With the recent moves by the T-Wolves I've become pretty interested in their future moves and thought it would be a good team to follow via a thread. Looking at their current roster the transition between a poorly constructed offensive team and an athletic, defense first team appears clear.
With that in mind who do you guys see getting traded, staying or getting cut?
Including Fesenko and Heslip the Wolves potentially will be bringing about 20 people to camp. What it looks like presently:
http://espn.go.com/nba/team/roster/_...a-timberwolves11 J.J. Barea PG 30 6-0 178 Northeastern $4,519,500
15 Anthony Bennett PF 21 6-8 259 UNLV $5,563,920
13 Corey Brewer SF 28 6-9 185 Florida $4,702,500
10 Chase Budinger SF 26 6-7 209 Arizona $5,000,000
33 Dante Cunningham PF 27 6-8 221 Villanova
5 Gorgui Dieng C 24 6-11 238 Louisville $1,413,480
6 Robbie Hummel SF 25 6-8 220 Purdue $880,000
0 Othyus Jeffers SG 29 6-5 210
14 Zach LaVine PG 19 6-5 180 UCLA $2,055,840
23 Kevin Martin SG 31 6-7 197 Western Carolina $6,792,500
15 Shabazz Muhammad SF 21 6-6 222 UCLA $1,971,960
14 Nikola Pekovic C 28 6-11 285 $12,100,000
1 Glenn Robinson III SG 20 6-6 220 Michigan
9 Ricky Rubio PG 23 6-4 185 $4,660,479
32 Ronny Turiaf C 31 6-10 241 Gonzaga $1,500,000
22 Andrew Wiggins G 19 6-8 200 Kansas $5,510,640
25 Mo Williams PG 31 6-1 195 Alabama $3,750,000
21 Thaddeus Young SF 26 6-8 230 Georgia Tech $9,410,869
They have the 11th highest payroll -- which is probably tied partially to bringing in Thad Young, but even with so many small contracts things will not be easy. The only player on a contract that could be cut is Hummel, but he's one of the few shooters on the roster, and he's still young enough for a rebuild. This means that the Wolves will be forced to make numerous trades in the very near future, OR, refuse to sign 2nd rounders that appear to fit the future of the team more than current players.
The future? My guess is that Flip wants a young, athletic team that puts defense first. That would fit the playing style of 3 of the 4 new Wolves (Bennett is young, and athletic for his size but has never been known for defense).
So who gets traded? I think Pekovic and at least one other player are moved for player(s) that can be cut/ have shorter contracts/ draft picks/ the rights to players in Europe/ or a combination of all the above. They have to move Pekovic. He has the largest contract remaining, and Dieng's style of play fits with the new players more, for far less financially.
I would also move Martin -- he's all offense, little perimeter shooting and has 3 years remaining. It's a respectable contract. Someone could use him as their 6th man. I just feel Corey Brewer fits better; he's a speedy athlete, and he's got a more manageable contract.
Next would be Rubio. Multiple sources say that he wants max money and years. Only problem -- he's not a max player. Might as well get something for him. The FIBA World Cup is an excellent place for him to up his value, and then move him for draft picks to a team that has more perimeter shooting than the T-Wolves.
That would still leave chronically injured Chase Budinger and Shabazz Muhammad, but it's a start.
There are other people who believe the Wolves should trade Pekovic for...Bargnani! That's insanity, but would help lottery chances.