What is going on? As we wait for people to hop in here, Hope everybody's doing well, starting off the week, right, I'm getting ready. I got a scrimmage.
Ah, in about an hour Nets, Jazz that will be covering.
Uh, you can actually go find.
I'll be live tweeting that game.
You can go find that on my twitter at Matt Brooks MBA.
But today we are talking a little Minnesota Timberwolves.
Yes, I have the old school kg jersey on.
I will explain why I have ah, Garnett jersey.
Other than that, he's a ah, a great great one of the all time great players and, uh, really probably my favorite player of all time.
But, um yeah, let's let's kind of let's Well, let's first talk about first off where this is coming from. A.
You have to keep in mind that Kevin Garnett has earned the most money in N BA history with, I believe, $325 million.
So he's gonna be somebody that can get in the door, you know, and be that next you know, Jordan, like owner, except hopefully a little bit better at the job itself and employ the right people.
But here's the thing about the Timberwolves with what they have right now with Glenn Taylor, who by all accounts is apparently a really nice person, somebody that's easy to work with, at least from like a media side of things, hasn't done a great job.
Um, a little impatient.
It seems that they've just They're a team that constantly goes through coaches.
They're already working at a disadvantage with being in, um, a small market.
So you really need to have things working all the way.
And that just hasn't happened in Minnesota.
Um, and it's come to the point where you know, you think about they low balled Kevin Love Kevin Love leave shortly after Ah, they bring in Kevin guard net as like A, I guess, part of the coaching staff for at least a mentor, for especially when towns was first getting there and you really felt like this could be good for towns like light, a little bit of a fire underneath them.
Help him with some defensive stuff, which, by the way, he sure really could use um doesn't work out.
And then he sends all these like sub tweets and thinly veiled ah, insults Glenn Taylor's way.
So here's the thing.
They need to figure out this Glenn Taylor thing for a very long time. As said, He's.
I've heard really great things about him as a person, but that doesn't always tie into him being necessarily great at employing people on being patient and just sort of taking a back seat and letting the professionals, the people that he's employed, do the work for him because that's a lot of what being an owner is.
It's just making sure you have the right people in place and letting them do their jobs.
It's a weird, weird thing that I think a lot of guys take a while to figure out what they eventually figure out.
He's never really grasped that all that well, just from an outsider's perspective some of the last couple of years Timberwolves basket.
We could even go way back.
We go back to when they got Andrew Wiggins in 2014.
Um, had this weird Kevin Love team.
It was really like a Kevin Love and by the way, let me mention this because I think this is worth saying um I grew up a fan of the Timberwolves.
I know what cover the nets up here in Brooklyn, but that's the team that I grew up watching.
My dad's from Minnesota.
So I've watched a lot of Timberwolves basketball in my life.
I don't watch them as much anymore.
Obviously, Net stuff is taken up a lot of my obligations.
And, um, and and what not, but yeah, I I know the back story, this team pretty well, you know, But I want to kind of circle back to the last, you know, this decade, I guess, Um, you know, really? After they traded Garnett, they luck out and and and do this, like, draft day trade a blue is mayo it for And it essentially netted them.
Kevin love Kevin, love is this nice? Like M v P caliber peace.
At least you know those when he was really, really first couple, like, 56 years in it.
Um, he, you know, he pops He's a guy that can and and really kind of paved the landscape as this big man who could shoot threes.
They ran just a ton of handoff action with him and Ricky Rubio.
um, just dominated from the wing and then they run him a little bit deep into the post.
He's a great passer.
Well, we all know the outlet passing from him, But he's just a great passer from all over the court.
So he was able to create from the post both as a scorer and playmaker.
Their biggest issue was always and forever finding the right guys around them. So they had.
They tried to tread in.
Ah, Brandon Roy year.
Kevin Martin was there.
Forbidden was actually a nice, like 1920 a game score.
This team just never really quite put the right pieces around him.
And I think part of that is just and I've done this on a bunch of these streams without Amar brick especially, um, I don't know if he was always meant to be a number one option or what that does for you when he is your number one option.
We never really saw that, you know.
Then again, his number two is Ricky Rubio, I guess, or Kevin Martin.
So maybe not so fair to say.
But basically they they realize there's a firm ceiling.
I mean, I remember the most exciting year of all of that run was they got they were, like, a couple of games, not even close to the playoffs.
