Al Jefferson Traded To The Jazz; Rebuild 2.0 Begins For T'Wolves
Considering how successful Minnesota was in regaining their strength after the loss of Kevin Garnett, Al Jefferson's move to Utah wasn't very surprising. The 25 year old's move to Utah allowed the Wolves to finally eliminate all remains of the Big Ticket's trade to Beantown. This move signals a new era in T'Wolves history or Rebuild 2.0 as I like to call it.
Jefferson was moved for Kosta Kofous and two first round draft picks, one from Memphis and one from Utah. The pick from Memphis is protected, however, to the point that it can never be more than a 10th pick. Utah needed to make a move to replace the loss of Carlos Boozer and getting someone that can completely resume his role at three years younger is a great move for them.
But back to Rebuild 2.0 and with Jefferson gone, space on the court opens up for the 2008 first round pick Kevin Love. Love's PPG and RPG had a tendency to shoot up when Jefferson was sidelined with an injury during his Rookie and Sophomore seasons. So, his playmaking ability can only be extended by the removal of El Jefe.
Love will be backed up in the paint by new addition, Michael Beasley, and Darko Milicic; both of which are former second overall picks in their respective drafts. The trade for Michael Beasley cost them next to nothing thanks to the Miami Thrice situation and Darko Milicic has been a draft bust for most of his career; but he arguably put up the best numbers of his career last year with the Wolves.
Not to mention their 2010 1st round draft pick, Wesley Johnson, from Syracuse University who averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds while with the Orange. Johnson will be joining the team's starting five in his rookie season as the only true SF. The rookie will be the second ex-Orangemen to join the team in the last two years after they drafted Jonny Flynn 6th in the 2009 draft.
Flynn adds to a backcourt situation that is filled with tons of young talent of its own and is the key to taking this team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The aforementioned Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, and Corey Brewer make up a very tall and quick guard grouping.
Flynn is the smallest at 6 foot and has already shown the ability to slash and dash with the best of them. His rookie season also allowed him to reach the All-Rookie 2nd team and his talents rival that of fellow rookie, Ty Lawson.
Webster is a very tall shooting guard a 6'7" and has been somewhat of a draft bust just like Milicic. Coming out of Seattle Prep High School, he was drafted in 2005 6th Overall to the Trail Blazers. However, he can provide his excellent three point ability from off the bench when the team needs a boost.
Wayne Ellington, out of North Carolina, has the most untapped potential of all of the T'Wolves guards. After averaging 15.8 PPG in his last year and leaving a year early, Ellington seemed to fizzle in his rookie year after being picked 28th in the 2009 draft. The 6'5" shooting guard averaged 6.8 PPG, but all of his production came off the bench so it would be nice to see him get more playing time.
Lastly, Corey Brewer, who undeniably has the biggest heart on the team is a difference maker every game. Also, he is another player whose best season came last year averaging 13 PPG and 3 APG. Brewer is a hybrid shooting guard/small forward because he is 6'9" and can do a little bit of everything while playing in the game.
When it all comes down to it, the T'Wolves Rebuild 2.0, has as high of a ceiling as any team in the NBA and could mean good things for the City of Lakes.
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