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  1. #1221
    "Terrence Jones Agrees To Sign With Bucks For Remainder Of Season".

    Too bad we didn't at least check him out. Mistake.

  2. #1222
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    17,106
    After being ok with moving Wiggins in the right deal, I'm waffling on this a bit. If there's a slam dunk, home run type trade that is on our lap, take it...but I'm just as ok with getting two hungry pro vets around Wiggins/Towns/Rubio in the lineup, putting Zach at 6th man, maybe trading the pick to get one of the veterans...and then turn it loose.

    SF - Wiggins
    PF - Stretch 4 type (veteran, hopefully)
    C - Towns
    SG - Dunn/Veteran 3/D
    PG - Rubio

    6th - Lavine
    7th - Veteran 3/D or Dunn
    8th - Dieng (backup 4/5)
    9th - Tyus
    10th - Bjelica
    11th - the dude at the Y
    12th - some scrappy fan favorite type
    13th - Aldrich
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...

  3. #1223
    One person I could see the Wolves offering a fair contract too and seeing if OKC matches - Andre Roberson.

  4. #1224
    Quote Originally Posted by Cory View Post
    One person I could see the Wolves offering a fair contract too and seeing if OKC matches - Andre Roberson.
    He scares the crap out of me. Decent player next to a 42% usage PG, but his complete lack of shooting (3pt and FT%) could be real worrisome. If we're looking for a defensive stud, I'd try to get an extra pick and draft OG. I like his physical profile so much more, as I think he'll be able to guard 2-4 regularly, switch onto 1s and match-up with smaller 5s.

  5. #1225
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    He scares the crap out of me. Decent player next to a 42% usage PG, but his complete lack of shooting (3pt and FT%) could be real worrisome. If we're looking for a defensive stud, I'd try to get an extra pick and draft OG. I like his physical profile so much more, as I think he'll be able to guard 2-4 regularly, switch onto 1s and match-up with smaller 5s.
    Definitely a possibility, I like him too. I could see a pick being involved in a Lavine trade but I'm not sure Thibs would want another rookie on the roster if we are keeping our pick. I would also guess that we won't do anything with Lavine until next trade deadline but if there are decent offers for him and it brings back a 3 & D wing, I'd move on now.

    I would say our target list for the summer should go Tucker, then Thabo, followed by Roberson considering there's a good chance he gets matched for any reasonable offer and his shooting is so bad.

    I'm a little less concerned with signing a 4 unless the price is right at this point also. I think Bjelly gives us enough that signing Taj to a big contract would be regrettable even if he does provide some leadership. That's not worth $15 million a year. Backup big men and true 4's seem to be the area that you don't want to overpay for in the new NBA. I'm not sure what Gorgui gets as a free agent but it might not be more than his current deal.
    Last edited by Cory; 03-20-2017 at 08:04 PM.

  6. #1226
    Quote Originally Posted by Cory View Post
    Definitely a possibility, I like him too. I could see a pick being involved in a Lavine trade but I'm not sure Thibs would want another rookie on the roster if we are keeping our pick. I would also guess that we won't do anything with Lavine until next trade deadline but if there are decent offers for him and it brings back a 3 & D wing, I'd move on now.

    I would say our target list for the summer should go Tucker, then Thabo, followed by Roberson considering there's a good chance he gets matched for any reasonable offer and his shooting is so bad.

    I'm a little less concerned with signing a 4 unless the price is right at this point also. I think Bjelly give us enough that signing Taj to a big contract would be regrettable.
    I'd probably skip Thabo too. Hasn't been a good 3pt shooter in 5 years and will be 33 when next season starts.

    I could see adding OG (in a trade down) if Isaac is gone at our pick and Thibs isn't sold on Bridges.

  7. #1227
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    I'd probably skip Thabo too. Hasn't been a good 3pt shooter in 5 years and will be 33 when next season starts.

    I could see adding OG (in a trade down) if Isaac is gone at our pick and Thibs isn't sold on Bridges.
    I could easily see Lavine drawing interest from some of the bottom half Eastern Conference teams like Indiana, Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando, and Brooklyn. All have picks in the late teens to 20's and Lavine would be a great gamble for any of them even if he is hurt to start the year. It may seem like selling low but if you get OG who does fit the bill of a young 3 & D guy who could defend at a very high level, that's a great trade. If you deal with Brooklyn maybe you just ask for RHJ straight up and see if they bite.