I mean, they were because the bottom of the West was kind of shaken out differently, but they were within, and I remember what season this was, but they were within a couple of games of going just 500.
It wasn't even like, Oh, they could make you know the eight seed or anything like that.
No, they were close to being 500.
I think this is actually in their final year with him.
Um, and they lost and they go 40 and 42 or something along those lines.
That was kind of the highlight of the entire Kevin Love run.
And, uh, after that, they tore it.
Now they tore down big time.
They dealt him in this deal that netted them Anthony Bennett.
Ah, the rights for Andrew Wiggins, who obviously came out the gates that next season.
Of course, they're terrible.
And just because again, they're starting fresh.
So they get Karl towns.
They basically now have a 12 punch.
To that point, they also have Levin showing some signs of at least being an interesting score like there was, definitely like he really showed it pretty earlier was like, OK, this guy can actually shoot threes, and that makes him kind of an interesting piece.
So they have this cool, Big 33 guys that, like don't necessarily fit all that well, but they are really interesting, at least just from an outsider's perspective.
At that point, we I felt like we were in the middle of going through this, this big change of ignoring exactly how many three India guys you need.
And oh, you know, the league is all about pace and space now, so you can't necessarily have a bunch of, um, duplicative E, I guess scorers, in a sense, But this is right at the height of the Big Three era, were coming right off that.
So this is exciting.
People are expecting them to make the playoffs.
I think this was the year that they first hired Tom Thibodeau, who now has a job again, which I will say for today.
Um, and they fell flat.
They felt completely flat in this year where people were, you know, expecting them to make the playoff.
Maybe even as a three seed? No, they fall flat.
They're terrible. They can't defend.
They then make the deal for Jimmy Butler now.
This was a year that even I was like, I was excited.
I tried to temper my expectations, but I was like, That's cool, that that's going to be fun team.
It seems like the type of guy that they need, just like that Vette guy that can defend a little bit, seemed like the right guy for them.
Ah was the right guy for, like, the 1st 50 ish games.
I believe they were the three seed with 50 games to go in the what was that? 2017 for the 2018 2017? That was 2018.
I wouldn't say that was 2018 2018 season.
So you know they're playing well.
They're Ah, they're just They're good, a nice, exciting team that it wasn't always like the most, um, satisfying thing to watch.
But they were just better.
It was They had the right piece around them.
They brought in Taj Gibson.
Jeff Teague was, you know, just kind of average, but Taj Gibson gave them that that big body Ford that they always you felt like they always needed.
Um, you know, because I was after years of I don't even know who they added before they had.
I know they had be elites.
Ah, really early.
Who took a while to get his feet under him? But they did just that.
He was the guy that they always needed.
Um, and they finish out that season.
They lose Jimmy Butler to injury.
Still finish out.
Do this crazy play in game that I think the n ba has ever since that game happened.
It was like a regular season Nuggets Timberwolves game, a game that wouldn't no one would care about at any other point in an n b a season.
But because it was this crazy play in game.
You had a ton of people watching, and I member was Twitter was crazy that night just about that game itself And and I'm telling you right now, that's why the n b.
Is doing this, um, this two game playing thing for the bubble.
But that's neither here nor there.
Uh, make the playoffs.
We know what happens next.
They lose in the first round.
It's an embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing five game loss.
Derrick Rose as a nice game, but after that it kind of went south.
Um, the Thibodeau thing did not work, and Jimmy Butler forces out.
He's unhappy with the players.
You know this this practice where he's playing with the third stringers, you know, talking mesto everybody into In typical Timberwolves fashion, it comes crashing to the ground.
They're they're once again in a situation where they can't quite fully rebuild.
They need to, you know, they've lost one of their pivotal, pivotal guys.
I think at that point, we all knew Wiggins was kind of probably not gonna be a star level player.
So that brings us to this these last two seasons, and I'll do a little bit of a preview for what to expect in this next year.
Um, let me just say this.
So they they've had a couple of picks a Kogi Jericho over, uh, who, both of whom I think are interesting.
Their defensive players that I actually think could be really integral for the team that they have.
Um, and again, I'll get into that in just a second.
But they have these these first round picks.
They have one this year.
Hopefully that can, you know that can pan out pretty nicely.
And next year their pick is in limbo of going to the Warriors.
So this year, they have every reason in the world to try to make the playoffs.
