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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Country Club View Post
    If you're not a smart basketball team, it's doubtful you'll learn regardless of pace.

    You may trade fewer baskets but if you're still getting blitzed at 52, 53% clips inside of the 3 point line it doesn't matter if you play Fratello-style clock-miking or if you're coached by Mike D'Antoni...you're going to lose.

    The team's challenges are a lack of hustle overall, a lack of intelligence by some, and that some guys just aren't good defenders. The last point probably isn't going to change in a few cases and you may need to look at moving them (Wiggins) if they don't improve on D.
    The pace still serves some purposes. Coaches usually hide their players weaknesses and try to max their strengths, see Mbah or Speights in the Clippers.

    In the Wolves a lot of things are extremely counterintuitive. At first sight someone like Zach, Rubio or even KAT may seem like a good fit for a quicker pace and the extra possessions are cool with the idea of three young players "getting it" sooner, losing fear of heavy loads of shots and responsibility.

    It just doesn't work that way. Right now, a lot of quality players in the squad don't have the minimum resources needed-minutes, touches, bunnies- to function at a reasonable rate- it's not only about the big three, almost everybody is underachieving. The players with the most varied weaponry-i.e. Rubio and Bjelica- have poor usages and they seem to have orders to heavily adapt their game. I don't have qualms to see the European player adapt to the local young product...when he is a surefire HoFer. If not, earn your damn stripes!

    There are two types of teams in the NBA. The ones who build talent and the ones who fantasize about potential. When I see Zach I see a best case scenario of "The Beard" and I don't like Harden at all to start with. Also, Zach is far from a lock to get nowhere near that vicinity. People seem not to take into account his inability to start or even search for contact. That's half your game in the NBA as a SG and he's pretty bad for a guy using all that possessions. IMO the ability to get fouls is also defense, it helps to modify the pace to your interest and to take important players out of the game for stretches; also being in the bonus limits gambles.

    I loved Joe Smith. I don't like Dieng, like at all- his backcourt violation yesterday defines him pretty well, IMO. Probably if the under the table deal flied under the radar and Smith got all the moolah I would hate him with a passion. A player is a formula of money vs. production. Period. At some point Joe got a clear idea of who he was and the role he had to play. Hell, I have doubts about Dieng altering the game more than Rasho; that's why I tend to call him Gorgui Blount, prime example of empty stats and happy owner of a "desperate GM contract".

    So, I take offense with the way the Wolves have been constructed. Rubio may feel Dunn blowing on his neck but the other four seem set into stone. To me, Wiggins and KAT are worth investigating because they seem like players who like, or at least don't actively avoid, contact and may get to neutral or positive IQ. A 6-18 team should be way more fluid when it comes to the rotation anyway.

    Probably if I'm a decent player I would want out and if I'm getting traded to the Wolves I wouldn't want to go there. It's an absurd scenario where three/four guys get to enjoy all the nice stuff- points and boards- with disregard to every other area while the coach turns a blind eye to mistakes which would make a coach yell..at a 10 years old. A bizarro world where pounds are irrelevant and a pretty shot from time to time trumps the ability to attack the post, look for the angles to get calls and those vintage things that eventually help you to find those open three pointers everybody loves.


  2. #42
    I'm not going to put last night's game all on Wiggins. He had a poor outing for sure and didn't look good doing it, but the overall defense failed us again. Without Zach shooting the lights out and an unexpected shooting burst from Ricky, we would have gotten blown out.

    That said, the Wiggins vs Lavine debate is adding more and more interesting data points and observations. People have mentioned Wiggins having a low moter and last night that showed. Wiggins had the intial hype that comes from having his physical profile and athletcism, but he's essentially the same guy he was when he entered the league. The thing about Zach is that he's got all the Wiggins upside physical attributes. He's just as (more?) athletic, but has a better shot and handle. Neither player has a naturally high BBIQ, but Zach looks to have improved his and is on the better trajectory.


  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by dschroeder01 View Post
    I'm not going to put last night's game all on Wiggins. He had a poor outing for sure and didn't look good doing it, but the overall defense failed us again. Without Zach shooting the lights out and an unexpected shooting burst from Ricky, we would have gotten blown out.

    That said, the Wiggins vs Lavine debate is adding more and more interesting data points and observations. People have mentioned Wiggins having a low moter and last night that showed. Wiggins had the intial hype that comes from having his physical profile and athletcism, but he's essentially the same guy he was when he entered the league. The thing about Zach is that he's got all the Wiggins upside physical attributes. He's just as (more?) athletic, but has a better shot and handle. Neither player has a naturally high BBIQ, but Zach looks to have improved his and is on the better trajectory.
    The one thing Zach is really lacking is length. He has a pretty short wingspan for his height. Not a fatal flaw by any means, but not the most helpful thing for defense.


