Minnesota still need more offensive firepower

Simon Douch Roar Guru

By Simon Douch, Simon Douch is a 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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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • June 29th 2017 @ 11:23am
      astro said | June 29th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      They can’t can afford Griffin or Millsap, and Randolph is 36yrs old and doesn’t look to be interested in leaving Memphis anytime soon.

      I’d also argue against the idea that Towns, Wiggins and Butler would ‘space the floor’ for a player like Griffin. While Towns can shoot 3’s, he’s a back to the basket player who works best inside the 3pt line. Wiggins is a better cutter than shooter and Butler is also someone who has a great mid-range game – and uses it. If anything, they need a player to space the floor for guys like Wiggins, Towns and Butler!

      Bottom line, Minny look good, but need shooting…

      • June 29th 2017 @ 1:06pm
        mushi said | June 29th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        I’d ring the clippers and ask what they’d need thrown in to take Rubio for Beverly as they can’t afford to just get shooting from the PG spot given their defence last year.

    • June 29th 2017 @ 4:44pm
      Swampy said | June 29th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

      I’m pretty sure Wiggins and Towns will get better at shooting in time but it wouldn’t hurt to have a point guard with range. However Rubio is a good defender at 6’6″ and Minny are tragic
      defensively so losing him could be an issue. Seriously who is available that can shoot? George Hill?

      I wouldn’t add another big guy who needs shots like griffin – he would crowd the floor.

      • June 29th 2017 @ 9:25pm
        Jake said | June 29th 2017 @ 9:25pm | ! Report


        • June 30th 2017 @ 6:35am
          mushi said | June 30th 2017 @ 6:35am | ! Report

          To be fair (though I think it was a typo – which si ahrdly the end fo the wrold) it’s not inconceivable that the correct height of an NBA veteran might be a couple of inches off their unverified height supplied for the draft when they were still a teenager (I don’t think he went to the combine – he wasn’t in the draft express database)

    • Roar Pro

      June 30th 2017 @ 12:06am
      Ed Nixon said | June 30th 2017 @ 12:06am | ! Report

      I think they have a great balance as it is. Picking up Patton through the draft gives them great depth at center, whilst Rubio knows this offence inside out and can be a great playmaker with three legitimate All-Star caliber scorers playing alongside him.

    • June 30th 2017 @ 8:01am
      mushi said | June 30th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      The other consideration is, will a single move change the 1-2 year ceiling of this team?

      I think a tweak here or there would benefit players growing in the right areas to maximise their 3-5 year outlook but barring a block buster (ie Jimmy Butler trade 2.0 – how mcuh does this franchise want in a season!) they’re going to be relying more on growth from Wiggins and Towns to marry up with Butler’s apex adn the team maturing on D

    • Roar Rookie

      July 3rd 2017 @ 2:53pm
      Ryan Geer said | July 3rd 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

      Adding Jeff Teague at the point will automatically bring more offence to the point guard position big upgrade on the output Rubio would have ever given.

      But with the free agency crop wearing thin I’d be chasing players such as Rudy Gay, Tyreke Evans, Trey Burke even Brandon Jennings to add scoring for the second unit and adding depth. Even Tony Allen could be an option to play his lockdown defender role.

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