They have, uh, they have Ryan Saunders, who has Flip Saunders, son, who was their coach, actually, thing really, During that Timberwolves run, he passed away from cancer, which is super sad, but they have Ryan Saunders running the show.
I mean, I know that people are a little bit mixed on him.
I think he's one of the youngest coaches, if not the youngest coach in the league.
Because of that, he's still learning like many of these guys on this team.
It's a very young team, stuff with rotations, which I think is like the hardest thing for just about any coach.
You know, you build these relationships with the players, you're not quite sure.
Should I be playing this guy? Do these guys play together? Well, then there's also the personality aspect of it you know, if you have a guy, let's say on your bench that you're really close with, especially like Ryan Saunders, who again, by all accounts, is very close with this young team.
If you have a guy that sitting at the end of the bench, you know, maybe you see him sulking, he hasn't played that much.
Um, he's got a contract coming up.
He knows it's it's there in the back of his mind.
Saunders being the young guy, somebody that's really likable, that's a tough thing to balance.
You have to balance winning and, um, you know, and also just the interpersonal side of it.
So, uh, so that's That's been his biggest thing.
I think by all accounts, and there are plenty of great people on Timberwolves Twitter that have detailed that.
But fundamentally speaking, I like the offense that they run, Um, next year.
Here's what I like about him.
So they're bringing in D'Angelo Russell, who I've watched a lot firsthand here in Brooklyn, uh, didn't get one game between him and towns, not one so that in itself, is something that is, I think really, really, really interesting for them to see what that dynamic is obviously, if we just think about it, the first thing you're gonna say when you see those two together is Oh, man, that's a really great pick.
And Popkin, uh, Daniel Russel obviously loves to play with in the pick and roll.
He's been a you know, uh, I think anywhere between, like, 60th percentile and better pick and roll player for the last couple of seasons.
He's he's not an elite pick and roll player, but he's a very good one.
And, um, and if you think about that, him playing with sounds OK, so town sets a screen.
Towns now has the option to go, you know, basically sprint up to the top of the key and pop for three, where he shoots like 40% from Russell can.
Then either pull it from mid range, which he likes to dio launch the floater or even get inside to the paint.
Maybe draw contact something that he's slowly improving at.
It's just offensively.
It's a it's a great fit just in terms.
Appreciate the thumbs up. John.
Um, it's a great fit altogether.
You're also bringing in someone like Malik Beasley who is up for a contract this summer.
He's maybe not the best third banana for them.
I would say he's a good player, and I think because of that, because of the how the Timberwolves are, they just need to retain talent.
I mean, so many times they've let talent slipped out of their fingers.
They need to retain him.
They can figure it out.
If they have the right pawns on the chessboard, the best ponds possible, they can figure out how exactly they want to play chess.
Um, the thing about him, yes, he's a score first.
A little bit inconsistent.
He might be a little bit closer to a J.
Smith than, you know, whatever.
Ah, star level guard.
But he is at least a piece that I would keep around.
He could pop off.
You need that scoring night tonight.
Wish you could defend a little better.
It's funny he gets brought in.
The league is like a three Andy guy, and he's turned into just this like, you know, a a spark plug.
Essentially so they have him.
And then I the two guys that I mentioned, um, Kogi, who was just a treat to watch defensively.
Jericho over, I think, is really solid.
He reminds me a lot of like a, um, Justice Winslow in that I think he's a little better with the bonus hands.
He's not obviously going to be taking the shot volume that we saw for him in in Texas Tech.
When you think about that Final, where he's taking every single shot, it's never gonna look like that for him in the N. Va.
But I do think that he's like a nice little tertiary creator for them and then outside of that, the rest of the roster.
They definitely need to fill out their their role playing types.
I think like most teams in the league, um day.
I'm not even sure if they need, like, a three in D Wing per se.
They could absolutely use somebody like that.
Um, you know, you think like a Robert Covington or whoever you want to throw it.
There are API Jake Tucker, yet somebody like that would be nice, but I actually think like it, which what you really need from them right now, at least, is if they could get like a really deal RIM protector like, because I know towns is like defensive field goal percentage in the paint.
It's it's solid.
But if they could get like a really deal locked down the paint type of defender, I think that really takes their sealing up quite a bit.
His shooting gives them a lot of, um, a lot of versatility.
You don't have to worry about two non shooting bigs because he basically shoots about as well as like point guards in this league.