  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by dschroeder01 View Post
    I'm not going to put last night's game all on Wiggins. He had a poor outing for sure and didn't look good doing it, but the overall defense failed us again. Without Zach shooting the lights out and an unexpected shooting burst from Ricky, we would have gotten blown out.

    That said, the Wiggins vs Lavine debate is adding more and more interesting data points and observations. People have mentioned Wiggins having a low moter and last night that showed. Wiggins had the intial hype that comes from having his physical profile and athletcism, but he's essentially the same guy he was when he entered the league. The thing about Zach is that he's got all the Wiggins upside physical attributes. He's just as (more?) athletic, but has a better shot and handle. Neither player has a naturally high BBIQ, but Zach looks to have improved his and is on the better trajectory.
    The key should be always sustainability. Sam Cassell was a decent player, you put him around a talented crew and you have a contender. The same could be said of Nash or Steph Curry. But those players tend to get overrated due to stats, percentages anomalies and highlights. The thing is winners always have the same profiling: Pippen, Kawhi, LeBron, Iggy even lesser players that cover defense as Tay, Artest or Bowen.

    The Wolves have a disdain for orthodoxy since KG left. Flawed players like Al or Love got too much attention,enough to divert the team from the right way to play basketball. Defense became obsolete.

    This new Zach cult is interesting. Seems almost futile to fight the concept that he evolved.- he doesn't seem to me better than Marbury as a third year player (don't care much about age if players won't make discounts based on youth and obviously if he gets the bloated scoring stats NBA salary treatment the discussion of Bazz or him is moot, other names should be named and that could not be pretty)- and Steph didn't fulfill his potential at all. It's almost we should expect him to start getting 15+ FTA games from time to time when he reaches 25 y/o.

    The way the Wolves play the game severely penalizes Wiggins, who plays out of position and in a higher than desirable pace, while it benefits Zach a great deal. In a slower pace the late layup- I think it was Eric Gordon- at the end of the Rockets game may get you a couple DNP-CD. It just gets into oblivion in a game played with 100 points in mind. Right now it's correct that neither plays defense but Wiggins should get a bit more of a free pass because he could work as a SG; if you look at his size and skillset he is a tall SG, not a slim SF.

    So Zach is better with volume and he seems to need less of a coral effort to get going but those traits may not be of much use for a winner. Now, if we got the chance to see if Wiggins can beat Zach in the defensive end as a SG maybe we could discuss who has the brighter future. If Zach didn't play at all, do you think the Wolves would lose by 30? I'm not that sure so it may be a case of empty stats.

    Again, you may want to put the young players in more situations for them to learn faster. I would prefer to put them in less situations so they can set those lessons in stone. If a guy blows you up without merits there needs to be accountability.


  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    This new Zach cult is interesting. Seems almost futile to fight the concept that he evolved.- he doesn't seem to me better than Marbury as a third year player.
    Maybe there's a "new Zach cult" because he's been shooting 51% from 3 the past 11 games. When criticizing Zach, you continually point out his low FT takes, and yet you conveniently ignore the fact that Zach is leading the team in eFG% at .563, obliterating your favorite Wiggins' mark of .474. I know you believe that the team would play better if we traded Zach (and Dieng) for expiring contracts, but you might want to finally acknowledge that Zach is actually improving and, gasp, might actually be a better long-term answer at SG than Wiggins.


  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbowyer View Post
    Maybe there's a "new Zach cult" because he's been shooting 51% from 3 the past 11 games. When criticizing Zach, you continually point out his low FT takes, and yet you conveniently ignore the fact that Zach is leading the team in eFG% at .563, obliterating your favorite Wiggins' mark of .474. I know you believe that the team would play better if we traded Zach (and Dieng) for expiring contracts, but you might want to finally acknowledge that Zach is actually improving and, gasp, might actually be a better long-term answer at SG than Wiggins.
    It's perfectly OK to root for players to get better and to have your personal preferences, of course.

    However, there's also within reason to be skeptic and cynic when it comes to asset management. You have been here for awhile, we can remember how we expected Big Al to finally make that leap in the defensive end. He has been a bad asset for years instead.

    I won't go with a reduction to the absurd of who is going to be Pip and who's going to be Mike but it seems reasonable for one of your wings to be above average at D while the other brings the pain in the offensive end. To correctly install that defensive presence you have to be giving up elsewhere: Bowen had corner three, Tay wouldn´t participate that much in the offense and every other team would use variations of the idea. The Wolves seem to be content at the moment with Dieng- who went too much into a exploration crusade into his offensive game when his bread and butter was in the back end- and Rubio, whose hustle is sometimes called "inability to shoot".

