After once again failing to move up in the NBA Draft Lottery (I know, big surprise), the Minnesota Timberwolves rumor mill is picking up steam. You have Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Derrick Williams and/or Luke Ridnour and the 9 th pick to move up in the draft, and many other possibilities. In all likelihood the Wolves will make a trade, if not several. Predicting what the Timberwolves may do from year to year isn’t always an exact science. Here are some of the scenarios the Timberwolves are likely considering, as well as some free-agents the team could target.
Timberwolves Move Up In Draft
With plenty of players and numerous picks to choose from, the Wolves will certainly make an attempt to move up in the 2013 draft. Likely shooting for a top four pick, the Wolves could unload some salary and their ninth pick for a shot at drafting either Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo . Either player would fill one of the team’s greatest needs at shooting guard. Both guards are 6’5″ and shoot the ball well from outside, something the Wolves were lacking in 2012. The choice between the two, in all likelihood, will be made for them leaving only one available when they choose.
Nikola Pekovic (RFA)
The Timberwolves could choose to trade away some salary and sign a top free-agent. Nikola Pekovic will be the Wolves top priority in free agency, as a restricted player, the Wolves have the option to match any offers Pek receives. Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, that offer is likely to be at or near a max contract. Losing Nikola would be a huge blow and Minnesota will probably match any offer, even if it puts them in cap trouble.
Chase Buddinger (RFA)
An injury filled campaign in 2012 has helped limit Chase’s value heading into free agency. An affordable price tag, as well as being the best 3-point shooter on the team, make it essential for the Timberwolves to retain Budinger.
Iguodala has long been a target of trade rumors for the Timberwolves. A solid shooter and exceptional defender, Iggy would fit in well at SF/SG. Salary cap issues will make this a difficult move. A sign and trade, some other salary dump, or if Andrei Kirilenko opts out of his contract, could make it happen. Unfortunately this move is more of a wish-list item.
Originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mayo had a very solid year with the Dallas Mavericks in 2012. He proved to be an excellent outside shooter, shooting over forty percent from downtown. This is an aspect the Timberwolves are sorely missing. Mayo is likely to be one of the more affordable shooting guards in free-agency, though the draft will likely determine whether the Wolves sign a guard.
The best available big man has been injury-prone his entire career. If the Wolves were to lose Pekovic in free-agency, Bynum would be able to more than fill his shoes. The question is, for how long? Bynum would give Minnesota a defensive presence they haven’t seen since Kevin Garnet. Unfortunately, the risk may be too high as Bynum has played just one full season in his eight year career. After missing the entire 2012-2013 season there will be many questions surrounding Bynum.
Clouds still surround the Timberwolves plans for 2013, however things will become much clearer after the draft. A decision by Andrei Kirilenko will also influence which path the Timberwolves choose. Unfortunately, even the Timberwolves have to wait and see.
*Stats Provided by Yahoo Sports