Tyrus Thomas: The New Wolf?

As I reported earlier in today’s Wolf Tracks, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting the Wolves as a potential “sleeper” in the bidding wars for Chicago Bulls’ forward Tyrus Thomas. President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn, has made it clear that the team is looking for an athletic forward behind Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. But why Thomas?

If Thomas were to join the squad, it would give the Wolves some serious depth on the front line. Depending on whom we give up for Thomas, we could potentially have a front line chock full of guys like Love, Jefferson, Hollins, Jawai, Cardinal, Pecherov, as well as Thomas. Sounds like a rotation nightmare to me.

Now, Canis Hoopus released an article today asking the same question as me — Why Thomas?

After some further consideration, I’ve come to the realization that Thomas would be a mighty fine pick up for the Wolves. Considering we get him for, say, one of our 1st rounders along with the expiring contract of a Brian Cardinal, we would be getting a former lottery pick for a mid-first round draft pick and an expiring contract we really don’t need. We have two other picks in the first round and still have plenty of money on the block to clear up at seasons end. Thomas could then be re-signed to an extension in the offseason and the Wolves can push forward to move Jefferson for younger talent to correct the scoring lapse our wings have presented so blatantly this season. The addition of Thomas would give our frontcourt that defensive presence we’ve been lacking in the paint. Our defensive efficiency is among the league’s worst and it is due to the fact that we don’t defend the basket as well as other teams. The importance of having a defensive minded paint-filler is critical in the NBA today, especially with the emergence of slashing guards whom love to fly into the paint. With Thomas in there, it’s harder to accomplish that, as he will be swatting away floaters left and right out from the lane.

So, despite Canis Hoopus’s feelings about the rumors, I think Thomas would be a good addition as long as two things happen, following the trade in the offseason:

  1. We move Jefferson for Rudy Gay or a Gay-like (No pun intended) player. (This is key and may pose as the biggest obstacle for Kahn and the Wolves)
  2. We re-sign Thomas to an extension and sign (Zydrunas Ilgauskas or David Lee) or draft (Cole Aldrich?) a legit center, solidifying a strong frontcourt.

If those two options are executed successfully following the trade for Thomas, the Wolves could go from worst-to-first next season. Well maybe not first, but I think they will find themselves amongst the playoff picture in the West come next season’s end. Don’t forget that between those potential moves we will be drafting two first rounders, including a lottery pick that will most likely bolster the backcourt’s depth and talent at the 2 and/or 3 spot.

So let’s get the shuffling started and transform this team back into the contender we know they can become.

About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time. I cheer for Minnesota sports but live in Florida.

8 comments
Twolves_Blogs
Twolves_Blogs

Howlin’ T-Wolf: Tyrus Thomas: The New Wolf?: As I reported earlier in today’s Wolf Tracks, Adrian Wojnarowski of Y… http://bit.ly/9MxkEW This comment was originally posted on Twitter

JSteinmeyer
JSteinmeyer

Yeah Mike Miller's hair sucks. And you're right. The Wolves can not get tied up into Rudy Gay's nasty upcoming contract. It will take any team a of pair sheers and machete to cut out of that thick jungle of a contract. I don't think the Wolves will bite on it and purposely lose their eyes on the prize but who knows! P.S. Evan Turner would be a great pick. He is what they need and picking him in the top 5 would mean that value=need in terms of the pick.

Casey
Casey

I think this discussion of Tyrus Thomas is only valid in a sign and trade situation and only if Kahn has plans for Jefferson or Love already in place. If we don't sign Thomas to an extension, we're effectively giving up a 1st round pick for the right to watch Thomas play 28 minutes a game for the next two months. Just not worth it. I'm also VERY wary of trading Jefferson for Rudy Gay. The guy can score, but he can't shoot the 3 and he doesn't defend. He's going to be expensive and I don't think he worth overpaying for. The guy we need to maneuver to get is Evan Turner of Ohio State. He lacks the range to be a threat from 3, but the rest of his game is hugely solid and he gives us a second ball handler with size and the ability to finish at the rim. This team sorely lacks a player who can take someone off of the dribble. Mike Miller gave us some of that and this team badly needs that skill - minus the terrible hair.

JSteinmeyer
JSteinmeyer

Did you know David Kahn is a native of Portland? So, he may BE copying some of the Blazer's schemes and structure because it sure has worked there (not to mention the gift we dropped off at their door step in Brandon Roy). One disagreement I would make with your proposition is the Rubio and lottery pick for Wall. It seems a steep price to pay especially when we don't know what we have with Rubio. I agree they should move him at some time but not just for Wall only. Seems too risky. The other problem is your possible lineup for next season. I think this team has the potential to be a contender for a lower level playoff spot if they play their cards right in the offseason. All the assets are set in place for them to be able to use them this summer and maybe make a winning team for next year. The lineup you have doesn't look like a winning squad. That is unless we get a guy to fill that Center spot for you, then it looks a lot better! But yeah, it will truly be interesting to see what they do before the deadline and even more intriguing to see what happens this summer. It'll be a good ride for sure. Or at least I hope it'll be good.

Dylan
Dylan

Ok so let us assume the Thomas deal works and we give up a 15-20 pick. I know Kahn has said Rubio is untouchable, but looking at how Flynn has been producing, do the Wolves think about packaging Rubio and their top 5 lottery pick for the chance to draft the best PG to come out of college since CP3 in Wall. Would the Wolves consider this if the opportunity is present. Looking at what Kahn can do, he is reminding me of the GM from the Trailblazers from a few years ago, and look at how they have turned out. So this is just what I could see happening. 1) Thomas FOR expiring contract + Mid-1st round 2) Rubio and top 5 lottery pick FOR John Wall 3) K-Love or Jefferson goes FOR Lottery Pick. That would mean the Wolves would have for Starting Day, (assuming no deals after draft, which is NOT like Kahn). PGs: Wall (1st Overall Pick), Flynn, Sessions (Trade Bait?) SGs: Brewer, Ellington, Pavlovic (Wavier Claim?) SFs: Gomes, Wilkins, Tucker (Offseason Trade Bait?) PFs: Jefferson* (Traded?), K-Love* (Traded?), Thomas, Pecherov (Traded?) Cs: Hollins, Jawai, (1st Round Draft Pick?) That would be what I could see. K-Love and Jefferson both want to start and with the Triangle offense, I really think that that is almost impossible, especially when Kahn and Rambis want 2 PGs out there, which means that: Wall, Flynn, Brewer, Ellington, and Jefferson OR K-Love. This will be an interesting shake-up as trade deadline apporaches and the Wolves try to see if they can get a top 3/5 lottery draft pick.

JSteinmeyer
JSteinmeyer

You know Josh, I'm in the same boat as you. I feel that trading Jefferson would be a mistake, but with the example I posed here, there is potential for this team to grow better in both aspects of the game -- both on offense and defense. With Jefferson as the "franchise player", the Wolves are sacrificing defense for a better offense. So if they plan to keep Jefferson, they will need to get a guy like Thomas, or whomever in the offseason, without giving him up in the process. Adrian's report though says that the Wolves could give up Jefferson in the summer if a Thomas deal goes through. Its all speculation and you just can never know what goes on in these guys' heads.

Josh
Josh

Why would the Wolves want to trade Jefferson? I haven't been following the Wolves quite as much as in years past, but it seems that Big Al is the cornerstone of the franchise right now, isn't he?