Welcome to the second annual #TwolfRank. It’s one of our favorite times of the year, to say the least. Here is the eighth part in this roster-long series and we are officially halfway through. As always, you can follow Jonah (@howlintwolf), Tom (@Tom_NBA) and Derek (@DerekJamesNBA) on Twitter as well to partake in the fun.
If you didn’t already know, Corey Brewer’s been here before. And if you did know that, well, then you know that this experiment didn’t exactly work the first time around.
A fan favorite and undoubetbly lovable, Brewer is indeed around for his second stint with the Timberwolves, giving him a second chance to redeem himself as well as a second chance for us to embrace his spunk and groan over his flaws.
It must be duly noted, though, that Brewer’s flaws, plenty and painstaking from 2007 to 2011, are starting to smudge into less notable faults within the bigger picture, especially on offense.
A poor shooter to start his career, Brewer shot a combined 39 percent during his first stint in Minnesota, including a brutal 29 percent from deep. Still not a great shooter from deep but he raised his overall field goal percentage to 43 percent over two seasons in Denver. Obviously, he’s not the answer to the Wolves’ shooting woes but the subtle improvements from the past two season give hope to the coming years.
My favorite part of Brewer’s offensive improvements is that he’s clearly learned the game at a more systematic level. He understands plays, he gets spacing, he just knows the idea of offense much better than he did before. According to Hoopdata.com, 78.5 percent of Brewer’s field goals last season came off assists. That’s a direct product of terrific point guard play from Ty Lawson and Andre Miller as well as Brewer’s sense of working within the offense. If all goes well, that type of production should transfer well into Adelman’s space-based system as well as working alongside the magician Ricky Rubio (Those corner treys should be Brewer’s bread and butter as well as cutting off the baseline, similar to what Andrei Kirilenko did last year).
Speaking of AK47, let me ask question: What was his top contribution to the team last year?
If you’re answer is versatile defense, then you’re correct, which is exactly why I’ve talked myself into Brewer’s acquisition (And more so his contract). Brewer, although a bit of a gambler, knows how to keep his chest glued to his man. Arms out wide and spectacularly erratic feet, Brewer is a pure defender, tried and true. He can defend three different positions with ease, and I wouldn’t doubt if the Wolves go small often to force turnovers and run, which puts Brewer at the 4.
Just about everything that AK47 brought to the table last year, Brewer should be able to do the same. AK47’s creativity and passing will certainly be missed but Brewer should be a better shooter and perhaps just as a versatile on defense. The biggest difference between the two, and my favorite part, is the difference in dollars.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical of Brewer coming back. He presented so many face-palm moments for me back in the day, I thought my forehead would turn permanently red from smacking it so much. And once the news broke of his return, the only thing that caught my attention was the deal, 3 years, $15 million. The Wolves paid $10 million to AK47 last season. Taking that into consideration, I’m cool with Brewer’s prospects and even cooler with the potential value present.
Brewer brings a lot to the table but he’s not perfect. The best part is that he’s improving and maturing but still remains that smiley character that everyone loves to root for. A new addition to the team but not the franchise, this familiar face will play an important role as a versatile defender and whatever they can get from him on offense will be a bonus but set expectations at a reasonable level, he’s got something to prove to critics that remain from the early days.
Here’s what the public had to say about our beloved Corey Brewer:
— Wizard of Shabazz (@Dark_aardvark) September 3, 2013
— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) September 3, 2013
— Aaron Groshong (@AaronGroshong) September 3, 2013
Want to take part? Look for one of us to tweet out who the next player will be and tweet us your thoughts on him using the #TwolfRank hashtag and we’ll throw your tweet in the post.