Wolf Track: The Future

Via John Hollinger’s future power rankings:

29. Minnesota Timberwolves | Future Power Rating: 326

The baffling tenure of general manager David Kahn and the long-running incompetence of owner Glen Taylor combine to give the Timberwolves the lowest score for management in our ratings. A $20 million deal to Darko Milicic, a bizarre infatuation with Milwaukee point guards and a sweetheart of a trade that sent out Al Jefferson are the major points of contention, but there are plenty of others. In short, nobody is quite sure whether he’s coming or going.

Minnesota has two other negatives. The first is a built-in one called winter, which helps make it one of the least favorable markets. But the second was inflicted by the previous and equally disastrous regime of Kevin McHale: There’s a good chance the Timberwolves will owe the Clippers a completely unprotected first-round draft pick in 2012.

The Wolves aren’t devoid of talent; Kevin LoveMichael Beasley and, if he ever arrives, Ricky Rubio, are three nice pieces. Additionally, they’ll have as much cap room as anyone, and Taylor has shown he’s willing to spend. But the structure isn’t in place for success.

(Previous rank: 27)

Has anyone else grown tired of reading into hot-shot analysts bashing our beloved Timberwolves over the top of the head? A few sketchy transactions makes the David Kahn, Glen Taylor and the Wolves the target of ridicule harsher than a Comedy Central Roast. If anything, we fans know that the Wolves’ future is as bright as anyone, so don’t look too far into this bizarre ranking. How did John Hollinger make things rankings anyways? A crystal ball or some complex formula that he made up himself?

Going back to the Wolves’ future, sure, it’s full of questions and dependent on nearly one player’s decision next summer, but the pieces are there to help build and develop a team for the future. Kahn said it best in a season-ticket holder meeting that the Wolves may not be ready to compete immediately, but down the road, when teams like the Spurs, Lakers and Suns get older and slower, the Wolves have the opportunity to jump into the thick of things in the Western Conference.

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