By: OTP Staff
With July's NBA Draft quickly approaching, free agency looming, and the final revealings of the Wolves' rebrand on its way, we thought this would be a great time to open up the question gates to the people.
You guys asked, now it's our turn to answer.
Q: How crucial is this offseason to the future if the Wolves want to be a Finals caliber team in the next five years? - @realmnsportsfan
Dan: I think we can all agree no matter what they choose to do the team needs to post a winning record and make the playoffs next year. That being said, this is the last offseason the Wolves will have money to spend with the Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns extensions looming. A heavy portion of the Wolves payroll will be absorbed by the core players, probably Gorgui Dieng, and whoever we sign in free agency this offseason. Because of that, it is of vital importance that Thibodeau nails these free agent signings. If he can, this team - led by a legitimate franchise player in Karl-Anthony Towns - will be well-positioned to make plenty of deep playoff runs over the course of the next decade.
Q: Do you think Derrick Rose will be a perfect fit for the Wolves? If so, what will happen to Ricky? - @jjbgenson
Jonah: I hate to be the bearer of bad news in this situation. But Derrick Rose is in no way a perfect fit for the Wolves. After seemingly endless knee surgeries, it would be extremely hard for me to place any trust in Rose playing 70+ games as a full-time starter for a team with playoff inspirations. Let's not forget that during a Knicks game in which Rose was supposed to start, Rose WENT MISSING AND FLEW TO CHICAGO WITHOUT TELLING ANYONE. Those are two Shaq-sized red flags.
For those of you screaming at your computer about Rubio's inability to stay healthy, let me remind you that Rubio has played in 151 of a possible 164 games over the last two years. Rose has played in 130. With how close the Western Conference playoff race will be next year, I personally want as many games as possible out of my starting point guard.
Q: I believe wiggy has improved his ppg by three each year. You think he can improve it another three next year? - @APK3vikes
Zach: Andrew Wiggins has had a steady increase in the points per game category since entering the league. His rookie year, he averaged 16.9ppg, 2nd year, 20.7ppg, and last year 23.6ppg. If Wiggins increases his points per game by three points next year, he would be at 26.6 which would have ranked 9th best in the NBA this past season. I do believe Wiggins will improve his ppg again, but I don't think it will be by a full three points. I see Wiggins as a 25ppg scorer. The bigger things for the Wolves and Wiggins will be increasing his efficiency. If he can shoot at a higher perentage from three-point range and the free throw line, I will be extremely happy with those numbers.
Q: Will KAT finally be in the All-Star game next season, or better yet, an All-NBA team? - @jjbgenson
Cal: To answer this question with one word I would say, “yes”. If you compare KAT’s stats to his peers at the Center and Power Forward positions that made the All-Star Game or made an All-NBA team, you could easily see that he deserves to be in the discussion. The chart below compares the 2016-2017 season stats.
Without a doubt you can see that KAT has the stats to be in the All-Star Game AND make an All-NBA team. Let's not disregard the fact that KAT, at the spry young age of 21, was the FIRST AND ONLY player to ever score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds, and make 100 threes in a single season. That is mind blowing. To be honest, I don't know how he didn't make either team this year.
However, in regards to the All-Star Game, we do have to account for the fact that it is a popularity contest. Steph Curry started over Russell Westbrook in the All-Star Game this year, and Russ averaged a triple-double. So, in other words, make sure you go out and vote next year for our fellow young pups to participate in All-Star weekend.
Q: Who is the biggest star that we could potentially sign? - @rossknowsbest
Dan: If my calculations are correct, there are about seven potential stars that could hit the free agent market. To name them: Kevin Durant (PO), Stephen Curry (UFA), Gordon Hayward (PO), Blake Griffin (PO), Chris Paul (PO), Kyle Lowry (UFA), and Paul Millsap (PO, but has told Atlanta that he won't exercise his option for 2017-18). There are also a few players I would consider fringe-NBA stars such as Jrue Holiday, Serge Ibaka, and Dwayne Wade, but there certainly not in the same tier as the top seven.
Out of the players named above, Paul Millsap suggests as the most realistic (yet still very unrealistic) star we could potentially sign. He'd be a perfect fit beside Towns, he's a plus defensive player, and he can score from just about anywhere on the court. It's a dream, unlikely scenario.
Q: Who's the last great mean bully on the #Twolves - I say Gary Trent. IMO we need one on this team to Draymond role - maybe OG Anuoby? - @MaruggiAlbert
Jonah: The mention of Gary Trent is wonderful. Some of these Timberwolves hidden gems go forgotten due to lack of team success. How many new era fans remember Chauncey Billups in a Timberwolves uniform? Does LaPhonso Ellis ring a bell? And of course, Malik Sealy. All that aside, I believe you've forgotten the ultimate Timberwolves bully; Kevin Garnett.
Q: When will the new uniforms be revealed? - @NP_3201
Dan: The Wolves haven't released a date yet. One thing that is for sure, they're going to milk this rebrand as much as possible over the summer. As a result, the new uniforms, court design, and arena remodel will probably be released at different times.
Q: Are their new uniforms going to be nice? - @NBAGeneralist
Jonah: I wish I could give you a straightforward answer on this one. If I'm being frank, I have some trepidation about the jerseys. First off, I'm not head over heels in love with the new logo. However, I am a big fan of the new color scheme. I hope that the primary and secondary colors of the new jerseys will feature the navy blue and grey. The neon green should only be used as an accent, similar to the wolf eye and basketball on the new logo. If the team decides to use neon green as a featured color on the jerseys, this could get ugly fast.
This seems contradictory but I am all in on 100% neon green Christmas Day jerseys. By blinding your opponent, you create an easy path to the basket. Now that I think about it, the Wolves should only wear neon green just for a competitive advantage. Shoes, socks, athletic tights, jerseys, and maybe we can convince Andrew Wiggins to dye his cornrows to match.
Q: Aside from winning, what's the most important thing the Wolves organization can do to get butts in seats at home games? - @WestBankTank
Zach: As you touched in your question, winning is easily the best way to get people to start attending games. This past season, the Wolves were 29th in the NBA with an average attendance for home games of 14,809. This needs to improve, and the Wolves are finally pushing the right buttons to help. The Target Center renovation is a huge step in the right direction. The updated look, seats, concourses, etc. will help get more out of your average fans at the game just to help rejuvenate the fan base. The new jerseys, court design, and all-around new look will help get people excited about Wolves basketball again. Other than that, it really comes down to putting good basketball on the court. Whether this is signing a big name free agent or just player development, team success will drive attendance numbers.
Q: If the Wolves decide to trade the 7th pick, who would we target with that pick? - @schnydetheglide
Cal: My fellow writers and I all agree that the Wolves need shooting and a starting power forward because Gorgui seems better suited to a bench role.
I have two trade scenarios and I personally would be happy with either.
#1 - 7th overall pick and Tyus Jones for Derrick Favors. The only problem with this trade would be that Favors is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season. I also have a soft spot for the Minnesota native (Tyus Stones).
#2 - 7th overall pick to Denver for Garry Harris. He would quickly boost the Wolves three-point shooting and greatly improve the much-needed bench scoring.