Draft Howls…

Ok so obviously there’s a lot to howl about on this topic so let’s get five of my random thoughts out here and we’ll delve deeper later this week with some further commentary.

  • I’ll spare everyone another in depth “the Wolves get screwed once again and have no luck whatsoever” in the lottery piece. But really when are we gonna actually land something special?
  • With the 3 picks they have the Wolves should be one of the more active teams on draft day. Honestly it always seems like the more you hear about guys and their “tremendous upside potential” and sheer “length” as the draft gets closer the more you fall in love with guys, even if they aren’t all that good. Hopefully that won’t be the Wolves this year and we can make some moves to bring in some veterans to fill holes or upgrade some of our younger talent. Kahn will definitely be able to set the tone for the franchise under his leadership on June 25th.
  • My gut instinct on a few players (Again I’ll have more later): Ty Lawson will be better than expected, Demar DeRozan is going to end up more like Gerald Green than Vince Carter, Stephen Curry is the next Barbosa, and Blake Griffin will be better than Oden, Beasley, and Rose but not as good as Durant.
  • This draft class will be only slightly better than the 2000 Draft Class which is the year Kenyon Martin went #1. Take a look at that list for a refresher, barely 6 rotation players from that group. Again I’m hopin the Wolves are dealing on draft day. Maybe I’m rethinking Kahn keeping #6. If he can make a splash with it in a trade it’s probably going to be for a more productive player than we can get.
  • New Poll Question –> Who should the Wolves take with #6?

Weekend Wheaties

What’s better than a bowl of Wheaties on Saturday morning? Besides isn’t that what we all want, a picture of the Wolfies on the cover of a Wheaties Box? 
Here’s 5 spoonfuls to get your weekend started off right… but first let me thank SG over at T-Wolves Blog for the shout-out this morning, welcome anyone coming over from there.
  • Did you know the Howlin’ T-Wolf is on twitter? Follow us here.
  • Welcome to Loud City, an Oklahoma City Thunder blog, throws up a post I was thinking of putting together here… isn’t the Birdman, Chris Anderson, a great pickup this offseason? The stats say yes, my eyes watching the playoffs certainly say yes. This article also seems to alleviate fears he’d fall back into trouble. The only thing I would disagree with WTLC’s breakdown is this, $2-$3 million probably isn’t enough. Half the teams in the league need a quality C/Energy Guy. If a team signs 31 year old James Posey to the full-midlevel last year I would have to think even in the down economy that the Birdman after his performance in the playoffs is going to get something close. To me this would be a great move by Kahn if he can bring the Birdman into our den for anything less than the full mid-level and even that would still probably be worth it. He would fit in great with both Big Al and Love in my opinion and would match the energy of Craig Smith and Coerey Brewer (assuming he can come back healthy) off the bench too. Thats a nice active front line with 3 guys that would come in and play all out every play, something this team has always been shallow on.
  • Jerry Zgoda over at the Trib has the breakdown of players coming in to workout this week. I’ll have a more lengthy draft breakdown later this week but the headliners of guys coming in are Austin Daye from Gonzaga, B.J. Mullens from OSU, and UCLA guard Darren Collison. Based on recent mock draft the Wolves would be looking at these 3 with their picks at 18 and 28. 
  • A number of people around the internet/radio continue to talk about the Wolves trading for Kirk Hinrich. Frankly I like Hinrich and his fit on this team a lot. Some are saying the Wolves are discussing the #6 straight up for him and the other is for Mike Miller. I highly doubt Kahn would send out the #6 right away his fourth week on the job even for a solid guy like Hinrich. Moving Miller after a so-so year here in Minny makes more sense to me and moves one of our surplus wings for a much needed presence in the backcourt. Really there aren’t too many guys that fit in better with Randy Foye than Hinrich in my estimation. A steady ball-handler and decent 3pt shooter who can run the team as well as be a gritty defender that isnt afraid to match up with sg’s (for instance he’s one of the better guys in the league at slowing down the unstoppable D-Wade). So we’ll see if these are merely rumors or if they actually come to fruition in a deal for the Wolves.
  • Kahn is scheduled to meet a second time with Kevin McHale this week. I’ll have more on my thoughts on bringing back McHale as coach later this week.

The Lay-Up Line – Kahn Edition

Each day I’d like to start out with a group of links to T-Wolves news, which I’m dubbing The Lay-Up Line. Something similar to what you find at TrueHoop with the First Cup every morning. I’ll be linking to content all over the place and hopefully it will evolve into something that is a jump-start to the day focusing on the Wolves.

