Chase Budinger Out Three Months with Torn Meniscus

Associated Press – Nam Y. Huh

Three weeks into the NBA season and the Pups are having a rough go at it.  Not from a record standpoint, as the team remains near the top of Northwest Division, but on the injury front.  Here’s what the last week has presented to the Wolves and their fans.

Last Wednesday, JJ Barea mildly sprained his ankle while diving for a loose ball in the 4th quarter of a blow-out win vs. Orlando.  Why?  Even JJ doesn’t know why he did this, but he did and the injury forced him to miss the next three games.  JJ is currently listed as day to day this week.

In the next game against Indiana, Brandon Roy never came out of the locker room for the 2nd half.  It was later reported that Roy had soreness in his degenerative right knee.  Brandon has since missed the last two games because of the injury and is also listed as day to day.  It sounds like there is a very good chance of Roy being ready for Wednesday’s game vs. Charlotte.

The very next night in Chicago, Chase Budinger tore his meniscus in his knee and a timetable for his return will be announced after the surgery.  Woj is reporting this morning that the surgery was completed earlier today (by Dr. James Andrews …) and Budinger will likely miss up to three months.

Finally, in last night’s game against Dallas, Nikola Pekovic rolled his ankle and didn’t return to the game.  I don’t expect Pek to be out very long though.  Why?  Let’s let him answer those questions, “I didn’t hurt nothing, just a lot of pain” and “I don’t use crutches”.  Those were his quotes on the injury after the game.  If anyone in the NBA deserves a “beast mode” tag, it should go to Pek.

So, this brings up a few questions and thoughts.  What in the world did the franchise do to deserve this?  Haven’t the Wolves paid enough for all of the bad decisions made over the past twenty-something years?  What does this mean for the team in the short and long term?

In the short term, this of course adds up to awful news for the team, who are already missing their two cornerstones until mid-December (in a best case scenario).  The team must make do without five guys in what would be Adelman’s regular rotation and adds pressure to the few remaining willing and able wings on the roster.  Everyone will need to step up, but allow me to be a bit pessimistic for the next few paragraphs.

Andrei Kirilenko has been an absolute blessing thus far this season.  He has done a little bit of everything.  However, he will now need to carry a larger burden of the scoring.  Will he be able to do this?  How will his body hold up given the presumed extra minutes he’s going to receive?  Only time will tell.

Derrick Williams has been wildly inconsistent to start the season, which isn’t too much of a surprise.  However, DWill has to step up.  He cannot produce one night and lay an egg the next.  Quite frankly, I don’t have high hopes here and it doesn’t feel or look like Adelman does either right now.

Alexey Shved has provided solid minutes from his backup, rotational spot.  How, or can he match up with starting two guards in the league?  Will his flaws become more visible and problematic for the team with increased minutes and playing more against starters?

Can the team get net-positive results from Malcolm Lee and/or Will Conroy?  Is it even fair to set these expectations?  In Monday’s game in Dallas, Lee got the starting nod and didn’t look great, but made enough plays to warrant more time there if/when needed, which would also allow Shved to come off the bench in a 6th man role.

Longer term, this puts another caveat into this season’s goal of making the playoffs.  There will likely be added pressure on the team come January/February to start winning at a greater percentage in order to make it to the playoffs as the team’s cornerstones return.  Roy and Budinger’s injuries are big question marks that may (more likely, will) have an impact throughout the year, but the others should be back sooner rather than later.  At this point, I believe the team will need to tread water for the rest of November.  The team plays every other day this week through Friday (including last night’s win in Dallas), and are then off until next Wednesday, which may be a small blessing in an otherwise crazy start to the season.

Let’s focus on Chase Budinger’s injury for a second, as JJ Barea should return soon and Brandon Roy’s knee injuries are well documented and should now be expected to be an on again, off again item for much of this season.  In a limited amount of games, Budinger had already proven to be a valuable commodity for the Wolves.

At the time of the injury, Chase was the second leading scorer on the team at 11.8ppg.  He was also throwing in 3.5rpg and 1spg.  Most importantly, Chase was clearly option 1A or 1B on shooting from three point range, depending on how you feel about Luke Ridnour.  At the same time, it looked like he was getting more and more acclimated to his teammates and building confidence in his own game.  So naturally, the injury had to occur now.