    Thought too much about this but here's two potential teams for next year that wouldn't cost a lot in terms of free agents dollars.

    With a Lavine for pick that nets Anunoby (Det, Ind, Atl)
    C KAT
    PF Bjelly
    SF Tucker/Roberson/CJ Miles
    SG Wiggins
    PG Rubio
    6th Gorgui
    1/2 – Dunn
    ¾ - Bridges/Isaac
    PG – Jones
    SF – Anunoby
    ¾ Jerebko

    Roster with Lavine for Rondae Hollis Jefferson straight up
    C Kat
    PF Bjelly
    SF RHJ
    SG Wiggins
    PG Rubio
    6th Gorgui
    ½ Dunn
    ¾ - Bridges/Isaac
    PG – Jones
    SF CJ Miles/Thabo
    ¾ Jerebko
    Last edited by Cory; 03-20-2017 at 10:12 PM.

  8. #1228
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    17,106
    Really dont want to see the Wolves waste money on a wing that can't shoot. We need outside shooting (yes, we need defenders but the lack of 3 point shooting and lack of accurate shooters outside of Lavine is a huge problem)
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...

  9. #1229
    I think the blaming of Lavine for our defensive woes was overblown. I think we're seeing now that our bigs are the biggest problem. Wigs hasn't been the defender he was purported coming out of the draft either. The big question is whether this team will buy in to Thibs and his defensive schemes. I have my doubts. At this point we should be improving, not going backward. I'm concerned for next year. It's clear we need a starting PF. Dieng isn't getting the job done consistently enough. This should be a strong draft but we'll be lucky to find anyone who will help us next year.

    Last summers free agency clearly should get a D- grade.

  10. #1230
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    I think the blaming of Lavine for our defensive woes was overblown. I think we're seeing now that our bigs are the biggest problem. Wigs hasn't been the defender he was purported coming out of the draft either. The big question is whether this team will buy in to Thibs and his defensive schemes. I have my doubts. At this point we should be improving, not going backward. I'm concerned for next year. It's clear we need a starting PF. Dieng isn't getting the job done consistently enough. This should be a strong draft but we'll be lucky to find anyone who will help us next year.

    Last summers free agency clearly should get a D- grade.
    The problem was Lavine, Wigs, and KAT really. Thibs system can work when he has a few plus defenders even if you do have some minuses. Ricky would be a plus, Gorgui is solid but he's not a stopper or someone that covers others mistakes. Just a solid team defender. Having 3 guys that don't have good team defensive instincts or fundamentals can't be coached away when they are all playing together. Adding all around defenders I believe is still at least as big of a need as adding shooting. The problem is only stars are shooters and great defenders so we will likely have to compromise and take guys who fit one of these two areas in free agency if we want to have a complete roster and find a complimentary bench player to go with that player. Adding a great defensive wing like Tucker or Roberson could do as much for Wiggins game as anything as he would not matchup with the best perimeter player defensively and his physical size won't get exploited. If you are able to add both a Tucker or Roberson and a CJ Miles who could be a great shooter on the wing, you would fill up minutes in our rotation to guys with bona-fide roles that are not filled currently.

    I think the goal is to add guys who put our best assets into the right roles. That probably means adding a SF which moves Wiggins to a 2 and adding a PF in some capacity that moves Gorgui to the bench or if you trust that Bjelly might be that guy in the short term while a draft pick develops, adding some diverse wing players who allow you to matchup better with a variety of teams. One issue we have seen this year is we were not able to play a variety of different styles when we were heavy on Wiggins, KAT and Lavine dominating ball usage. With Lavine out we have seen different styles, at times the ball runs through Wiggins or KAT in iso and pick and roll sets and at times Ricky orchestrates with occasional flashes of Tyus. By adding shooters around these lineups, you can only improve them. We also just don't have the current roster makeup to trot out any lockdown defenders at any position really. Ricky is as close as we have and at the PG position, no one can lockdown the opposing players every night, there's just too much talent.

