Let’s assume that all of the reporting and hunches leading up to Thursday were correct and that Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that the Cavs and Wolves have agreed to a Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins trade is correct. The pending question beyond that is this: What does the Wolves’ roster and rotation look like in 2014-15 if no other moves are made?
Assumptions: The Wolves get Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a No. 1 pick, but they are not immediately able to move J.J. Barea or anyone else, per Woj.
|33||Dante Cunningham (FA)||PF||27||6-8||221||Villanova|
|0||Othyus Jeffers (FA)||SG||28||6-5||210|
|23||Kevin Martin||SG||31||6-7||197||Western Carolina||$6,792,500|
|12||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute||PF||27||6-8||230||UCLA||$4,382,576|
|1||Glenn Robinson III||SG||20||6-6||220||Michigan|
Remove Love. Add Wiggins and Bennett. Jeffers and Cunningham won’t be back. Shved, Barea and Mbah a Moute could very well be gone, too, but for now let’s assume they are at the end of the bench.
Here is your core:
PG: Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams
Wings: Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Robbie Hummel, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III.
Bigs: Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng, Nikola Pekovic, Ronny Turiaf
Option for starting lineup (1): Rubio, Martin, Wiggins, Bennett, Pekovic. … Bennett would be by default, to a degree, since he’ll be the only listed power forward on the roster. Rubio and Wiggins would guard the two best offensive players out of the three guard/wing spots, leaving Martin to the weakest guy. Pekovic and Martin would be leaned on for scoring initially.
Option for starting lineup (2): Rubio, Martin, Wiggins, Dieng, Pekovic. This would assume Dieng and Pek can play together. We’re not sure that’s possible.
Option for starting lineup (3) Rubio, Brewer, Wiggins, Dieng or Bennett, Pekovic. This loads up on defense and saves Martin for a sixth man/scorer off the bench role.
Second unit: Williams, Brewer or Martin, LaVine/Muhammad/Budinger, Dieng or Bennett, Turiaf.
Fighting for minutes: Probably Hummel, LaVine, Robinson, and Muhammad early in the season (which doesn’t even factor in Barea, Mbah a Moute and Shved).
Overall: We like the looks of a second unit better with Martin in there, but we also worry about how the first unit is going to score. IN general, though, the roster is showing an imbalance toward wings. Yes, LaVine is technically listed as a point guard on the Wolves’ roster, but we can’t imagine he plays there much with Rubio and Williams in the fold. There is a real hole at power forward with Love gone unless 1) Dieng and Pekovic can play together or 2) the Wolves aren’t done making moves and can add Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, as has been rumored, for some of their spare parts.
If Flip Saunders can finish off the Cavs trade and make another move or two to alleviate the roster imbalance, there will be a chance to have an intriguing — albeit raw — first and second unit. We have to imagine he has more moves lined up or he wouldn’t have signed Williams. As it stands, the Wolves have too many wings — and too many players, period — on their roster.