While very cliché, the healthy Pups that remain on the floor are going to have to collectively make up for these missing points and the outside shooting that Chase was providing.  A few guys – particularly Roy upon his return and Shved – will need to quickly find their outside jumpers that have been missing so far this season.  The team’s PG’s are also going to have to become more effective jump shooters as well and do a better job at spacing the floor.

Naturally, another option would be for the team to go out and sign another player.  However, the Wolves have virtually no flexibility with the cap and only have the veteran’s minimum to offer.  Who could this go to?  Here’s a very short list of player’s available that I would consider: Mickael Pietrus, Josh Howard, and/or Ryan Gomes.  If you really want to drive yourself crazy, we can talk about expediting Troy Hudson’s comeback to the NBA.  (Let’s not)

Net/net, the injuries have continued to mount for the Wolves, but I have to say that in watching the past handful of games, this year’s roster is light years ahead of last year’s squad.  Their ability to overcome deficits and the injuries to Love and Rubio have been highly commendable.  However, we are certainly teetering on the edge of the cliff of not being able to make up for all of the injuries this team is enduring.

Here’s to a speedy recovery to all of the Wolves and to a healthy 2013!  (Please?!)

Preview: Timberwolves at Mavericks

In order to start laying the framework for tonight’s matchup in Dallas, the first important item of conversation is the recent news that Chase Budinger tore his meniscus in his left knee and will be out indefinitely. A timetable for his return will be made after he endures the procedure to repair the damaged knee, but regardless the loss of Budinger is a large blow to an already injury-depleted Timberwolves roster.

Following a tough road loss to a talented Chicago Bulls team, the Timberwolves have continued to overcome adversity and somehow sit at 4-2 which is good for fifth in the Western Conference. Tonight will be a sure test for Minnesota as Dallas has looked very good this season and has much more depth than the Pups currently have.

Alexey Shved will start tonight at SG with Roy sitting out due to soreness in his right knee. Shved has been one of the NBAs top rookies this season and was a key to Minnesota’s fourth quarter comeback victory in Brooklyn last week. The long and lanky Russian combo guard will have his work cut out for him as he will obviously need to assume a much larger offensive role with Budinger and Roy out, and we will be able to start to see just how capable Shved can be in Rick Adelman’s offense.

A player to pay attention to for the Mavericks tonight is rookie Jae Crowder out of Marquette, who despite being selected in the second round of the previous summer’s draft, has looked like a potential Rookie of the Year candidate playing at the SF position. Will Minnesota be able to replace Budinger’s versatility off the bench, and can the Wolves find production at SF when Andrei Kirilenko is on the bench? If Derrick Williams continues to play the way he has been, the Pups are in big trouble against the former NBA champion Mavericks.

The game will be shown on local TV and will begin at 7:30PM central time. Let’s go Wolves!

Minnesota Timberwolves 96 – Indiana Pacers 94

Photo Credits: Dave Wallis – Associated Press

The Timberwolves hosted the Pacers tonight to start a back to back and this one certainly didn’t disappoint.  Rick Adelman continues to put his finger on this franchise and the Wolves pulled out the victory in the last few seconds, moving to 4-1 on the season.  There was a little bit of a setback that we’ll cover off below however, as Brandon Roy didn’t play in the 2nd half.  Let’s get to it.

About an hour before tipoff, the Twolves announced that JJ Barea would be out tonight and won’t travel with the team to Chicago (and potentially Dallas).  In other injury news, earlier this week the Pacers announced that their star, Danny Granger, would miss at least three months of the season.  There are an awful lot of injuries for being so early in the season, aren’t there?

In any case, the Twolves opened up with the same starting five they have used all season – Ridnour, Roy, AK47, DWill, and Pekovic.  The Pacers countered with George Hill, Paul George (who I still get aggravated about when I hear/see his name due to the Wes Johnson era), Sam Young, David West, and Roy Hibbert.

The game itself started off with the teams going back and forth exchanging buckets (and turnovers).  The officials really let them play, with a lot of body contact being allowed.  Going into the first TO, DWill looked impressive hitting a 3 pointer and then a driving layup that gave the Pups a 13-10 lead and forcing the Pacers to call the TO.

With about four minutes to go in the 1st quarter, there was a loose ball off of a rebound that Hibbert decided to dive on the floor for.  In the process he took down Pekovic.  First, my heart skipped a beat thinking that Pek’s leg got stuck underneath Hibbert.  Second, since that didn’t happen, I assumed Pek would squash Hibbert for the remainder of the game.  (Side note: this didn’t happen)

At the end of the 1st quarter, the Twolves held the lead 21-19.  The Pups shot 53% to Indiana’s 38%, but failed to execute at the end of the quarter, as Ridnour turned the ball over as the clock wound down.  DWill had a very nice quarter with a game high 9 points.  Paul George quietly led the Pacers with 5 points.  The entire twelve minutes was a hard fought battle between the two teams, so it wasn’t a surprise to see the low score at all.

