ESPN Insider Offseason Grades


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ESPN Insider released their updated Offseason Grades. The Timberwolves’ offseason wasn’t their favorite, to say the least:

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

Key additions: Brandon Roy (FA), Andrei Kirilenko (FA), Chase Budinger(trade), Alexey Shved (FA), Greg Stiemsma (FA), Dante Cunningham(trade), Robbie Hummel (draft)

Key subtractions: Wesley JohnsonDarko MilicicMartell WebsterWayne EllingtonBrad Miller

The Timberwolves had the right idea in pursuing Blazers free agent Nic Batum. He would be a nice fit at small forward. The $46.5 million price tag is a lot, but Rule 1 of Restricted Free Agency 101 says you have to dramatically overpay to convince a home team not to match. The Wolves didn’t overpay enough, and the Blazers, as expected, quickly matched the offer.

Roy is an interesting pickup; no one knows if his knees will hold up enough to make him worth the $10 million the Wolves are paying. If he’s healthy enough to be a contributor, this was a good move.

Kirilenko is less risky. He played well in Russia and looks like he still has something left in the tank. The Wolves look like they overpaid to get him, but that seems to be GM David Kahn’s specialty. How he fits onto a team that primarily needs shooting remains a question mark, but most GMs think his veteran presence will help.

After Roy and Kirilenko, the Wolves don’t have much to show for their offseason other than adding Budinger and Shved — two shooters who don’t bring a lot more to the table.

The waiving of Milicic via the amnesty clause only highlights how silly their offer was to him two years ago. Ditto for the dumping of Webster. The Wolves gave up a mid-first-round pick for him last year. And giving away both Johnson (the No. 4 pick two years ago) and Ellington points out yet again that, with the exception of Rubio, the Wolves have blown through numerous draft picks will little to show for it.

Overall, short of Roy having a miraculous recovery or Kirilenko dialing back the clock five years, the improvements this summer have been incremental. Somewhere, Kevin Love is pouting.

GRADE: C