    Of course some great players can switch on and off in D- think Jordan or Kobe- choosing the correct moment to save energy and even make it more of a nightmare to play their teams.

    So, the scenario with LaVine IMO wouldn't just be related to his true FG%, his improved vision or whatever other minor assets he seems to be acquiring but in the long run, who is he going to be? If the answer is Zach LaVine that's probably bad. You can't go half the way with a player like this, he isn't a 3 million player that can get you 5 points, 3 boards and effort; he needs a principal spot to be of use and the question is if he's worth the effort.

    One typical mirage in the NBA is the lack of options. You have to resign your talent because everybody does just that. Nope. KAT and cap space isn't that bad of an spot. So, to go in another direction it has to be worth it. Wiggins is not going to become a big SF overnight and his skillset doesn't resemble the defensive box to box player ala Kawhi. He seems more like a decent, not exceptional offensive weapon, that may be able to develop that defensive switch when needed.

    If you ask me Wiggins, KAT and some beefy SF who is above an Mbah a Moute (an Evan Turner type of insipid player) may make the postseason. The core with LaVine? I don't know but I have reservations of LaVine being the first guard option and also I envision him being the weaklink of the defense, while not being able to make it up for it in the other end. He is so slim that any switch will kill him and PGs aren't suited to defend much nowadays.

    So, to use him you have to make a mess of your whole poker strategy, maybe affecting some other major talent like Wiggins. The bench being putrid also is related to the big 3 getting the majority of the opportunities. Difficult to step up below 5 FGA.

    It's quite a big gamble. I hate big gambles, specially when you have something to lose. If all the stuff you shall break dancing drunk in your living room is worth 10 dollars go for it. The decisions on LaVine- discounting the upcoming salary which may be related to the dreaded word "potential"- and Dieng killed some fluidity. That's a fact, not opinion. Was it worth it? That's the question.

    Just close your eyes, see what happens in a year when he demands a max and Wiggins starts to study another options or stays here being a somewhat disfunctional couple. Do you see him torching or at least in the conversation with Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Klay Thompson? Was he worth the gamble, is he cost effective? Does he move the needle enough to be a consistent winner, at least at a Manu's level? How does his game adapt to the postseason style?

    Teams need some players to dominate, others to do the laundry and you may have some others in between- complete game without major flaws- but beware of the "he was very good, not great", specially when the defects are apparent. Sometimes those are the worst.

    You may put two defensive specialists with a bit of shooting or some other convenience around the big 3 and it may work- I still don't see much defense at the wings- but it's far from a given. And with a player like Zach diminishing his role means turning him into Anthony Peeler, you have to stick with him. For that type of gamble he better becomes at least as good as someone like Klay and that, again, is far from a given.


  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    I won't go with a reduction to the absurd of who is going to be Pip and who's going to be Mike but it seems reasonable for one of your wings to be above average at D while the other brings the pain in the offensive end.
    This is simplistic, in my opinion. Three points:

    - There is nothing wrong with having two scoring wings, as long as they can both also hold their own on the defensive end (and that's a work in progress).
    - AS A TEAM, we need to become collectively tougher and stronger, and that includes our frontcourt in addition to our wings. Hopefully, that will come with age and strength training.
    - I don't know why Wiggins and Zach couldn't eventually become a good defensive pairing. They are both extremely young and in a new system. I feel much better long-term about the Wiggins-Zach pairing than I do about the Towns-Dieng pairing.

    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    So, the scenario with LaVine IMO wouldn't just be related to his true FG%, his improved vision or whatever other minor assets he seems to be acquiring but in the long run, who is he going to be? If the answer is Zach LaVine that's probably bad. You can't go half the way with a player like this, he isn't a 3 million player that can get you 5 points, 3 boards and effort; he needs a principal spot to be of use and the question is if he's worth the effort.
    Why are LaVine's strengths "minor"? I don't understand why you continually deflate what Zach brings, while inflating Wiggins. Efficient shooting, a good handle, and decent vision are incredibly valuable assets for a SG. Why are you obsessed with FTs? At the rate Zach is progressing, I am confident that he can learn to draw more contact, as well. It's not like Zach cannot improve on that aspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    One typical mirage in the NBA is the lack of options. You have to resign your talent because everybody does just that. Nope. KAT and cap space isn't that bad of an spot. So, to go in another direction it has to be worth it. Wiggins is not going to become a big SF overnight and his skillset doesn't resemble the defensive box to box player ala Kawhi. He seems more like a decent, not exceptional offensive weapon, that may be able to develop that defensive switch when needed.
    So you want to retain Wiggins, who you describe as just a decent offensive weapon who "may" be able to further develop defensively, while giving up on Zach?!! I don't get that. I agree that Wiggins is not going to become a big SF overnight. You know why? Because he came into the league at around 200 pounds. And 2.5 years later, he's still 200 pounds. WTF? He's undersized because he seemingly hasn't tried hard enough to put on muscle. I know Sam defended him about his weight lifting, but I have to believe that there's some truth in Wiggins' weight training efforts. Also, he came into the league with concerns about his motor, and those concerns are still there, whether he plays SG or SF. That problem is not going away.