I mean, he's not just doing shots off the catch.
This guy's doing like shots off step back, so he's amazing.
But they do need somebody that I think insulates the pain a little bit more.
And luckily, luckily for them, I do think there are a lot of guys like that.
I mean, even in this free agency class shoot is Ah, I don't know.
I'm trying to think of one off the top of my head.
Um, I believe Nerlens and I'm trying to think so.
I don't want to just throw a name out and get this wrong.
Um, let's say let's just say uh like a Tristan Thompson or or somebody like that he's available this summer that somebody that they could work well with, Um, you know, and he adds an extra element.
You know, you could start running towns off screens Well, while Thompson is, is setting, you know, Or you could even do like a like a stack, pick and roll where you have two guys setting ball screens for D'Angelo Russell and he has the option of finding a guy with the lob or finding towns popping the three and then on the other side of the ball it, um you know, the hell somebody like Tristan Thompson could give them a lot of breathing breathing room.
Essentially, they have a lot of options for what they want to do.
I think in terms of what to expect from them next season, I would see like they I don't think they're going to make the playoffs per se.
But I do think there in the mix, you know, if an injury God forbid happens or you know things get a little bit of strange with this Corona virus stuff or even teams their first because there was an article that just came out today on ESPN.
It teams are forced to sell pieces.
Yeah, they might be in a position where they could make it.
Um, and I again like I I think they have a strong building block.
I really do like I know a lot of people are every time you bring up the Timberwolves, they just is.
This team is specifically, it's it's jokes about their defense.
It's jokes, I don't know.
They're not going anywhere.
I actually think in terms of what they have on this roster in regards to talent, this is just about the best Timberwolves roster.
Really, since I guess that Jimmy Butler team, um, it this is up there like I I feel kind of strange saying that.
But, um, there's reasons to be moderately excited.
I think D'Angelo Russell is a really strong player, that you can put the ball in the stands and will do the right thing with it.
For the most part, we haven't seen how him in towns look not even for one game.
So I think look, they have their issues.
There's things they need to work out.
Um, if they can get around to like a league average defense and and I think that this, like you, saw what Dallas is able to do this year with Luca and and Kristof's for Zynga's and some solid roll guys put up in offense.
That's like, historically great.
I really think that this Timberwolves team, it could be in the mix.
I mean, they might have one of the best offenses in the league next year, and, you know, that might be enough for a bottom seat.
Um, looking at the rest of the roster, I again, as I said, I just The five out offense is really interesting.
I think that's the thing that makes them the most different.
You know, having now as Reed and Karl Towns is guys that can pop the three.
It just makes them different.
They're going to be a very unique team toe watch.
I actually think I'll be catching them quite a bit next year, just because again, I for me, as a fan of basketball in a fan of the N b A.
I like teams that try things different.
So this team is gonna be doing what Houston's trying to dio where they're just parking guys at the three point line except with this Timberwolves team.
It's a functionally large team.
S o I n a big league ball handler and D'Angelo Russell.
Some strong pieces like hernangomez.
Why haven't even brought up? And I think they're probably gonna bring him back.
Um And then, of course, the two centers.
I think they'll be a fun team to watch.
I'm very I'm cautiously optimistic.
It's just there, 1 to 2, deep at every single position.
It's not necessarily the best step, but it's just it's a cool young team.
And then, of course, you never know what happens with Devin Booker.
Um, all depends on, I guess, what happens in the bubble.
But, uh, that's that's a situation to watch.
It seems like you'd want to go play with his guys.
So, um, with all of that said, that is all I've got on this topic today.
Um, Timberwolves could be interesting.
Their team to watch out for in free agency, see if they can acquire a little bit of size and yeah, if they can get the defense to average.
I think there's something here.
I don't know if it's gonna be great, but I do think there's something here, but with that, go subscribe to my other channel.
Matt Brooks, N B A and, uh, keep keeping out.
I think I'm doing a Celtics preview this week, Um, with a guy named Adam Taylor who does really great film stuff over for Celtics Blawg on SB Nation.
Um, so go to keep an eye out for that. There will be a good one.
I gotta prep that conversation a little bit, but it sounds like that's gonna happen this week.
So with all that said, thank you guys for watching every boy follow at Matt Brooks NB A.
Especially if you're Nets fit, do a lot of nets, stuff a lot of films, stuff for four nets daily of SB Nation, and with that I am out peace.