From Timberwolves.com a good roundup of quotes/reactions from around the league on the Wolves hiring David Kahn as their new President of Basketball Operations:

“David helped me as much as anyone that I worked with during my time in Indiana, and his work with Conseco made it the best building in the league. He has a wealth of experience and will do a great job in Minnesota. David is very capable of capitalizing on the position the Timberwolves franchise is in and taking that team to the next level.”
- Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations

“I think the world of David. I’ve known him since we first crossed paths back at UCLA and I have nothing but admiration and respect for all that he’s accomplished throughout his career. David will bring a tremendous background to the job, particularly from his time with Donnie at the Pacers. I’ve always had a fondness for the Timberwolves, and with the group of exciting young players they’ve assembled, I think they have a great opportunity in front of them. I’m thrilled that David is getting this chance and I think he’ll do a phenomenal job.”
– Larry Brown, Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach

“I’m very happy for David. He’s a very intelligent guy and knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone. David has all the tools to get the job done in Minnesota.”
– Larry Bird, Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations

“An excellent hire. David has great knowledge of both the basketball and business sides of an NBA franchise. He is a highly-motivated person that will bring out the best in the people who work with him.”
– Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks Head Coach

“David is a remarkably gifted individual, with a combination of high intelligence, a major-league work ethic, and a great understanding of what makes teams successful. His ability to understand the dynamics of an NBA franchise is a real strength and he’ll be someone the Timberwolves can look to for leadership and sound decision-making.
– Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs Head Coach

Kahn also had a Q+A with Maury Brown at bizofbasketball.com

One part I found interesting as its something I didn’t really think about. How often are teams scouting players and their character and talent to potentially acquire a player (as opposed to just figuring out how to stop them the next time they play them)?

“Generally, I think we spend an enormous amount of research scouting college players, high school players, and not quite nearly amount of resources of scouting the players who are already in the league. When, now all of a sudden, scouting them, you have a lot more ability to make some more careful assessments. If you have a college kid, you have to project everything. You have to project his place in the league, you have to project how he’ll fit into the league. Can he make the jump? Once they’re in the league, you don’t have to project anymore, you’re watching them play other NBA players. So now, it would seem to me that the need to have information shouldn’t stop when they come into the NBA. It should continue on and you can make the argument that it should be bigger and more substantive.

And the press conference announcing the hiring of Kahn via Timberwolves.com

From the corresponding article:

“Taylor found a new president of basketball operations that encompassed a diverse background seen in other sports. Several examples include Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.”

That’s some pretty good company to be putting Kahn in. I can only hope he is as good as Morey is in Houston and Epstein is in Boston.


Why A Timberwolves Blog?

I’ve started and fizzled out on a few other blogs that I started. Only time will tell on this one I guess. I figured though with all the time I spend on all things NBA from reading every thing daily on ESPN’s NBA page and Henry Abbott’s TrueHoop blog, to managing multiple competitive fantasy basketball teams, to watching as much basketball on TV as my wife can handle. (I can’t wait to afford the man-cave. ;) ) So I thought it was time to turn my addiction into something more productive than being the most versed NBA fan at the office or winning a few fantasy trophies. And with that I thought a blog was the answer, so here we are. I also have a desire to get the spot as the official Wolves blog in the TrueHoop Network of NBA blogs. I could have kept that desire under wraps but we’re looking for honesty and full disclosure here. As such I’ve linked to all of the current TrueHoop Network blogs in the sidebar. If you want some great blogging on the NBA you should start there. I also linked to some of the other T-Wolves blogs out there and will most likely direct you to any good articles they have in my posts.

Why the name?

I always thought the best blogs had catchy names you could remember easily. I wanted something to do with the T-Wolves and didn’t want something boring like The Timberwolves Blog (no offense to those with the “normal” blog names). I also just so happened to rent the movie Cadillac Records last night which includes in it the singer Howlin’ Wolf. I don’t know if it was in my subconscious but I picked out the name for the blog before I made the connection. Maybe we’ll get some good background music for the blog from Mr. Wolf someday.

As for what names I’ll be referring to our team as it will probably include but not limited to: Minnesota, Timeberwolves, T-Wolves, Wolves, Wolfies, T-Pups, Minny, ‘Sota, etc.

So what are people going to get from reading this?

Hopefully you’re going to get a fresh perspective on all things Minnesota Timberwolves. The Howlin’ T-Wolf should end up being a place to both find a fresh commentary and be a hub of Wolves information and analysis. That being said your questions, comments, and criticisms are welcome. You can reach me at howlintwolf@gmail.com.