    I would actually give last year's FA a B. We added no long term contracts that are harmful and the players we likely could have went after would have been flops. We could be in much worse shape and I think there is a good understanding on what the roster needs around KAT and Wiggins. A D- would be reserved for a team like the Blazers in my opinion. They used up all of their cap space on a roster that is a 7 or 8 seed at max. That is where we don't want to be.
    Last edited by Cory; 03-21-2017 at 09:33 AM.

  11. #1231
    I think Towns has what it takes to develop into an average or plus defender, however, he is currently our best offensive player and will surely remain our best offensive player - thus, he expends so much energy on that end it will be challenging for him to become great on defensive end.

  12. #1232
    Quote Originally Posted by WunderWolf View Post
    I think Towns has what it takes to develop into an average or plus defender, however, he is currently our best offensive player and will surely remain our best offensive player - thus, he expends so much energy on that end it will be challenging for him to become great on defensive end.
    I agree with this. And I think Wiggins can develop into an average to plus defender also. But they need to have some guys who take the defensive pressure off right now so they can learn rotations and team concepts better. A guy like Roberson, Tucker, and Ricky not only stop there guy more often than others but they cause the slightest hesitations even when they are not completely stopping their man. Just a second of difference on 5 possessions a game could swing an outcome and give Wiggins or KAT a better chance to recognize and get into the right spot defensively and alter a shot attempt. Currently things are coming at them too fast on that end.

    If an elite perimeter defender is added in free agency, coupled with Dunn slowly figuring things out as another potential lockdown perimeter defender, we would make strides in a big way. We still need rim protection but the most important thing for that is to give KAT additional recovery time so he can start to recognize when he needs to start rotating and contesting without fouling. He's going to see 36-40 minutes a game in big spots, he absolutely needs to be put in a spot where he can develop those instincts. The strongest case I would make for Isaac in the draft is his ability to be an eraser as a potential small ball 4 as well. Bridges length makes that tougher for him but he's an explosive leaper so I think he's still a worthy gamble and Anunoby is a great backup option given both his length and athleticism. But everything revolves around KAT and his development in this area. If he wants to be as good as TD and KG, he needs some help first.
    Last edited by Cory; 03-21-2017 at 10:01 AM.

  13. #1233
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick K View Post
    I think the blaming of Lavine for our defensive woes was overblown. I think we're seeing now that our bigs are the biggest problem. Wigs hasn't been the defender he was purported coming out of the draft either. The big question is whether this team will buy in to Thibs and his defensive schemes. I have my doubts. At this point we should be improving, not going backward. I'm concerned for next year. It's clear we need a starting PF. Dieng isn't getting the job done consistently enough. This should be a strong draft but we'll be lucky to find anyone who will help us next year.

    Last summers free agency clearly should get a D- grade.
    There are a bunch of things to unpack individually here, but starting at the top, as Cory says, "blaming LaVine for our defensive woes" seems like a mischaracterization of what anyone has actually been saying.

    The problem isn't LaVine specifically, it's that LaVine and Wiggins overlap too much in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. Probably more centrally, as you say here, but as others have been saying all season, Towns is also a poor defender most of the time now (separate from his defensive potential, which remains high), and defense is SO much more important at the center (or 4/5) position than in any individual perimeter position that he's probably the biggest individual problem.

    That said, Towns is also SO good offensively that you have to keep him out there, and he's also the best of the three kids defensively at times; inconsistence is problematic, but at least it give you ups along with the downs.

    As for LaVine, though, I do think on balance he's the worst of the three kids defensively, and by a good margin, but it's still "not playing both LaVine and Wiggins 38 mpg" meaning well more than half the game together, that's the issue with the defense when they're both in the lineup. I think the defensive improvement we've seen by removing LaVine from the lineup is probably stronger than the improvement we would have seen if Wiggins was out and Zach was still playing, because Wiggins is a better defender than LaVine. But the defense still would have improved if it was Wiggins who was out instead of Zach.

