For the first time since he was traded in 2009, Big Al came up huge for the Timberwolves.
Jefferson scored 18 points, including several dagger-licious baskets down the stretch of Tuesday night’s pivotal game against the Suns as Utah clinched the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It will be Jefferson’s first playoff appearance since his rookie season with the Boston Celtics.
Good for Big Al and all players involved, but quite frankly, we here at Howlin’ T-Wolf have bigger things to discuss than the Spurs’ first round warm-up opponent. By making the playoffs, Utah ensured that the Timberwolves will have a first round draft pick. Utah owes Minnesota a Top 14 protected pick, but since the first 14 teams who pick will be lottery teams, the Wolves are assured a mid-first round selection.
Whether or not that pick will be truly useful is debatable (and believe me, it will be debated), but by picking up a back-up power forward in the draft, the Wolves may be able to deal a more promising piece (read: Derrick Williams) in exchange for a quality wing player.
But that’s a different discussion for a future post. Much more analysis on who might be available and who the Timberwolves may pick up will be coming later. For now, enjoy the fact that this disappointing season isn’t a total loss.