Okay, so the Wolves need to do some work and since the trading deadline has passed, the offseason is where they’ll have to make their moves. We have needs a plenty, but before we delve into what’s needed, let’s focus on what we have.
PG – Marko Jaric, Troy Hudson
SG – Trenton Hassell, Rashad McCants
SF – Ricky Davis
PF – Kevin Garnett, Mark Madsen, Eddie Griffin
C – Mark Blount
FA – Marcus Banks, Justin Reed, Anthony Carter, Richie Frahm, Ronald Dupree, Bracey Wright
Banks should get resigned, and if he doesn’t, the Wolves are retarded. AC will probably be back because he’s our new Darrick Martin, or a slight improvement. Richie and Ronny won’t be back and Justin and Bracey are sort of wildcards. Reed should be back, but we’ll see, it’ll depend on what kind of money we have left. Don’t forget about Freddy Hoiberg yet either, he may be back too.
So, this is what you’re looking at for next season
PG Marcus Banks then Marko
SG Trenton Hassell then Rashad
SF Ricky Davis then maybe Reed
PF Kevin Garnett then Mad Dog
C Mark Blount then Griff
Clearly this is not a lineup that leads to success, as we’ve witnessed thus far this season. We have zero outside shooting and we’re an awful rebounding and interior defensive team – the Bulls score 30 points in the paint in the first half last night. Ouch. Okay, so we need a sharp shooter and a defensive hog/rebound monster. The Wolves are over the cap, so they’ll only have the usual exceptions ($5m and $1m) to sign free agents, and most of that money should be used on the guys we already have (Marcus, Justin, AC).
There are two moves that I think could drastically improve this team.
Trade Trenton Hassell to Milwaukee for Dan Gadzuric
We could use a center that doesn’t need the ball, can play defense, and rebound. The Bucks could use some help defensively on the wings. Gadzuric’s contract has an extra year and roughly $7 million more than Hassell’s but he comes at a relative bargain for a 7-footer. He’s a better than average shot blocker, a solid defensive presence, and a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive end. He can score, but doesn’t need touches and he’s only 27, so he’s got a few good years left in him. Gadzuric’s minutes have been nearly cut in half this season due to the play of rookie Andrew Bogut and the early season trade for Jamaal Magloire, but in ’04-05 he was very productive. In 22 minutes he scored a little more than 7ppg, grabbed over 8rpg – 3.2 on the offensive, and blocked over 1 shot per game. He’s a team guy and he’s never been a problem in the locker room, even after seeing his playing time get choked out by Magloire.
What else would this trade accomplish?
Well, clearly we’d get a center who can provide some production on both ends of the floor, unlike Blount and Griff who only play on one end. What this also does is open up the starting lineup for Rashad McCants, who I believe will be ready for that spot come next year. He’s playing better defense and he’s looking more confident on the offensive end.
Trade Marko Jaric to New York for Quentin Richardson
This was a trade that was rumored right around the trade deadline before the Knicks acquired Steve Francis. We could really use an outside shooter and the Knicks need someone who doesn’t need to shoot, not to mention that the Q Experiment has not panned out the way Isaiah wanted it to. Again, we take on some extra salary, but we get rid of a GF who thinks he’s a PG and we get an outside bomber in return. Richardson is young, athletic, and thrives in situations where he can get out and run. Ricky and Marcus have already started the Wolves in the direction of a running team, and with a 3-point Shootout crown on his mantle, Q might just be what we need to complete that transition.
So if the Wolves could get these two deals done, this is what you’d be looking at.
PG – Marcus Banks then AC
SG – Rashad McCants then Q
SF – Ricky Davis then maybe Reed
PF – Kevin Garnett then Eddie Griff
C – Dan Gadzuric then Blount
There’s a lot of flexibility in that lineup, allowing the Wolves to go normal sized or small, but with an amazing ability to run – ala the Suns last season. Not to mention that if Fred Hoiberg comes back, he gives you another shooter. Troy could fit into that system as well, assuming his ankle can finally be fixed - but that’s a big assumption. Fill out the rest of the roster with Bracey (D-League), Mad Dog, and our draft pick – assuming we don’t make the playoffs and you’re looking like a relatively young, athletic team that could easily compete in the Midwest Division.