Adelman opened up the 2nd quarter without any starters in the game.  Alexey Shved had a very active first few minutes on the floor, including a few rebounds, assists, and drawing a foul on a three pointer (and hitting all three!).  Despite Adelman saying otherwise before the game, when Shved and Malcolm Lee were both on the floor, Shved was clearly the PG and directing traffic.

The Wolves opened up a seven point lead in the 2nd, but quickly gave it right back.  Similar to the 1st, the quarter was full of small runs, a good amount of banging in the paint, and aggressiveness.  At the half, the Pups trailed 43-42.  Similar to the end of the 1st quarter, the Wolves failed to execute as the clock wound down.  This is exactly where Roy needs to step up for the team, particularly while others continue to wear suits on the sideline.

Here are a few thoughts from the first half through a Wolves lens:

  • Both Wolves centers struggled – Pek was very quiet and Stiemsma picked up two fouls in very limited floor time
  • Malcolm Lee did not look good – expect more PT for Will Conroy over the next few days
  • AK47 only took two shots in the first half and I expected that to significantly increase in the final 24 minutes

As I checked to see who was on the floor to start the 3rd quarter, I noticed that Budinger replaced Roy in the lineup, which was a little interesting.  Seconds later, the Pacers broadcast team announced that Roy isn’t on the Wolves bench at all.  (Insert nervous twitch)

Minnesota managed to get into the bonus with just over 6 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.  However, they never really took advantage of this for the remainder of the quarter.  While Pekovic continued to struggle against Hibbert, Budinger managed to be the sparkplug the Pups needed.  As the game continued to go back and forth, it was reported that Roy was out for the rest of the game with a sore left knee.  (Continues to twitch, must stay rational)

As I continued to check for updates on Brandon Roy, the Twolves managed to build a little momentum to close out the 3rd quarter.  Chase had a strong quarter and tallied 16 points, shooting 9-10 from the FT line through three.  The quarter ended with the Pups successfully executing an offensive set, as Shved dished to Lee for a layup.  The Wolves led 69-64 going into the final 12 minutes.

The 4th quarter started with some beautiful basketball from “my main man” Alexey Shved.  Sorry, just channeling the inner Rick Kamla there.  The Wolves built an eight point lead before David West went to work in the paint to end the run.  However, the Wolves were able to quickly answer with a follow-up layup from Dante Cunningham.

As the game wore on, it got more and more chippy.  The referees warned both teams to stop complaining, while the bumping and reaching continued.  Shortly thereafter, we had our first technical of the game, with Shved picking up the T on a poor non-call as he drove to the basket.  In what could have been a real game-changer, the Wolves continued to fight against the Pacers and maintained its small lead as the final minutes approached.

Then, the sequence of the game came from Team Russia.  Shved made a driving layup, followed by AK47 stealing the inbounds pass, then dishing/feeding Shved for another layup to put the Wolves up by four.  The game continued to go back and forth for the next few minutes.  With the Wolves in position of the ball and up by three, they had a perfect opportunity to put the Pacers away but Pekovic blew a layup (please leverage “the dunk” at some point this season).  This gave the Pacers one last chance to tie the game and it came to fruition as George Hill hit a step back three with under four seconds to play.

However, that left more than enough time for Adelman to draw up a game winning play.  Ridnour inbound the ball to AK47 and the Pacers (largely Gerald Green, to no surprise) fell asleep at the wheel as Budinger cut to the basket for a game winning layup on the Kirilenko assist.  Wolves win 96-94 and move to 4-1 on the season!  No, seriously!

Tonight’s Three Stars of the Game:

  1. Chase Budinger
  2. Alexey Shved
  3. George Hill

I’m not sure what to expect out of Saturday’s game against Chicago, but Wolves fans should try to enjoy this one for at least a little while.  Let’s go Wolves!