    Moving on: In terms of the recent defensive slippage, I don't think it's "buy in to Thibs and his defensive schemes" at all, I think it's a failure to execute and lack of consistent effort. I think some of that is about Wiggins and Towns being exhausted, which I don't say as an excuse, but is also real (and pretty obvious lately, esp. for Wiggins, IMO). That's also partly on Thibs for playing young guys so many minutes, and in the case of Wiggins asking him to bang with stronger guys at SF most of the time. But it's mostly on the players themselves, just needing to have the pride and professionalism to understand that they have to give max effort on D far more consistently (and also, to a much smaller degree, not being experienced enough to be able to hang defensively when they're NOT giving full effort at all time, which more-veteran guys can often get away with).

    I terms of Dieng, he was always been miscast as a PF next to another clear center in Towns. Gorgui has some 4/5 flexibility, but he's mostly a center in the modern NBA. He's just not mobile/quick enough to defend the 4 full time. His extension salary is perfectly acceptable as a 3rd big off the bench, though, and he's an excellent fit in that role.

    Finally, in terms of 2016 FA, I think any grade ought to acknowledge (probably heavily) that it appears clear that the core stars of this team were too young/inexperienced to lead the team to significant success this year. In that context, NOT spending big money on guys who would be clogging the cap in the future probably ought to be viewed as a positive. I know people want current season results at all times, but for better or worse that's just not how the NBA works, and Thibs/Layden needed to use this year to figure out what they had in their young players, and experinece first hand how and when they might need to reshuffle them, and who/what needs to be added around them going forward.

    I think this coming summer is a much more logical time to be planning to make a bigger splash with veteran FA signings. So I'd give the team at least a C, and maybe even a B-, for NOT using the bulk of the available cap space last year.

  14. #1234
    The idea that the defense improved simply because Lavine was not playing is a load of crap. The defense improved because the roster finally got comfortable with what they were being asked to do. I think if Lavine would have been playing we would have seen improvement anyway. What I do think we are seeing without Lavine is Wiggins and KAT are being relied on to much to do the teams scoring. I think we are seeing both guys show some fatigue at times because they are being asked to do so much on offense. With Lavine we had three very talented offensive players who could help spread out the load.

    Going forward we need to see changes in improving the defense and the rebounding at times but we need to see more balance on offense. Not that KAT and Wiggins shouldn't be scoring 20-25 every night but with a guy like Lavine able to play it becomes easier to do so but it also isn't a killer if they don't.

    I am really happy with where this team is at going into the offseason if Lavine is ready to play next season. We for sure need a starting PF so G can be our top big off the bench. If the coaching staff believes we need a better defender than Lavine at OG in the starting lineup I can understand that but at the big moments in the game his shooting and scoring ability will be on the floor. The bench needs some experience and attitude on the defensive end.
    It doesn’t matter if you are a king or street sweeper pretty soon you will dance with the reaper!

    Its better to be silent and everyone think your an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    “Statistics are no substitute for judgment”
    Henry Clay

  15. #1235
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    The idea that the defense improved simply because Lavine was not playing is a load of crap. The defense improved because the roster finally got comfortable with what they were being asked to do. I think if Lavine would have been playing we would have seen improvement anyway.
    So its a coincidence that our defensive "lightbulb" went on within a few games of Zach going down?

  16. #1236
    Yes I think much of it is coincidence. I think it had far more to do with being 50 games into the season than it was just about Lavine being out. Rush might be a better defender and that helps but the timing was far more important than a player being out. If it was all about Lavine's defense we wouldn't have been so terrible the last 3 games on the road when we were beaten like a rented mule.
    It doesn’t matter if you are a king or street sweeper pretty soon you will dance with the reaper!

    Its better to be silent and everyone think your an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    “Statistics are no substitute for judgment”
    Henry Clay

  17. #1237
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    Yes I think much of it is coincidence. I think it had far more to do with being 50 games into the season than it was just about Lavine being out. Rush might be a better defender and that helps but the timing was far more important than a player being out. If it was all about Lavine's defense we wouldn't have been so terrible the last 3 games on the road when we were beaten like a rented mule.
    The last 3 games are exhaustion kicking in. And Bjelica being out hurt a lot as well.

    LaVine is as bad of a defender as we've had in a long time. He tries as hard (or harder) as anyone, but is completely unable to grasp anything beyond "try to keep your man in front of you". He's completely lost in any kind of team setting - which is vital in Thibs' defense.

