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Thursday (Jonny Flynn) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Sports Updated: January 20, 2011 - 8:41 AM

Jonny Flynn is lost right now. Everybody can see it. He is the subject of much Timberwolves fan angst. He is routinely mocked on local sports talk radio, and not without reason. He does not look like the No. 6 pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He looks and plays right now like the flashy guy who frustrates you when he's on your ream in a pick-up game. There is very little control to his game. Very little logic. He makes easy things too complicated. And he makes complicated things look impossible.

All that said: David Kahn and Kurt Rambis are absolutely correct. The Wolves have to keep throwing him out there. You just don't give up on a 21-year-old point guard coming off an injury and play Sebastian Telfair as the backup. Not in a rebuilding season. Not on a team that needs to figure out who can play and who cannot play -- one that might decide Flynn is a great backup or great trade bait should he turn a corner.

Plenty of point guards have needed multiple years in the league to figure things out. It doesn't help Flynn that a bunch of PGs taken after him in the draft -- Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, even Ty Lawson, to name a few -- have found success at various levels already.

But as someone who witnessed the Chauncey Billups era in Minnesota -- the Wolves were his fourth stop already in a young career, and he spent two years here showing some promise and putting up decent numbers but also earning the alternating nicknames of "Chancey" and "Launchey" bestowed upon him by us and our friend Taco -- we know what can happen when a point guard figures things out. No way did we ever think Billups would become what he has been for the better part of a decade. Steve Nash had a similar slow climb.

We're not saying Flynn will become Billups or Nash. He might never figure it out. We're just saying that while patience has grown understandably thin -- in our household included, and perhaps especially -- Flynn has skills that are worth waiting on to see if they can be harnessed. Giving up on him or even cutting his playing time now would be a mistake given the Wolves' situation.

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