Wolf Track: Wolves net Randolph, Curry for Brewer

New York finally got their man. And so did the Wolves. As a part of the mega Melo deal, New York and Denver will be switching all types of players for one another and the Wolves added Randolph, the guy they’ve wanted all along, to the team.

ESPN reported the news earlier tonight but I just had to get the basics out to you tonight. I promise there will be plenty of commentary posted tomorrow as well as a commemorative article on the one and only Corey Brewer. He’ll be missed dearly.

Martell Webster: How does he fit in?

What does Webster's return mean to this team?

He’s healthy enough to play. We saw big things from him this preseason. He’s been highly touted ever since high school.

But will he live up to the standards?

Martell Webster’s return to this team could either mean one of two things; 1) The Wolves are receiving a huge boost out of the blue and a guy that could potentially crack the starting lineup given a few great performances; Or 2) Yet another souped-up Corey Brewer that will be nothing more than a 15-minute-per-game role player.

I never followed Webster very closely during his time in Portland for a few reasons. Apparently he was ready to come into the league as a high schooler and really dominate but we never saw it. He soon became overshadowed by the stardom of Brandon Roy and lost playing time that way. And finally he started losing even more playing time to the likes of Rudy Fernandez — Ouch. It’s easy to say that he’s just never lived up to the hype and became a simple bystander of the NBA’s hierarchy — If you can’t play, then get the hell out of here.

But perhaps with any ounce of hype still there, Webster could slowly start to develop here in ‘Sota. We’ve seen it in the likes of Mike Beasley and his newfound attitude this year which has led to nothing but good things for himself and the Wolves. Minnesota is a place of player development. David Kahn said that he wanted Minnesota to be a place of player development and growth when he first arrived. Players can come here to slow down, get a drip of themselves and figure out their role as an NBA player. I really didn’t understand the reasoning behind that dream but it becomes clear as day when you consider Beasley’s season.

So what are we going to see from Webster when he returns — hopefully Tuesday night at Golden State — and what kind of contribution is he really going to make for the rest of the season?

Of the two reasons I listed above, I’m going to take the middle-ground — I’m such a copout. Webster’s going to improve our overall strength, speed and athleticism, something that Wayne Ellington — the guy he’ll steal minutes from upon returning — has failed to do in his role. Webster is a 6-foot-7 wing and built like a bull but can run down the court just as well as any guard could. His natural tendency is to stalk the three-point line, where he’s shot a career 37-percent from. He plays hard-nosed defense and, thanks to his big frame, is a pretty successful defender.

All of those attributes I listed there similarly describe the game of Corey Brewer. Sorta scary, ain’t it? While I do think that a lot of their game’s have similar elements, Webster is going to produce more, but the key here is that he’s going to do it a lot more efficiently than Brewer.

Brewer has a dismal career PER of 10.73. The easiest way to sum that poor score up is to tell you that the league average this season is 15. Despite not playing yet this season, which does skew the scales considerably, Webster has a career 11.53 PER. The 0.8 difference may not look like much now, but once Webster starts accumulating minutes and producing, the differential should increase.

The reason I believe that differential will increase is coupled with the reasons I already told you why Webster is better than Brewer: He’s bigger, stronger, faster and, a characteristic that cannot be measured by statistics, smarter. Webster makes good decisions on the court. He’s a unique veteran player in that he’s only 24-years old but already has five seasons under his belt. He rarely commits turnovers, (1.31 career average) which is something that Brewer has struggled with throughout his career given his ball-handling abilities. Ultimately, he’s the veteran-type player the Wolves have been looking for that just seems to do all of the little things right and does it as efficiently as possible.

The facts are laid out in front of us. Now all that has to happen is for Webster to actually come back and see what he can contribute to this team. If in fact he returns and is a 10-ppg player that squeezes his way into the starting lineup, then you can consider this team to be a lot better, and I mean a 25-30 win season may not be out of the question. Even if he just returns as a 15-mpg role player, we should all be content with that too. Because at this point in the game, anything will help this inconsistent bunch.

Game 46 Recap: Knicks 132, Wolves 105

Wolves Record: 9-37

Well as good as my 9-32 prediction for the Wolves over the first half of the season was (they were 8-33 and won their 9th in game 42) my 19-22 over the next 41 isn’t looking so hot. Not when the team fails to show up completely two nights in a row. We’ve seen a lack of effort from this young squad before for a half in back to back games but even during the 15 game losing streak I don’t think we got two back to back 48 minute stinkers like this one. Especially against a team coming off a 50 POINT LOSS! the game before.

The one and only good thing to take away from this game (and really their are no details worth sharing, we just stunk to high heaven across the board) is the one and only Corey Brewer. Seriously folks I am borderline speechless on his improvement. From calling him out as a possible bust early in the season to now thinking he’s got a crack at most improved player if he keeps up this play, I just don’t know what to say, other than job well done by Rambis and the coaching staff on their first big-time player development success story. Take a look at these numbers:

Over the last 4 games Corey has shot 31-50 FG’s (62%), 7-9 FT’s (77%), 11-19 3’s (58%), and averaged 19.5 points, 4.25 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.75 steals, 1 block, and 2.25 turnovers.

Unbelievable. If there was ever an award for the player most improved during the season, it would be going to Corey.

Just how good has this play been? I honestly at this point would lean toward keeping him if the staff thinks he can keep this up (don’t see any reason why not) rather than sending him off in a deal for Rudy Gay or Andre Iguodola. Certainly both are better players, BUT, if the Wolves are able to land either John Wall or Evan Turner in the draft then Corey becomes a much better complement at small forward than Gay or Iggy would, who might need the ball more to be effective. Not to mention a lot cheaper over the next two years.

I’m still in shock that I just wrote that paragraph. Need to go splash cold-water on my face.

Anyway I will be sure to watch Brewer closely tonight and see if he gets matched up on Lebron at all or if they’ll use Gomes more like they did in game #2.

And of course since I highlighted Brewer’s improved play he’ll probably be jinxed and throw up a stinker. At least us fans will have something to watch for though right?