  18. #1238
    Quote Originally Posted by LEvine View Post
    The last 3 games are exhaustion kicking in. And Bjelica being out hurt a lot as well.

    LaVine is as bad of a defender as we've had in a long time. He tries as hard (or harder) as anyone, but is completely unable to grasp anything beyond "try to keep your man in front of you". He's completely lost in any kind of team setting - which is vital in Thibs' defense.
    Yeah, I'll say the same thing LA stated, it's not that Zach is that much worse defensively than Wiggins or KAT. He probably is but that really isn't the issue. The issue is we have 3 defenders who by and large had no clue how to play defense, playing together a ton. And even when those guys were subbed in and out, we routinely had 2 of our best on-court players offensively with no clue how to play defense surrounded by marginal defenders outside of Rubio and Dieng. It's no coincidence that Lavine being hurt and being replaced by guys who are closer to average defensively would produce a big turn around defensively. It also wouldn't be that shocking had Wiggins been hurt and we had the same or similar turnaround.

    Wiggins and Lavine are duplicates of themselves offensively in that they are volume scorers. They're also duplicates defensively at this point as they aren't good team defenders. Considering that Wiggins is better both offensively and defensively at this point, you find a taker for Zach and get appropriate role players in who can put Wiggins in a better situation defensively and allow him to grow offensively with more court spacing. The only talent that Zach has that we really need is the ability to shoot. In the new CBA, you can't pay a shooter 20 million a year when he takes away shots from a more efficient offensive player in Wiggins and Towns and gives you another hole on the defensive side of the court that can't be masqueraded given the current rosters youth and inexperience at the same things he struggles with.
    Last edited by Cory; 03-21-2017 at 02:23 PM.

  19. #1239
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Vigo, Spain
    Posts
    1,224
    Balance tends to be a tricky issue with fans as the common perception is not to put limits to offense and defense takes a second place. While it seems that being unstoppable is a sound plan taking into account the limits in place for effective defense- touch rules and expanded range- the key to success is to have better consistent offensive options, not more offensive options.

    As it is the Wolves are developing two difficult to contain offensive players and the evident hole is defense. Ricky is not more of a defender than John Stockton and I wouldn't think of Stockton defense-and he was great at it- his calling card. 10 ppg/10 asp seems to me like plenty offense.

    The Wolves need health- absolutely unacceptable to have season ending injuries year in and year out- and also players that can serve traditional roles. A cookie cutter SF and some modern PF, that's it.

    IMO some of Wolves past fate was a product of too much playing with fire. You can't prevent Terrell Brandon going down but you must take it into account when Billups contract was up to discussion. You may ask Pek for a larger discount considering health issues, Curry took a 11 million per contract. You may have the poorest luck in the league but at some point you cut your losses; don't tie the future of the team to anybody's health and don't torture reality to chase the ring dragon. AW shouldn't have to switch to SF for major stretches, he's a threat against smaller players and he's not crafty enough to properly use his quickness against bigger players.

    In the age of shooting and fast pace you can win playing unorthodox-for current standards- basketball. Teams can't cope with AW and KAT, those players can hurt you in so many ways. Instead of going out of your way to fit whatever works for teams with different profiles and strengths you just bring people capable to stop the most common threats- a big SF, a mobile PF with some bad temper- and work from there. If KAT/AW bring 45 PPG and Ricky about 10 you just need a couple decent contributors to have the offense covered. If one of those other starters can shoot it a bit, it's probably enough as Rubio, AW and KAT convert open shots.
    Last edited by pagliatti; 03-22-2017 at 06:21 AM.

  20. #1240
    I guess I don't see Lavine and Wiggins as duplicates on offense. Plenty of room for both on the team they need to continue to work on their games and improve their defense but unless Lavine's knee is not responding to treatment I don't see any reason to trade him when we have plenty of options to fill the needs this team has. Maybe Lavine shouldn't be starting but he has a clear role on this team as long as Rubio is the point guard. Maybe his need is reduced if we ever replace Rubio with a scoring point guard who can shoot.
    It doesn’t matter if you are a king or street sweeper pretty soon you will dance with the reaper!

    Its better to be silent and everyone think your an idiot than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    “Statistics are no substitute for judgment”
    Henry Clay


 

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