Minnesota Timberwolves 107 – Brooklyn Nets 96

Photo Credits: Skyler Reid

Coming off a 19-point loss in Toronto last night, the Minnesota Timberwolves played the latter of a back-to-back road trip in the sparkling new $1 billion Barclays Center in Brooklyn and came back from a 22-point second-half deficit to defeat the new-look Nets 107-96. The Timberpups offseason additions played crucial roles in fueling the comeback, and the Wolves went on to outscore the Nets 32-10 in the game-defining fourth quarter.

Minnesota’s offensive and defensive struggles were on full display in the first half as the Pups trailed Brooklyn 62-47 after the first half of play. The Wolves allowed the Nets to shoot an absurd 60% FG including 8-13 (62%) from beyond the arc in the first-half alone. Deron Williams led the charge for the revamped Nets with 8 first-half assists while 11 different Nets players scored. The Timberwolves did a much better job of limiting turnovers than they did the previous night in Toronto, but only knocked down 19 of 43 shot attempts (44%) including a miserable 1-8 from three-point range. Things got worse in the third quarter as these trends continued out of the break, but the Wolves found a spark nearing the culmination of the third quarter.

After suffering a mild concussion last night, JJ Barea was able to pass the necessary NBA-mandated concussion tests before the game and was very effective in the second half. Despite recording a modest line of 6 points and 6 assists in just over 29 minutes of action, Barea did a great job of game management in the fourth quarter and was very smart with his passes and shot selection.

Luke Ridnour once again got the start for the Wolves at PG, and had the toughest matchup of the night opposite perennial All-Star Deron Williams. Ridnour simply does not possess the physicality to stay in front of the shifty-strong Williams, and D-Will did a very good job of chipping away at Ridnour. Deron was able to consistently penetrate the lane and had multiple options sitting on the perimeter ready for open three-point attempts, of which the Nets converted at an extremely high rate through 3 quarters of play. However, Rick Adelman made an excellent second-half adjustment by putting the 6-foot-6 Alexey Shved on Williams on the defensive end, and Shved did just enough to slow down the superstar point guard.

Three cheers for the Russian combo of Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved tonight, as both were significant keys to the Wolves comeback victory. To begin, AK-47 played the most complete game of any player to step on the court tonight, as he was able to keep the team breathing even in the midst of their enormous third-quarter deficit. Kirilenko finished with another fabulous stat line of 16 points (7-11 FG), 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 blocks and 1 steal in nearly 33 minutes on the court. Kirilenko continues to use the ball-fake to perfection, consistently keeping his defender off balance and gaining enough separation to effectively drive past his opponent to create scoring opportunities for himself as well as his fellow teammates. As long as AK-47 is healthy, he is worth his $10 million price tag.

Alexey Shved made two clutch three-pointers down the stretch for the Wolves and played a great game in the primetime. Shved ended with 10 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds while really coming into his own at the end of the game. He was not scared of firing off pull-up threes and it proved to be beneficial for the team. I wonder if AK-47 and Shved were motivated by the desire to defeat fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov – the very man who tried signing both of them this offseason. I’ll let you decide that one.

Nikola Pekovic established himself on the low block early and exploited Brook Lopez’s poor post defense throughout the game. The Nets tried bringing double teams at Pek, but he did a very good job at seeing the court and was able to escape Brooklyn’s attempts to slow him down. With virtually no perimeter option to look to as a second option, Pek was virtually Minnesota’s only offensive option throughout much of the first half, and his 17 points on 7-9 shooting was one of the only things keeping this game from getting out of hand in the first half.

Pek continued his post dominance in the second half and we were even able to witness how much better he has gotten at running the floor, which is a testament to all of the hard work and conditioning the big center endured over the offseason. Pekovic finished with 21 points on 9-14 shooting while grabbing 7 boards.

Despite facing a 22-point deficit in the third quarter, the Timberpups did not go gently into the dark. Andrei Kirilenko fueled a Wolves run near the end of the third quarter and the Pups were able to cut the Nets lead to 86-75 heading into the last quarter of play.

From that point on, the momentum completely shifted in the Pups favor and Minnesota was able to gain their second lead of the game – the first lead of which was early in the first quarter – with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Pups set the tone defensively and held Brooklyn to only 96 points after allowing 62 first-half points on their way to their second win of the season and first win on the road.

