Anthony Randolph: The Answer to the Minnesota Timberwolves' Frontcourt Problems
With the new acquisition of the 2011 NBA Draft's second overall pick, Derrick Williams, the Minnesota Timberwolves' front line is now immensely overpopulated with the likes of Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver, Nikola Pekovic, Darko Milicic, and Williams.
The clear-cut starting 4 is Kevin Love, and Darko will probably get the most looks at the 5, but the 3 spot will be a battle between Beasley and Williams. The hard part about having such a crowded frontcourt will be finding ways to give each of these young players sufficient playing time
Being inexperienced and unpolished, each of these players need as much playing time as possible in order to refine their skills and gain exposure.
For this reason and a few others, I propose the idea of moving Anthony Randolph to the center position. Not only would this give more playing time for the other guys at the two forward spots, but it would give Randolph some much-needed playing time.
Since coming into the league, Randolph has never seen consistent minutes, which can be seen as the main cause for his well-documented inconsistency. Down the stretch last season, with Love out, Randolph was finally given starter's minutes and showed his versatility and potential during those games.
Randolph will soon be entering his fourth year at only 22 years old, and I believe it is now finally the time to unleash the beast in Randolph and see what he can do as the full-time starting center.
Darko had his chance last year, and I think we can all agree that he will never be the All-Star that David Kahn thought he could be.
Randolph, a tremendous athlete, has never been a full-time starter, and with Beasley/Williams, Love, and Randolph, the Wolves would have one of the most exciting and promising starting frontcourts in the whole league. Their bench would also be very deep at all positions.
We all know what Beasley, Williams, and Love can do, but Randolph himself is one of the most intriguing talents in the league, and he is often overlooked as a key piece to the Wolves' future success.
At his size, with his speed and ball-handling abilities, he would be able to beat most big men in the league down the floor for easy buckets, or face them up and take them off the dribble. He also has tremendous rebounding instincts, as well as great length and leaping ability. He is not afraid to mix it up down low and he also has good timing in terms of shot blocking.
Finally, what Randolph has that is most important in an NBA player is the desire to get better and stay motivated. According to multiple sources, Randolph has put on another 10-15 pounds of muscle, and with the lockout looming, he has plenty of time to add even more weight and improve even more.
At last, the excuse that "Randolph is too skinny to play center" can be put to rest. If Randolph continues to work hard, I can easily see him coming into camp at 6'11", 245 pounds, and at that point he would be strong enough to defend and hang with most centers.
If given ample playing time, Anthony will finally bust out and average upwards of 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists, and the Timberwolves will have success while giving sufficient playing time to all of their players.
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