    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    If you ask me Wiggins, KAT and some beefy SF who is above an Mbah a Moute (an Evan Turner type of insipid player) may make the postseason. The core with LaVine? I don't know but I have reservations of LaVine being the first guard option and also I envision him being the weaklink of the defense, while not being able to make it up for it in the other end. He is so slim that any switch will kill him and PGs aren't suited to defend much nowadays.
    If we cannot retain both Zach and Wiggins, I would keep Zach and find another SF. The draft this year has 3 good ones near the top.


  8. #48
    I am trying to figure out why we are even talking about this. It blows my mind how quickly fans come up with reasons to trade players that are under team control for years. Let's give them time to develop my goodness people enjoy the ride a little.
    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


  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    I am trying to figure out why we are even talking about this. It blows my mind how quickly fans come up with reasons to trade players that are under team control for years. Let's give them time to develop my goodness people enjoy the ride a little.
    +100. If there is trade talk it should be for anybody not named Towns, Wiggins, or Lavine.


  10. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    I am trying to figure out why we are even talking about this. It blows my mind how quickly fans come up with reasons to trade players that are under team control for years. Let's give them time to develop my goodness people enjoy the ride a little.
    Because its fun....and we need stuff to talk about. Plus, it gives guys like Paggliatti a reason to write: "It's quite a big gamble. I hate big gambles, specially when you have something to lose. If all the stuff you shall break dancing drunk in your living room is worth 10 dollars go for it." LOL. I love it.

    I actually think that at some point, not this year, the wolves are going to have to choose which one is going to be the SG of the future. There is only one ball and I think having 3 primary scorers is maybe too much. For example, I know people say that OKC made a mistake trading Harden...but I honestly dont think that Harden would have been there long term given that any of the 3 could be the primary guy on another team.

    Does anyone deny that Zach has improved more in his 2 years than Wiggins has in his 2 years? Granted, Lavine was at a lower place when they started. But the lack of improvement in Wiggins, primarily on the defensive end, has me concerned. (Note: he has gotten much better at shooting 3's so that needs to be noted). The low motor and lack of "do sh*t" stuff is a concern. I just think that both guys are true SG's and we'll need to move 1 to get either a starting 4 or a better defensive SF. This would all me mute if either would step up defensively.


  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    I am trying to figure out why we are even talking about this. It blows my mind how quickly fans come up with reasons to trade players that are under team control for years. Let's give them time to develop my goodness people enjoy the ride a little.
    Thank you. I agree 100%. We spent all of Love's career talking about who to trade him for, and Rubio's has been very similar. I hate that we are starting that with Wiggins and LaVine.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingsxman View Post
    Because its fun....and we need stuff to talk about. Plus, it gives guys like Paggliatti a reason to write: "It's quite a big gamble. I hate big gambles, specially when you have something to lose. If all the stuff you shall break dancing drunk in your living room is worth 10 dollars go for it." LOL. I love it.

    I actually think that at some point, not this year, the wolves are going to have to choose which one is going to be the SG of the future. There is only one ball and I think having 3 primary scorers is maybe too much. For example, I know people say that OKC made a mistake trading Harden...but I honestly dont think that Harden would have been there long term given that any of the 3 could be the primary guy on another team.

    Does anyone deny that Zach has improved more in his 2 years than Wiggins has in his 2 years? Granted, Lavine was at a lower place when they started. But the lack of improvement in Wiggins, primarily on the defensive end, has me concerned. (Note: he has gotten much better at shooting 3's so that needs to be noted). The low motor and lack of "do sh*t" stuff is a concern. I just think that both guys are true SG's and we'll need to move 1 to get either a starting 4 or a better defensive SF. This would all me mute if either would step up defensively.
    I won't get into the "let's trade one of them" talk, because I don't think we need to, but I will point out a couple of things.