Enough cannot be said about the importance of Dante Cunningham and Chase Budinger tonight and in the second half especially. Cunningham was fierce on the low block and played remarkable defense, shutting down both Kris Humphries and even the 7-foot Brook Lopez. The 6-foot-8 Villanova graduate was extremely active on the offensive and defensive glass and was able to be very aggressive while not committing unnecessary fouls. It has only been three games, but I am absolutely sold on the Cunningham for Wayne Ellington deal. Cunningham was +18 on the court and logged his first double-double as a Pup of 11 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

Budinger had by far his best performance as a Pup and was very good at moving without the ball and creating options for his teammates. Budinger is at his best when he is attacking the glass and filling openings on the perimeter for his driving teammates to look to, and he did just that tonight. His shot was falling and he looked very composed on the floor at the end of the game, which is something I could never say about Michael Beasley. I should not fail to mention that C-Bud played tremendous defense down the stretch and was apart of a total team effort on that particular end of the floor. The Arizona product ended the night with 16 points (7-10 FG) and 6 rebounds.

After failing to convert on a field goal in 22 minutes last night, Brandon Roy played better – but not by much – and was mainly a neutral force in this game. Even before his knee problems, Roy has always been a subject defender, and when matched up against 6-foot-7 Joe Johnson he definitely had his work cut out for him. Even so, Roy did a nice job as a distributor on the offensive end and logged 7 dimes to go with his 6 points (3-7 FG).

Tonight’s win is a true display of just how much this team changed over one offseason, and how the subtraction of a few players and addition of high-energy, fundamentally-focused team players can dynamically change a team. Coming back from 22 points in a tough, New York atmosphere to win by double-digits is something that I honestly could not have predicted from the Timberwolves. But perhaps I was wrong about this team possessing enough firepower and guts to do what previous Timberwolves teams could not do, which is winning without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. And for that we all owe a big thanks to Rick Adelman – and ya, even David Kahn… a little bit. The Wolves are now set to host Orlando on Wednesday, and here are my three stars of tonight’s game:

  1. Andrei Kirilenko
  2. Dante Cunningham
  3. Chase Budinger

Timberpups Poll Results: Andrei Kirilenko Most Important Offseason Addition?

In our most recent poll, we asked our viewers here at Timberpups which offseason addition will make the biggest impact this season. 90 of you cast your vote over approximately the past month or so, and the poll results are as follows:

Andrei Kirilenko: 40 votes (44%)

Brandon Roy: 24 votes (27%)

Alexey Shved: 10 votes (11%)

Chase Budinger: 8 votes (9%)

Dante Cunningham: 8 votes (9%)

Greg Stiemsma: 0 votes

I believe that our readers were right on in choosing Andrei Kirilenko, especially when considering the recent loss of Kevin Love due to a broken wrist. AK-47 will eat up the majority of the minutes inherited to him following the departure of Wes Johnson, and he will also need to assume a larger role at PF than initially projected. As it stands now, Derrick Williams is set to be the team’s starting SF and AK the starting PF, but I would not be surprised in the slightest if Kirilenko ends up playing the majority of his minutes at PF due to potential defensive match-up issues with Williams at SF. It became apparent at the finale of last season that Williams is much more suited to play PF, and unless he was able to fundamentally alter his wing game and wing defense over the offseason, it may quickly be more feasible to switch Kirilenko and Williams in their respective positions.

I believe that AK-47 and Williams’ roles will be ambiguous on a nightly basis, as Kirilenko will likely assume the tougher defensive match-up between the opposing team’s SF and PF. Kirilenko’s pedigree for impressive defense could prove to be a difference maker in an already injury-plagued start to the season, and he will be relied upon to stay healthy – at least until Love and/or Rubio return.

Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger are also big time upgrades for the Wolves since last season, but their durability and consistency will define how great of an impact they will ultimately have for Minnesota this season.

Kevin Love Breaks Hand, Out 6-8 Weeks

Well, here we are again, Minnesota sports fans. In a fluke accident that involved knuckle push-ups, Kevin Love suffered a broken right hand while working out with personal trainer Rob McClanaghan at his condo on Wednesday. After a trip to New York to visit Doctor Andy Weiland, it was confirmed that Love broke the third and fourth metacarpals in his hand and the initial diagnosis of a 6-8 week recovery period was confirmed. K-Love commented on the shocking blow to a team that is already without Ricky Rubio in a release sent out by the Timberwolves:

“Yesterday I had a post-practice commitment and decided to work out at my home with my personal trainer before heading to Target Center,” he said. “While doing various pushups, including knuckle pushups, which are a part of my regular workout routine, I hurt my hand. I immediately knew something was wrong and called head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam.

