really isn't much of a difference there.
Mike Miller or Damien Wilkins?
Not that he was that great, but the Wolves never found a replacement for Mike Miller. A lot of players that were lost were compensated for, but Wilkins can't play very well, and Mike at least did something for the team.
For the lack of a better comparison, Mike takes this one. Although, because we only had Rashad for one part, and Shelden Williams for another part of the season last season, you could compare Mike to Wayne Ellington, in which case we may get a little closer to a tie.
Pick: Mike Miller
Craig Smith or Oleksiy Pecherov?
Pecherov has the height advantage over Smith, which may be exactly what the Wolves need this season.
But Craig was a good player, and a valuable asset to the team, and it's hard to predict Oleksiy being that player for Minnesota, especially when he hasn't averaged more than five points per game in the past few seasons he's been active.
Pick: Craig Smith
Rashad McCants or Wayne Ellington?
There's no telling how good exactly Wayne will be for this team, but Rashad only provided certain outbursts of shooting ability.
This is something that is perfect for Wayne to take on as a player, as it is his primary skill as well.
Shelden Williams, or Ryan Hollins?
To put it plainly and simply, Shelden Williams was not good, and Ryan Hollins could be.
Williams had some select moments where he put up almost 15 points for the Timberwolves, but Hollins was signed for his defensive play which he has proved worthy against strong opponents in the past.
Williams was a bench warmer.
Pick: Ryan Hollins
Kevin Ollie or Antonio Daniels?
Kevin Ollie emerged as a sort of team leader (he was the captain) for the Timberwolves last season, but never played basketball very well.
Daniels has only recently started to drop his numbers, which at one point were as high as 11.2 points per game.
Daniels is a good player and adds the veteran experience the Wolves need, that Ollie provided to players that didn't get better because of it.
Pick: Antonio Daniels
Jason Collins or Mark Blount?
While Collins was slightly productive, we won't have Blount by the beginning of the season. And I don't personally want either of them. So it's a tough call from slight productivity, to nothing. Hmm...
Kevin McHale or David Kahn?
Now, not all of his ideas have been tested, but at least he's getting the concept of which players are valuable and which are not. He tried and failed at Rubio, and the Telfair, Smith, Madsen trade kind of backfired, but he seems to know what he wants and how to get it.
And McHale was just the WORST.
Pick: David Kahn
Randy Wittman or Kurt Rambis?
When you figure in the rest of the coaching staff, it appears like this one has the most amazing upper hand of the whole list. Randy tried his hardest, and we commend him for that, but the man scheduled to replace the king of coaches seems to be the way I'm leaning.
If I had a second best coach from either season, I'd pick the WNBA six-time winner Bill Laimbeer.
Pick: Kurt Rambis
This Year—Seven (Flynn, Daniels, Rambis, Kahn, Hollins, Brewer, Love)
Ties—Four (Gomes, Collins/Blount, McCants/Ellington, Foye/Sessions)
Last Year—Three (Jefferson, Miller, Smith)
So there you have it. If you line them up side by side, it seems like the Timberwolves went through an improvement.
Look for a difference in the "ties" to be a difference maker, but overall, it looks like a big reform for the better for Minnesota.