Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA Draft 2011: David Kahn is Building a Monster Minnesota Timberwolves Team

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23:  Derrick Williams from Arizona smiles after he was selected #2 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Camden PaschAnalyst IIJune 24, 2011

After a many of trade rumors and different scenarios passed by, the Minnesota Timberwolves kept it simple with the No. 2 pick and ended up with arguably the best player in the draft, Derrick Williams. 

Williams' game in college at the University of Arizona made him to be considered as a tweener, but he has made it clear that he feels like he will be a small forward in the NBA, and apparently, Minnesota general manager David Kahn completely agrees with him.

With Williams set to be a small forward, questions have been and will continue to be asked about whether or not current Timberwolves small forward Michael Beasley will be traded this offseason.

Kahn immediately answered those questions during his post-draft press conference when he said, "Michael will be on the team next year. Kevin [Love] will be on the team next year. Wes [Johnson] will be on the team next year. All of the essential parts of the team that we've identified over the last couple years will certainly be on the team next year."

Adding Williams could decrease the amount of minutes Beasley plays, but Kahn did share that he spoke to Beasley about taking Williams with the No. 2 pick when he visited him in Los Angeles and Beasley was excited about that possibility.

Williams provided some insight on the communication he's had with his new teammates, specifically 2010 lottery pick Wes Johnson.

"Yeah, that was the first text message I got, it was from Wes," Williams said. "He was like 'What's up, teammate?' That right there gives me a lot of confidence that the team is already in place to take me in as one of their brothers and they're good teammates already."

He's been working out with Beasley, Love and Johnson in L.A. and the foursome could be part of one the more exciting lineups in the NBA with newly-added Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio.

When asked about the possibility of Johnson, Beasley and Williams being able to play together, Kahn answered, "I think that there's a way with Wes, Michael, Derrick, moving Kevin to the 5 with certain lineups."

He also mentioned that those five might not be able to play in the same lineup in every game, as their lineup may depend on the opposition's lineup. The Wolves might not be able to use Love as the center against bigger centers, so that would slide Darko Milicic back to the starting center role, Love to the power forward position and Beasley to the bench. 

It is fun to think about using the lineup Kahn suggested with Love as the center. For example, the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat would be teams that Minnesota could get away with using Love as the center because neither team has an overpowering or oversized center in their lineup.

On the opposite side of that situation, teams like the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers have true centers in Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, respectively, and Love would be dominated by them on the defensive side of the court.

A special part of what Kahn is doing with this team is how much more fun the team will be to watch. Having high flyers Williams and Beasley paired with the creative passer in Rubio will make the amount of "wow" plays increase in bunches.

The number of different lineups the Wolves can run out on the court every given night is what can make them extremely dangerous. Williams and Beasley are already players that are mismatches by themselves, let alone them both being on the floor at the same time.

Then there's the rebounding machine and dependable shooter in Love who can stretch the floor in lineups where he'd be playing center. Not to mention the 6'4", creative and "pass first" point guard in Rubio. 

In terms of offense, Minnesota will be near the top in points scored per game next season. That shouldn't be the area of caution at the moment. The concerns will still be on defense where the team was the worst in the league.

Kahn is not done yet and still has some moves to make in free agency and with the head coaching situation, but if you're a Timberwolves fan, you're feeling incredibly optimistic about the future of this team in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

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