NBA / Sep 17, 2008 / 1:49 pm

Highs and Lows: Minnesota Timberwolves

Randy FoyeRandy Foye (photo. Jeff Forney)

NBA training camps start up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, we’re going team-by-team, from 1 to 30, exploring what each team’s ceiling is for the upcoming season and where their basement is. In other words, what are the realistic best-case and worst-case scenarios for each squad?

Additions: PF/C Kevin Love, SF Mike Miller, SF Rodney Carney, C Calvin Booth, SF Brian Cardinal, C Jason Collins.

Losses: SF Antoine Walker, PG/SG Marko Jaric.

Ceiling: 4th in the Northwest Division
Immediate returns in the post-KG era haven’t been as miserable as many predicted. The young Wolves began the ’07-08 season looking historically bad, but showed significant improvement during the second half of the schedule while establishing a legit franchise cornerstone in Al Jefferson (21 ppg, 11.1 rpg). This year Minnesota will surround Big Al with a healthy Randy Foye, Lottery pick Kevin Love, veteran sniper Mike Miller, a rapidly progressing Rashad McCants, and role-player stud Ryan Gomes. On paper, Minnesota is better than division rival Oklahoma City, however it’s still a stretch to see them making much more headway in the Northwest that would get them past Utah, Portland or Denver.

Basement: 23 wins
At the very least, the Wolves will improve on last season’s 22-60 record, although it may not be by much. Jefferson is a rock, but Foye played just 39 games last year with a bad knee, Corey Brewer had a disappointing rookie year that led many to believe he’s not as good as previously advertised, and while I personally think K-Love will be a good pro, he is dripping with “bust” potential. Hardly anyone on this team has experienced winning on the pro level, and those who have (Mark Madsen, Michael Doleac, Jason Collins) won’t be getting any burn anyway.

’08-09 NBA preview archives
9/16 — Cleveland Cavaliers
9/15 — Phoenix Suns
9/12 — Milwaukee Bucks
9/11 — L.A. Clippers
9/10 — Orlando Magic

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  • Coop

    I have to see i see the range of possibility as much smaler for the wolves; i think they’re going to really struggle. they have no backcourt to speak of (Foye is a small combo, mccants isnt that good AND streaky) and all their wings are simply ‘average’.

    Imo unless Foye turns into a very good lead guard then things could get ugly

  • Al

    The low is keeping Kevin Mchale all these years :

    – The treated KG like a kid and Marbury like a grown man in 96 which helped lead to problems

    – The Joe Smith deal

    – Taking Foye and not Roy


  • fallinup

    Minnesota has a NBA team??? No shiiiiii

  • Suciniac

    Roy was traded for Foye on draft night.

  • that’s whats up

    if they could get Sprewell back, at a reasonable salary, they could contend for the chip this year.

    …or at least get some clean rims out of that deal

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    They def dropped some dead weight in toine (pun intended)
    And is Foye drinking a long island or an Arnold Palmer? Ha ha
    Still waiting on my Team Love Tee!

  • johnsacrimoni

    I honestly think Denver will be right there in the basement mix with Minny and OKC. I think they’re going to implode and Karl will be sent packing.

  • Sam I Am


    Yeah we aint going to the dance of 8 in the West

    but…. I guarantee we in the 9-10 spot !

  • mellamoernest

    There really isn’t much distance there between the ceiling and the basement. The basement could get you the ceiling in this division.

    You couldn’t stretch a little and say third in the division. As it has been stated before, even on this site, the Nuggets are a disaster waiting to happen.

    I agree with sam i am. 9-10 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

  • shake&bake

    Al Jefferson is a beast but they have very little help. They should trade him to the Bulls for a 2nd round draft pick. Just kidding, but that is my dream.

  • miamiVIS3

    Is there any logic to the order of how you do these things?

  • miamiVIS3

    Where does this bust potential with Kevin Love come from? He may not be atheletic but the way I see it he’s Zach Randolph with a good attitude and work ethic.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @post #11 — Not really.

  • Celts Fan

    So, “legitimate franchise cornerstone” Big Al, “role-player stud” Ryan Gomes, over $15M in new cap space (Theo’s gone) and the high draft pick they get back next year from the Ricky Davis trade (as well as our 1st rounder) hmm, maybe the KG trade wasn’t as bad as everyone (but me) was saying. Just throwing that out there…

  • jay rich

    Sota is a decent team man. They need a better 2nd option to score but they aren’t the worst team out there. acually I can see them making the playoffs in 2-3 years. As far as this year goes naw they prolly gon between 9-11. They are on there way

  • it aint easy being green

    thx 4 kg

  • miamiVIS3

    @ AB well in that case can we get the Heat next?

  • kobeef

    This team was a lot more promising during the 5 hour stretch when they had OJ Mayo. Mike Miller is a nice shooter but he is not the second scorer this teams needed.

    KLove might be a decent player but can’t play SF or C at an elite level so he is stuck as Jefferson’s backup. Or Al is stuck playing at the 5…again.

    Basically, Kevin McHale had a chance to put some nice pieces around Jefferson but chose to trade them for mediocre players that won’t help this team in the short or long term………sound familiar?

  • Coop

    Yeah I really dont understand that Mayo move. The KG deal wasn’t that bad I dont know of any sane person who thought Minny got totally ripped.

  • nick

    telfair at the 1 and foye becomes that 2nd scorer. miller can play sf. and then foye can switch to the 1 when mccants comes in.

    they got potential but will be a few yrs away from contending(playoffs) in the west.

  • Bron42 had springs before slamball

    Kevin love=Zach randolph? maybe in college. Full court chest passes aren’t gonna cut it in the league. If joey dorsey is housing you, NBA bigs are gonna feast.

  • solomon

    “Losses: SF Antoine Walker, PG/SG Marko Jaric.”

    man, that’s the perfect example of addition by subtraction…