This is what the roster looks like right now. I listed the starters as I would have them start – which means very little compared to what might actually happen.
G Randy Foye
G Rashad McCants
F Mike Miller
F Kevin Love
C Al Jefferson
F Corey Brewer
F Brian Cardinal (Potsy, this is for you. It's spelled H-E-R-O)
F Mark Madsen
C Jason Collins
F Ryan Gomes*
F Craig Smith*
C Chris Richard*
* denotes restricted free agents to whom the Wolves have extended the qualifying offer.
As it stands now, there are a total of three players who could actually play the guard position – Mike Miller could be the 6th man if Wittless wanted to start Ryan Gomes at the 3 instead. They didn’t extend the qualifying offer to Sebastian Telfair or Kirk Snyder, although it sounds like they’re still trying to work out a deal with Telfair. Clearly this roster went from overloaded with wing players to overloaded with post players – most of whom are undersized at that. That means there needs to be more happening, either via trade or free agency.
Who’s out there? (Free agents)
There are a few point guards out there that could be of interest, although I’m not sure the Wolves have the means to sign them. Obviously I’d love to have Boom Dizzle but with only the mid-level exception available and no real tradable assets left, he’s not really available to us. Chris Duhon and Beno Udrih (why did we dump him again?) are both unrestricted free agents but they may end up being a bit expensive, costing most, if not all of, the mid-level. I don’t know how I feel about spending that much money on a career backup – think Troy Hudson. Carlos Arroyo could also fill a void with his ability to play both guard positions, but my faith in the Wolves ability to get much out of foreign players is very, very low. Juan Dixon is also available in a pinch. At this point, when it comes to free agents, resigning Bassy may be the best available option, assuming they can get him inked to a reasonable deal – say 2 years, $6 million, with a player/team option for a third or fourth year. It gives him a chance to get out if his value goes up and the Wolves a reasonable contract if he bottoms out.
As far as two-guards there are also a few out there who may be more easily acquired. Boston didn’t make the qualifying offer to Tony Allen, a very athletic swing man who can play defense as well as get into trouble. James Jones, a good shooter and streaky scorer ala Anthony Peeler, is unrestricted. Quintin Ross is a 6-6 guard who has given the Wolves fits on the defensive end and has shown he can shoot a little bit. Antoine Wright, from Dallas could be a good option here, although I don’t think the Mavs will let him get away cheap enough for us. Kareem Rush is also available, although who knows how much he’s got left in the tank – he plays old. Casey Jacobsen could be had on the cheap too, but he’s not Fred Hoiberg. Of course, as I’ve stated previously, I’d really like to see the Wolves resign Kirk Snyder, who played very well towards the end of the year for us. He’s athletic, can play a little defense, and has shown flashes of talent on the offensive end. Snyder would be a low risk/high reward type player who could fill a starting guard spot or offer some experience off the bench.
We don’t really need a small forward at the moment, although Corey Brewer’s off season growth – or lack thereof – may change that. Also, if Gomes gets an offer we don’t want to match that would also open up some minutes at the 3. Clearly we’re not going to end up with Corey Maggette but there are a few other options out there. The Warriors have Mickeal Pietrus and Matt Barnes although I don’t really like either of them – or think we could realistically afford them. I’d really like to have Carlos Delfino, but he’ll be too expensive for sure. Jarvis Hayes could be a good option, although he’ll be too expensive for us. So really, our best bet here would be to make sure we resign Ryan Gomes and pray Brewer found something resembling a jumper this off season.
As far as bigs go, we don’t really have much need, although depending on trades, there may be some that arise. I hate to mention his name here but depending on how low league execs are on him, Kwame Brown** may be cheap enough to qualify as a risk worth taking. As they like to say “you can’t teach size,” and Kwame is a big dude. He’s still young and maybe with another change of scenery he could develop into a poor mans Tyson Chandler. Doubtful, but maybe worth the risk at the right price. Jamaal Magloire is out there as well but he’s probably got his eyes on a contender, that and he’s had effort issues in the past as well. It would be nice to get another big who’s a little taller than our glut of 6’8” F/C. Earl Barron could be an option. He’s a 7-foot, 245lb monster who played fairly well for Miami last year.
**(reminded me of Michael Olowokandi)
Next Up: What mistakes can we make? (trades)