Minnesota still need more offensive firepower

Simon Douch Roar Guru

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    Jimmy Butler, considered one of the best two-way players in the NBA, was sensationally traded by the Chicago Bulls to the Minnesota Timberwolves last week.

    While Minnesota fans everywhere rejoiced, the Timberwolves management is still looking for more offensive power to compete with the top teams in the West.

    Jimmy Butler has developed into a true superstar. He is a man who commands the ball when the game is on the line, and will often deliver a match-winning play or shot. Solid in both the shooting guard and small forward positions, Butler will offer reliable defence and be a genuine offensive threat.

    The most exciting prospect, however, is that Butler now teams up with a star-studded young team, with recent draftees Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins amongst some of the brightest young stars in the league.

    It’s a truly exciting prospect to consider the influence and tutelage the Butler will give to these young stars, and how it affects their development.

    It’s staggering to know what Chicago got in return for their homegrown superstar – Zach LaVine (an athletic shooting guard coming off a season-ending ACL injury), Kris Dunn (a rookie backup shooting guard) and also a smattering of mediocre draft picks.

    So while Minnesota fans continue to rejoice, the city of Chicago weeps and prepares for the pain that the 2017-18 NBA Season will bring.

    Jimmy Butler warms up for the Chicago Bulls

    (Shinya Suzuki / Flickr)

    But, back to Minnesota

    As a sign of the modern times, recruiting just one NBA All-Star just isn’t enough to make it in the league. The Timberwolves are looking for more. The incredible thing is, they are in a good enough financial position that this is a likely possibility.

    The first and most likely player on the chopping block is starting point guard Ricky Rubio. While an extremely nifty passer and solid point guard, Rubio simply comes up short on the offensive end, so much so that when coming up against Golden State and Stephen Curry, his lack of offensive skills will become a serious liability.

    So, with cap space in hand, and more offensive prowess required, Rubio is expendable.

    The other key position that could be filled by a superstar is power forward.

    Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph and Paul Millsap are all notable players who could theoretically join the Minnesota squad during the offseason.

    Although unlikely, Griffin could be a great fit in the Timberwolves offensive system.

    Consider the line up of Towns, (a seven foot centre with a solid jump shot), Wiggins, (an offensive threat and good perimeter scorer) Butler, who we already know can score from anywhere on the court, Griffin and Rubio.

    With the first three players spacing the court, it would give Griffin plenty of space to work with Rubio (a reliable and accurate passer). It would mimic the combination at the Los Angles Clippers of Griffin and Chris Paul, but the team’s offence as a unit would be so much more potent.

    But maybe I’m just living in an idealised world.

    Another important factor that should not go unmentioned is that all this will be happening under the watchful eye of the experienced and award-winning head coach Tom Thibodeau, who has been reunited with Butler after coaching Chicago a couple of years ago.

    Hold onto your hats folks, the West are about to get a new contender!

    It’s about time too. The Timberwolves are currently experiencing the longest active NBA playoff drought. They have played 13 seasons in a row without making the Finals. That’s got to be pretty rough for the loyal Minnesota fans.

    Now though, they wait with baited breath to see what happens next. All the while, they are enjoying the fact that their club is financially strong and starting to get a good balance of energetic young stars and experienced older ones.

    Is this the year that the Timberwolves break their playoff drought?

    They certainly have the pieces to do so.

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