    First, yes LaVine has progressed a lot more than Wiggins, but (as you point out) he started out being an unplayable D-League bench warmer. He had a lot more room to grow. That said, he has surpassed Wiggins in most advanced stats. If you are looking just at the stats, LaVine is the better player right now.

    But, that is not the question we should be asking when talking about a player for our future. The question is, in three years, in the NBA finals, will LaVine give us a better chance to win with his 3 pointers or will Wiggins give us a better chance to win with his iso? I don't know the answer to that question. But, I believe that is the question to ask. Not, "who has developed more?" or even "who has the greater upside?". The question is, which will give us the better chance to close out a best of 7 against a contender. Without Wiggins, who takes those looks at the end of the game when we need a Kobe-shot. Without LaVine, who hits that fallback 3 pointer off a screen when we need a Ray Allen-shot? I don't know that we can answer either question today. And, I think both are very good things to have on a championship team. However, we also need to answer the question, "who guards LeBron in the 4th in game 7 when we are down by 2?" That answer scares me right now.


  12. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by TJ Styles View Post
    First, yes LaVine has progressed a lot more than Wiggins, but (as you point out) he started out being an unplayable D-League bench warmer. He had a lot more room to grow. That said, he has surpassed Wiggins in most advanced stats. If you are looking just at the stats, LaVine is the better player right now.
    Offensive and boxscore-based stats, yes, LaVine is ahead of Wiggins, but you have to subjectively add their respective roles and how defenses treat them to any of that, and Wiggins is still pretty clearly treated as the more dangerous scorer by other teams, and has been given a higher-leverage role by three different coaches now. Wiggins also shows as "very bad" defensively by publicly available advanced stats (which, big caveat, are pretty weak measures of anything real), while LaVine still shows as "apocalyptically bad" by any metric that's looking at isolated team performance, and not boxscore numbers (which might as well be useless for measuring defense, especially for SGs).

    But, that is not the question we should be asking when talking about a player for our future. The question is, in three years, in the NBA finals, will LaVine give us a better chance to win with his 3 pointers or will Wiggins give us a better chance to win with his iso? I don't know the answer to that question. But, I believe that is the question to ask. Not, "who has developed more?" or even "who has the greater upside?". The question is, which will give us the better chance to close out a best of 7 against a contender. Without Wiggins, who takes those looks at the end of the game when we need a Kobe-shot. Without LaVine, who hits that fallback 3 pointer off a screen when we need a Ray Allen-shot? I don't know that we can answer either question today. And, I think both are very good things to have on a championship team. However, we also need to answer the question, "who guards LeBron in the 4th in game 7 when we are down by 2?" That answer scares me right now.
    Regarding these three questions (and I'm not sure that Kobe will ultimately be the right comparison for Wiggins, because the "pure iso scorer" way Kobe played is increasingly out of favor, and Wiggins at his best looks to pass out of iso sets more than Kobe ever did; Paul George remains the guy everyone should hope Wiggins can become, not Kobe, but that's really neither here nor there), I think everyone should remember that the salary market is what it is for real reasons; it's hard to consistently score 20 with even decent efficiency in the NBA, but good teams absolutely need at least two guys and ideally 3-4 who are capable of it. The Wolves have three guys who are already showing flashes of that kind of scoring ability (scoring at high volumes, but with the efficiency happening less consistently), and they're all still 21. That's a very good thing.

    Defense, on the other hand, is more about athleticism, anticipation, and effort, and there are just more people who are capable of that at NBA sizes. You can find legit defensive guys at role-player prices. The guy who guards LeBron in TJ's hypothetical might be a future DeShawn Stevenson, in other words, a guy who did as good a job on LeBron as anyone for a stretch on the Gil Arenas Wiz teams (and was still effective off the bench for the 2011 champion Mavs) but had a sub-18 usage rate offensively in all of those seasons (lower than Bjelica for the Wolves), and never earned $5m a season (less than the the MLE in other words).

    Broadly, where all of that comes together is that the Wolves really need to keep developing the three core kids, to see what they can eventually turn them into as all-court/two-way stars, before they even think about shuffling the deck. I still think that ultimately, LaVine's best role is probably as a Manu/OKC-Harden style 6th man and #3 scorer, but Thibs not wanting to pigeon-hole him in that role at 21 makes sense, too, even if it means that Wiggins is playing more SF than he ideally should be at this age/physical development.


