Minnesota Timberwolves: What Could Their 2011-12 Lineup Potentially Look Like?

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Minnesota Timberwolves: What Could Their 2011-12 Lineup Potentially Look Like?
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The Minnesota Timberwolves were a downright disaster during the 2010-11 season.

The continued development of young guns Kevin Love and Michael Beasley were seemingly the only bright spots on the club.

This summer will be one filled with change in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the T'Wolves are prepared to make some trades and acquisitions.

Let's say that by lucky chance the Wolves somehow land both Kyrie Irving and Chris Singleton. In these two selections, the team will receive both the best point guard and best defender available.

How clutch would that be?

Let's also say that the eccentric Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, calls up David Kahn and bestows upon the deranged general manager a trade he simply can't ignore. Cuban has been known to have a Rubio fetish, and the Wolves are in need of a post defender.

Tyson Chandler, being a top three defensive center in the league, is the first name that comes (God willing it won't be just a draft pick) to Kahn's mind.

Kahn quickly (and once again, God willing) answers with this: "We need defense in the post. We can't live off Kevin Love and Anthony Randolph forever! Give us Tyson and a first-rounder."

Cuban and Dallas management reluctantly agree and the trade is executed.

But this is David Kahn we're talking about, so anything can happen.

Let's just say for the sake of this article that the Chandler-Rubio swap is completed. The lineup could potentially look like this:

 

PG Kyrie Irving

At just 19 years of age and 11 college games played, Irving has already shown he has ultimate potential at the professional level.

He is an excellent passer, a decent scorer and defender, and is definitely an upgrade over incumbents Luke Ridnour and Jonny Flynn.

If the T'Wolves grab ahold of the first ping-pong ball, there is no doubt in my mind that Kyrie will be their man.

SG Wesley Johnson

After one season with the Wolves, Johnson has already established himself as the best perimeter defender on the club.

He needs to, however, improve upon his confidence, something that no doubt took a toll on him as the season went on.

SF Michael Beasley

Beasley had himself a great start to the season, averaging over 20 and looking like the T'Wolves' future closer.

Then, things took a turn for the worst. Beasley couldn't pass well and his defense was lagging.

I know the B-Easy will have a long tenure with the team, but the thing that he needs to improve upon is keeping his early season form throughout the duration of the campaign.

PF Kevin Love

Was there any doubt here?

The fourth All-Star in team history, Love might not improve upon his 20-15 season but he can one-up his own defense.

At times, he looked lost on D and other times, he seemingly let players by him.

C Tyson Chandler

One of the best shot blockers and post defenders in the game today, Chandler brings about a new mojo in the post. Darko is a solid defender, sure, but he was often in foul trouble and didn't see the court as much as we'd like to have seen him, plus he's no Tyson.

Chandler is a ferocious competitor, a guy who, at 29 years of age, brings a veteran presence into the locker room.

Alright, alright, I'll stop waxing poetically about the 7'1" big now.

 

Let's take a look at what the bench would look like and how these acquisitions could trigger an effect to the Minnesota bench.

First, there's Luke Ridnour. Let's say Luke is furious (which, in all honesty, could you see it happening?) about the Irving selection and asks out of Minnesota.

Okay, let's deal him for a solid role player like Anthony Parker of the Cleveland Cavaliers. There's some more defense there!

Wayne Ellington realizes his potential could be used somewhere else better, so the team deals or releases him.

Then there's Jonny Flynn. I assume he'll be stuck here for a little longer, next season included.

Sebastian Telfair smirks to himself, says "I used to be the next big thing in the NBA," then promptly takes his talents elsewhere.

Anthony Randolph is smiling to himself, knowing that he is now the sixth man and could become a force at all three frontcourt positions.

$5.2 million will be wasted on Martell Webster next season unfortunately, so he will be coming off the bench with his all-offense, no-defense approach.

With their second selection of the first round, the Wolves select Chris Singleton, improving their defensive mindset in the frontcourt.

Anthony Tolliver, Nikola Pekovic and Lazar Hayward are all maybes as to whether they return or not, but there's your lineup as of right now.

What do you think, Wolves fans? Is it possible?

Let's just say that if it all worked out, we'd be a better defensive team, we'd have better leadership and we wouldn't lose anything too detrimental to our future.

I'll take that lineup.

 

Joseph Fafinski is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri. Originally from Chaska, Minnesota, Joseph is an NBA and Minnesota Timberwolves Featured Columnist and a frequent writer on all things NBA, NFL and MLB.

You can email Joseph at jef3m8@mail.missouri.edu or follow him on Twitter at  @JosephFafinski.

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