“Although I’m disappointed that this injury happened, I will work extremely hard to stay in shape and return to the court as quickly as possible. We have added a lot of depth to our roster this season, and I have complete confidence in my teammates and coaching staff that they will step up and we will be successful during this time. I’m looking forward to supporting our team and helping out any way I can until I get back on the court.”

The Wolves have been predicted by many to be in an extremely competitive race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference, and playing without Rubio and Love for upwards of two months could be enough to put the team in a hole to deep to get themselves out of once they get their two top players back. One thing is for certain: several players will have to step up big in order to keep this team afloat by the time mid-December comes, and a realistic – yet seemingly improbable – goal for the team will be to be sitting around .500 basketball by the time they get their two stars back.

David Kahn and Rick Adelman’s offseason moves will be in the spotlight for the first few months of the season, as newly acquired players Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, Dante Cunningham, Chase Budinger, Lou Amundson, and Greg Stiemsma will likely be called upon to provide much greater roles than initially expected. The biggest X-factors will include Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams, as both players will need to produce on the low-block at a much higher rate without K-Love as the focal point of the offense.

Love was certainly the best three-point option for the Wolves last year, and the team will now look largely to Roy and Budinger to provide perimeter shooting in place of Love’s prolific shooting. If Derrick Williams ever needed some serious adversity to elevate his game to the next level, well here it is. D-Will now has the opportunity to get the minutes he wants and a role that is vastly increased, and without Love Williams could assume a role very similar to the one he had at Arizona. If the former number 2 pick can prove that he can handle big minutes and provide inside-out scoring, it would be a tremendous help to a team in dire need for some leadership.

Andrei Kirilenko was initially seen as the starting SF with Love in the lineup, but he will likely move to PF with Williams operating at the 3. Both AK-47 and D-Will are tweener forwards, so they may very likely have interchangeable roles in the offense. Pekovic will now be the focal point of the offense in the post, and I am truly excited to see how the lean and extra mean Pek responds to an increase in touches.

Timberwolves Summer 2012 Recap

Since David Kahn took over as President of Basketball Operations in May 2009, we have heard the continual promotion of flexibility, youth, rebuilding, cap space, etc. etc.  Shortly after Kahn was able to convince Kevin Love to sign an extension back in January, this all changed, as Love started to provide his own thoughts to the media on how the Twolves needed to start showing improvement and to get to the playoffs.  With a decent amount of flexibility and the added pressure of appeasing one of team’s core pieces, Kahn and the rest of the front office had their work cut out for them this offseason.  To Kahn’s credit, at least he didn’t take a month off to go fishing …

Here’s my take on the Timberpups offseason.

NBA Draft

Heading into Draft week, the Twolves held the 18th and 58th picks.  Two nights before the draft, Kahn sent the 18th pick to Houston for Chase Budinger.  In general, I hate seeing trades like this.  If you have something like this lined up, why not wait until draft night?  I understand that Houston was looking for ways to get Dwight Howard, but I still hate the notion of giving up your pick so far in advance.  I would like to think there will be a time when the Twolves actually take advantage of someone else’s panic move over the course of a draft night.  When this happens, I’ll immediately drive to Shop Rite to stock up on their can-can special.

As for the trade itself, I like Budinger as a complementary wing / role player at SF.  If nothing else, he’s competent and that is more than what we can say about any wing on last year’s roster.  As an added bonus – based off of his Twitter feed – he seems to have a great personality.

With the 58th pick, the Twolves selected Robbie Hummel, who has had quite the busy summer.  Given the moves that the Wolves have made since (we’re getting there, promise), Hummel decided to sign with a team in Spain (Obradoiro).  I think that was a wise choice for Hummel given the team’s other moves and the lack of PT that would have come his way, if any at all.  More than likely, he would have wound up in the D-League.  However, since going over to join the team in Spain, Hummel has since torn his meniscus again and will be out for several weeks.

I had high hopes going into the draft; A. trading Derrick Williams and filler for MKG or Beal and B. trading Wes Johnson for Crowder / anyone worthwhile.  The DWill moves were a bit of a pipedream.  However, Kahn technically had 34 chances to find a way to get Jae Crowder and trading Wes to anyone in the late first round / early second would have been a fantastic move.  Alas, no avail.

This wasn’t the start of the offseason that I was looking for.  Beyond Ricky Rubio falling into Kahn’s lap with the fifth pick in ’09, his draft night performances have been 50 shades of abysmal.  (See what I did there?  Building your female audience 101)

My draft grade: C-
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