  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA_33 View Post
    Defense, on the other hand, is more about athleticism, anticipation, and effort, and there are just more people who are capable of that at NBA sizes. You can find legit defensive guys at role-player prices. The guy who guards LeBron in TJ's hypothetical might be a future DeShawn Stevenson, in other words, a guy who did as good a job on LeBron as anyone for a stretch on the Gil Arenas Wiz teams (and was still effective off the bench for the 2011 champion Mavs) but had a sub-18 usage rate offensively in all of those seasons (lower than Bjelica for the Wolves), and never earned $5m a season (less than the the MLE in other words).

    Broadly, where all of that comes together is that the Wolves really need to keep developing the three core kids, to see what they can eventually turn them into as all-court/two-way stars, before they even think about shuffling the deck. I still think that ultimately, LaVine's best role is probably as a Manu/OKC-Harden style 6th man and #3 scorer, but Thibs not wanting to pigeon-hole him in that role at 21 makes sense, too, even if it means that Wiggins is playing more SF than he ideally should be at this age/physical development.
    I had a post written up that sounded a lot like this, but I didn't end up sending it. I think for us, we are two good signings (and the rest of the year of NBA experience for our young guys) away from being "legit". I think we need a bigger defensive wing to guard the bigger wings and we need a 4 that can defend effectively on the perimeter. I think that having Rubio, Dunn and Jones as a PG rotation is pretty decent for now (though, I am always open to upgrades), having LaVine, Wiggins, "big defensive 3" and the option of Bjellica as a rotation at the wing, and having Towns, Dieng and a "perimeter 4" as the core front court rotation with Bjellica to give extra minutes as needed would be solid. That is 10 guys with 8 as the "core rotation" (that is with Jones and Bjelica playing very limited minutes), and leaves room to keep guys like Aldrich and a guy like Rush (maybe ShaMu in this scenario) to play in cleanup or if there is foul trouble. We would be able to go small or big as needed, and we would be able to mix-and-match lineups for the best scenarios. We could get plenty of time with Wiggins, LaVine and Towns each getting to be the feature of the offense, and we could make sure we have at least one of them on the floor for the entire 48. And, unless we really needed to go small, we could make sure that one of Towns or Dieng is on the floor to defend the rim the entire time (assuming Towns grows into a defensive threat in the middle).

    Personally, I don't think we need to move any of our guys (though I would be thrilled if we got assets for Payne and/or ShaMu). I don't think we will need to move any of them in the future. I think they work well together with the right matchups. We just need pieces to fill in the roster when we don't have the right matchups. If we can trade one of those guys for one of the two pieces we need, I would be happy, but we should be able to sign something like that. There may not be a perfect fit for us, but I don't necessarily think they need to be a starter-level guy, either. Just someone who knows their role and does it well. If they are willing to come off the bench or start as needed and do the role they have assigned and do it well, then I am all for bringing them in.


  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by TJ Styles View Post
    I had a post written up that sounded a lot like this, but I didn't end up sending it. I think for us, we are two good signings (and the rest of the year of NBA experience for our young guys) away from being "legit". I think we need a bigger defensive wing to guard the bigger wings and we need a 4 that can defend effectively on the perimeter. I think that having Rubio, Dunn and Jones as a PG rotation is pretty decent for now (though, I am always open to upgrades), having LaVine, Wiggins, "big defensive 3" and the option of Bjellica as a rotation at the wing, and having Towns, Dieng and a "perimeter 4" as the core front court rotation with Bjellica to give extra minutes as needed would be solid. That is 10 guys with 8 as the "core rotation" (that is with Jones and Bjelica playing very limited minutes), and leaves room to keep guys like Aldrich and a guy like Rush (maybe ShaMu in this scenario) to play in cleanup or if there is foul trouble. We would be able to go small or big as needed, and we would be able to mix-and-match lineups for the best scenarios. We could get plenty of time with Wiggins, LaVine and Towns each getting to be the feature of the offense, and we could make sure we have at least one of them on the floor for the entire 48. And, unless we really needed to go small, we could make sure that one of Towns or Dieng is on the floor to defend the rim the entire time (assuming Towns grows into a defensive threat in the middle).

    Personally, I don't think we need to move any of our guys (though I would be thrilled if we got assets for Payne and/or ShaMu). I don't think we will need to move any of them in the future. I think they work well together with the right matchups. We just need pieces to fill in the roster when we don't have the right matchups. If we can trade one of those guys for one of the two pieces we need, I would be happy, but we should be able to sign something like that. There may not be a perfect fit for us, but I don't necessarily think they need to be a starter-level guy, either. Just someone who knows their role and does it well. If they are willing to come off the bench or start as needed and do the role they have assigned and do it well, then I am all for bringing them in.
    So out of curiousity TJ, if you had to trade Ricky, Dunn or Tyus, which do you trade? Assuming that Dunn gets you the most, Ricky next and Tyus last. I think its a nice thing to have those 3 PG's on the roster but I dont think Tyus stays here to be a third wheel. (Nor do I think he SHOULD be a third wheel).


