Grading the Minnesota Timberwolves Off-Season Acquisitions
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a busy offseason, acquiring some much needed talent. The Twolves addressed their biggest need at shooting guard with Kevin Martin, added some much needed defense with Corey Brewer and drafted two promising prospects. The Wolves have had a great first off-season under incumbent General Manager Flip Saunders. Saunders has put together a team that could make some noise this season, and could make a playoff trip for the first time since the departure of Kevin Garnett.
Corey Brewer was drafted seventh overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and after being jettisoned by former General Manager David Kahn, Brewer signed a three year contract to reunite with his former team. Brewer was drafted due to his defense, and is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Brewer’s defense is much needed, as the Timberwolves were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Although it comes at the cost of Andrei Kirilenko, Brewer was the cheapest and best available option on the market. Although Brewer has not progressed offensively as much as was originally hoped, Brewer averaged 12 points a game as a role player with the Denver Nuggets. Corey Brewer is an underrated athlete and can get to the rim at ease, making him and exciting player and fan favorite wherever he goes.
The Wolves signed Kevin Martin to a four year deal worth nearly 30 million dollars. Although this is a hefty price to pay for a 30 year old who is a liability on defense, Martin brings the scoring punch that the Timberwolves have longed for. In a reserve role with the Thunder, Kevin Martin averaged 14 points a game, but expect much more from “K-Mart” in Minnesota, as he will likely start. The Timberwolves needed a shooting-guard and a three-point shooter, and they killed two birds with one stone in this acquisition. Martin will be reunited with his former coach in Rick Adelman, with whom he averaged over 20 points a game. This grade is even higher due to the aforementioned Corey Brewer signing, which should help override Martin’s poor defense.
Ronny Turiaf was signed to a two year, 3.2 million dollar contract. This is not major news, as Turiaf only played roughly 10 minutes a game, and is likely being brought in as an end-of-the-rotation type of player. Turiaf will bring energy off the bench and is a solid rebounder, and will likely receive an increase in minutes a game from last season with the Clippers. He should replace Greg Stiemsma serviceably and be a nice veteran leader on the team.
(Kings Of The NBA Journalist)