By: Daniel Slaubaugh
It turns out Flip Saunders wasn't done adding veteran presence to the roster. On Wednesday, the Wolves signed a 1 year deal with veteran forward Tayshaun Prince, who will be earning the veteran's minimum of at least $1.4 million. Prince bounced around the league last year playing for 3 different squads: Memphis, Boston, and Detroit. He averaged 7.5 ppg, 3.6rbg, and 1.6apg in 58 games played. He also shot a stellar 46% from behind the arc. If he gets minutes on this team, his role will be a 3 and D guy, as he can still hold his own on defense.
Tayshaun will join Kevin Garnett and Andre Miller as the veteran leaders of this team. Flip has now added a player to mentor at every position - guard, forward, and big (yes, I realize this is not a position but jut go with it). Andre Miller will work with guards Ricky Rubio, Tyus Jones, and Zach Lavine, while Tayshaun will provide mentorship to Wiggins and Bazz, all while KG is putting Towns, Dieng, etc. into place.
We don't yet know how Flip is planning to use Prince. How many minutes will he get per game? That is the big question here. Most Wolves fans, myself included, are not going to be particular about Tayshaun taking minutes away from Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, or Zach Lavine.
The biggest asset Prince can be to this team is mentoring Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad, without taking minutes away from them. However, I can't imagine that Tayshaun is going to be satisfied warming the bench the majority of the season. Again, this is all up in the air. Flip is the only person who knows how much of a role Tayshaun will serve on the court.
All in all, this was about Flip trying to get hard working veteran players around the young guys. He knows how much of an influence KG, Prince, and Miller can have on this young team going forward. If it works, he is setting this team up to be a championship contender for years to come.
As for what the Prince signing means for the rest of the Wolves, it will be interesting to see how the roster shapes up. The Wolves already have 16 guaranteed contracts (plus Lorenzo Brown's non-guaranteed contract) on the team. Trading a PF could be an option, releasing Brown (what a shame), or releasing Rudez. It'll be interesting to see what Flip decides to do.