  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsxman View Post
    So out of curiousity TJ, if you had to trade Ricky, Dunn or Tyus, which do you trade? Assuming that Dunn gets you the most, Ricky next and Tyus last. I think its a nice thing to have those 3 PG's on the roster but I dont think Tyus stays here to be a third wheel. (Nor do I think he SHOULD be a third wheel).
    It is hard to really say, since there is no real context for the value I am trading them for. But, if I had a deal on the table for each that I felt was "fair value" for each player, I would deal Jones. I like Jones (and would not trade him just to trade him), but he is the weakest defender of the 3. I value defense over offense, so Jones would be the odd man out for me. But, I would need at least a solid rotational player for Jones (like the big SF or perimeter defending PF from my list above on at least a 2-year deal). I wouldn't deal him just to free up the roster spot.


  16. #56
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    I think it's all about the return. If we get the same return for both players, I wouldn't make a decision right now. Wiggins is stronger, but Zach is quicker and has such a beautiful shot, that I'd have a problem trading him for less that top 10 player. He is even more athletic than AW. and has a lot better dribble. AW is a lot more promising on D, but so far I have to see it, except for one on one.
    “We want to make plays to win basketball games, not to answer any questions or respond to what people have to say about us,” James


  17. #57
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    The availability of apt defensive cheap players is a reality, you should get your Tay Prince, Bruce Bowen, DeShawn, Ben Wallace, DeAndre,Taj Gibson, Draymond, Matt Barnes through the draft or minor leagues or trough trade when he is widely seen as a pestered guy- like the Worm. Retreads as Noah, Joakim usually don't work and I would be wary of someone like Taj, paid big bucks. Those guys need the underdog label and dedication to a very particular role and 10+ million per is counterintuitive to that sometimes because expectations at that point excede hustle and little things.

    Now, that type of players need an environment to work with, someone like Doug Christie could be a bit of an exception. Dennis Rodman was so good because Jordan/Pippen wasn't a walk in the park for offenses in the league, the ball gets in poorer circumstances to most spots and it's easier to read the available plays because the options are much more reduced when you play with clear plus defensive players. Bruce Bowen could defend shooters with his own blend of craft because he had certain twin towers behind his back, even if Rasho or Splitter were a tad below the Admiral.

    Here the issue is Dieng got paid and the opportunity window for the spot is very limited. Yes, he brings something to the table and the point is not now to determine if it's enough but the closed window itself. With LaVine/Wiggins it's a bit of the same. An empty spot in the NBA is an underrated asset. Not only decent players can accept lower contracts for the opportunity to start but the team gives itself the chance to strike for gold. With a guy like Thibs running the show there's still the option someone out of the blue steps up but the Wolves have maybe too many player penciled to decent to high contracts considering their overall talent.

    The Big 3 clearly lacks to be desired defensively and in this league that's quite a bad symptom. In other words here you can't have a defensive specialist sinergyzing some of your major talents playing D because they lack a bit too much in that respect. You may find Tay Prince but you don't have Ben Wallace, arguably KAT would be happy to get to Sheed's level and both LaVine or Wiggins have a long way to go to be Rip Hamilton.

    The last time NT Spain played they barely used Rubio. The Ibakaless team was too old to consider intense pressure over the passing lanes or taking advantage of Ricky's efforts over the rival PG (they still used it when the talent difference was too high not to use it, winning the game against an African team due to highschool level steals at midcourt). So, when a team as a whole doesn't play D we can't really get a decent measuring stick for guys like Rubio or Dunn, let alone the Jordan Hills or Paynes of the world. They need core players to be above average at it, period.

    If you take a look at contenders most of them have a DPOY type of player: Kawhi, LeBron, Marc, Draymond, KG, Duncan, Ben Wallace and that convenient cheap defensive specialist or two (KG, Rondo and Perkins as a threshold for the future Wolves? Eek. With your two worst starting defenders at the other two guys level. Ha!) . Getting your Mbah a Moute is easy enough but when a guy like that is alone on his mission he looks like a poor crazy soul.

    The league became more about offense, they say. Nope. Take a look at the rosters that are counted to put a fight. At least one star with All-NBA defensive potential on every single team with multiple players who can defend at an above average level.

    So, this isn't a discussion without merits. Yes, three extremely young players scoring 20+PPG and they can only get better. What could go wrong? Well, maybe there are other things that could be on the table and have some use. Maybe not. To find your defensive juggernaut maybe you need to create some space. Unless we think it can be done without that piece.


