NBA Trade Deadline: Evaluating Anthony Randolph with Minnesota Timberwolves
Pull up YouTube and watch some Anthony Randolph highlights if you have no idea who this kid is.
I was vaguely familiar with him because of his tenure with Golden State, and every time my beloved Timberwolves would play Golden State, I remember him out-jumping every player we had on our roster.
I said wow, that kid has some crazy upside—no way Golden State lets him go.
I even remember vaguely that there were trade rumors that Minnesota was looking into trading Kevin Love for him straight up, and Golden State refused. Very dumb on the Wolves' end, wouldn't you say? Golden State would have sported the league's best pick and pop combo with Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis, and, well, the Wolves wouldn't have an All-Star.
Besides that, Randolph was traded to the New York Knicks, couldn't get off the bench and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Corey Brewer, who was waived and signed by the Dallas Mavericks. Considering the fact that the Wolves got $3 million in cash and a future second-round pick, I think the Wolves possibly got the better with this trade.
One thing that we have learned about David Kahn is that he is a horrible drafter. He hasn't found one bona fide potential superstar in the draft despite many opportunities. What we do know, however, is that he really knows how to maximize assets in trades. While I didn't like the Al Jefferson trade, there is such a thing as addition by subtraction, and no way does Kevin Love become an All-Star without Jefferson being traded.
Start Randolph Where?
Kahn also got Ricky Rubio for Randy Foye and Mike Miller and Darko Milicic for Brian Cardinal. While I'm just praying that he allows Tony Ronzone, the assistant GM, to draft the players, I think it's safe to say that Kahn has shown that he is at least average in making trades.
That being said, Anthony Randolph's game against the Pistons last night showed what kind of player he can be.
Understand, most fans and writers can look at one spectacular game and give you all kinds of excuses about small sample sizes. Usually this would come after a player had a remarkable career defining game, and while Anthony Randolph's 19-point, 10-rebound game was great, the actual play-by-play live would show you that he's well capable of putting those numbers up on two out of three nights.
He is freakishly long, longer than I expected. He's so fast that when he's running up the court, you're almost asking yourself, "Where is the big man?" Well, he's there—he's just running with the wing players, and out-jumping them as well. I noticed an immediate change in the way Jonny Flynn plays with both Wes Johnson and Anthony Randolph on the court with Kevin Love.
Because of Randolph's ability to run the floor and cover much ground, he also covers a lot of holes in Love's defensive game, and I swear he can play small forward.
I think it's a perfect fit, and I don't know if he's going to be a full-time starter or sixth man, but whatever you want to put him as, he's good for a change in Kurt Rambis' system. While his IQ is that of what I would expect of a promising rookie, his athleticism makes up for a lot of the deficiencies in the Wolves offense.
Because of his leaping ability, he gets offensive rebounds by instinct. Pick and rolls spread the floor for the guards because of his speed and threat to leap, which changes the dynamic of the very same offensive sets that the Wolves run.
Anthony Randolph already has some of the better ball-handling on the team, which just justifies as to why the Wolves lead the league in turnovers. It's actually quite remarkable that Randolph couldn't get some backup minutes just watching the game. I mean, it's not like he is looking like Kevin Durant out there, but he looked more than serviceable, and quite promising, honestly.
He is willing to attack the basket and get to the free-throw line. He also showed that he can knock down an open mid-range jumper. Another thing I have noticed is that the Wolves will now more, more than ever, finally run! Usually when Randolph gets a long rebound, he immediately takes off with the ball, creating numerous three-on-two situations. It's quite nice to see that for a change.
The sky is the limit for this kid. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where he would start on this team. If you think about it, he could start at the center position, but do you really want him banging with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum? At the 4 you have the Carlos Boozers and Blake Griffins that would just overpower him, plus that is Kevin Love's spot regardless.
At the 3 we don't exactly know how good of a matchup he could be, but you get what I'm saying. He presents a problem, but they are good problems to have.
I personally think that the Wolves offense is a good thing for Randolph. One thing it does is teach players how to move the ball, as well as how to play for the team, and most of all it teaches discipline. It's a good teaching tool for a young team, and the Wolves have only gotten younger.
Wolves usually have bad problems.
Thanks for reading!
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