  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf on the Prowl View Post
    I am trying to figure out why we are even talking about this. It blows my mind how quickly fans come up with reasons to trade players that are under team control for years. Let's give them time to develop my goodness people enjoy the ride a little.
    Return on the asset is a good reason to discuss moving a guy. Wiggins' value ain't getting any higher and the slower he develops, the more it looks like he may end up being the third...er, even fourth most valuable chip on this team (fourth behind Rubio if the last 40 games of last season Rubio returns).
    Inching back towards the wagon...slowly...


  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagliatti View Post
    So, this isn't a discussion without merits. Yes, three extremely young players scoring 20+PPG and they can only get better. What could go wrong? Well, maybe there are other things that could be on the table and have some use. Maybe not. To find your defensive juggernaut maybe you need to create some space. Unless we think it can be done without that piece.
    I get your point. If we stick with our "big 3" and they don't end up being sound defensively (as is the case now), we won't get very far. Further, we might not have the resources to get a good two-way player (or an excellent defensive specialist) to make up for their deficiencies.

    But we're talking about three 21-year-old kids, all of whom have good work ethics. And we're in the very beginning of a 5-year contract with a defensive-minded coach. All three of those guys could end being plus defenders over time. There's also a huge risk in cutting bait on either Wiggins or Zach, only to watch them thrive with another team well into their 30s.

    We were never going to compete for a title with such a young core. Thibs has to decide how patient he wants to be, based on the progress of the players. At some point in the future, if it looks like either Wiggins or Zach is never going to a good defensive player, then I agree we should look to trade one of them. But it's too early to make that assessment, in my opinion.


  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbowyer View Post
    I get your point. If we stick with our "big 3" and they don't end up being sound defensively (as is the case now), we won't get very far. Further, we might not have the resources to get a good two-way player (or an excellent defensive specialist) to make up for their deficiencies.

    But we're talking about three 21-year-old kids, all of whom have good work ethics. And we're in the very beginning of a 5-year contract with a defensive-minded coach. All three of those guys could end being plus defenders over time. There's also a huge risk in cutting bait on either Wiggins or Zach, only to watch them thrive with another team well into their 30s.

    We were never going to compete for a title with such a young core. Thibs has to decide how patient he wants to be, based on the progress of the players. At some point in the future, if it looks like either Wiggins or Zach is never going to a good defensive player, then I agree we should look to trade one of them. But it's too early to make that assessment, in my opinion.
    Yes, but by resources I mean basically roster space. If you use too many offensive players without balance you end with Bazz, Rush or Bjelica looking like non NBA talent. You need to devote good trunks of minutes to energy guys and off the ball players. Diminishing returns are something that advanced stats don't really catch up, the nice J from Dieng is less useful than the ability to guard the biggest C or alternatively close out the Ryan Anderson of the world. One should start with "bad tweener", not with his varied strengths.

    And not to look partial I may say that I do the same thing for every player. Steph Curry, "meh athlete with injury history". However, then I look at the contract, his shooting stroke and other thingies and I feel he may fit into a winner with lots of top notch defenders who can also spread the floor. Sam was a bit in the same boat but to put it into perspective the Wolves gave up Peeler and JSmith corpses to get him.

    When I look at the Wolves roster some flaws are correctable and some are insurmountable. LaVine/Wiggins/Towns are 35+ MPG players who won't be defensive game changers even if they improve a great deal.

    I see Wiggins at SG and KAT in a twin towers set as more than decent to good as their ceiling while LaVine has it a bit more difficult- he could be Larry Hughes, a meh defender that at least may get you some steals and pester people a bit. Every fan claiming he is a better athlete than Wiggins should take some popcorn to a Pacquiao vs. Tyson match.

    However, even at 21 y/o I feel he is a bit too old to learn on the fly the art to get charges at a Joe Smith level, he doesn't show flopper moves in O let alone in D and he's far from dirty. All fine for the fan as some of those traits may seem annoying but Reggie Miller had a bit of all that stuff. You can't be the lightest guy in the court without some tricks in your bag, ala Manu Ginobili.

    Of course if you may let Steph, Iverson and other players do their stuff while being far from lock down defenders, why not? Well, those guys don't start with a 70% of questionable D around them. They have the likes of Mutombo, Draymond Green or Iggy which help their skillset as much as they help them. Long story short, I have doubts that you may play 3 main players with a defensive ceiling of barely above average. It's not about one of them getting significantly better, it's at least one dominating in that end. Or selling while the commodity is hot.



 

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