For Wolves, what's the price to win?

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 1, 2012 - 8:42 AM

A couple of players are out as the Wolves speed their push to improve.

hide

Michael Beasley was not extended an $8.1 million qualifying offer, making him a free agent.

Photo: Jeff Chiu, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When the Timberwolves plucked David Kahn to lead them in May 2009, he immediately set out to make Target Center the Disneyland of the NBA.

The Happiest Place on Earth.

In one breath, he dismissed the notion that building a championship team in cold, snowy Minnesota is an inherently doomed proposition, and in the next he hired coaches Kurt Rambis, Bill Laimbeer and Reggie Theus to prove recognizable names indeed will come to the frozen tundra.

He also set out gathering a collection of runners and jumpers -- long and athletic, don'tcha know? -- chosen to complement the mythological Ricky Rubio, no matter how young, wild or mismatched they were.

He did so because players love to run and gun and if Minnesota is really going to be an attractive NBA destination and if Target Center is really going to be the Happiest Place on Earth, well ...

But that plan left out one little thing:

Winning, at least in this generation.

Enter Rick Adelman.

The Wolves team Kahn built these past three years is getting a summer facelift, guided by a future Hall of Fame coach's sensibilities.

Out is the former big-top tent circus and its emphasis on youth, athleticism and potential's eternal promise.

In: shooting, savvy and smarts.

Tuesday's trade that brought Adelman favorite Chase Budinger from Houston for the 18th pick in Thursday's draft and the selection of Purdue's Robbie Hummel 58th overall were starts.

The team's pursuit of aging Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol by trade -- even if it costs them last year's No. 2 overall pick, Derrick Williams -- and former All-Star Brandon Roy or veteran Jamal Crawford in free agency are two possible next steps.

The message is clear, what with a 66-year-old coach, an owner who intends to sell the franchise in three or four years, a basketball boss who probably needs to make the playoffs to keep his job and star Kevin Love signed through 2015:

Win now.

Two symbols of Kahn's experimentation -- low-cost gambles on former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley and former lottery pick Anthony Randolph -- did not receive sizable qualifying offers Saturday, and both became unrestricted free agents late Saturday night.

Beasley will not return to the team after two uneven seasons because the Wolves were not willing to extend a hefty $8.1 million qualifying offer. They still could send him to the Lakers or another team in a sign-and-trade.

Beasley arguably was the Wolves' most talented player, an unstoppable player at his best because he's a 6-8 forward who can score all over the floor. But Adelman -- and the Wolves -- ultimately decided Beasley's immaturity, inconsistency and individualism outweighed his unmistakable talent.

The Wolves are open to bringing back Randolph at a price below his $4 million qualifying offer, but that will depend on what other moves they can make.

The Wolves kept their trade options on Saturday when they also reached agreements with Brad Miller and Martell Webster to extend into July the deadline to pick up team options for next season. That enables them to continue to talk trade for Gasol or another such big-salaried player and include the salary-cap-friendly contracts of both Miller and Webster in the deal.

Both players are due to make more than $5 million next season, but each can be bought out for less than $1 million each, which makes their contracts attractive to a team such looking to shed salary and slash its luxury-tax penalties.

Miller announced his retirement after last season, but his contract isn't yet retired under the NBA's confounding salary-cap rules.

Gasol's arrival -- at age 32 and with $39 million owed for the next two seasons -- would be Kahn's biggest gamble yet, far bigger than signing Roy, a "retired" player with little cartilage left in either knee, simply because of the price paid for each.

His presence alongside Love and Rubio might not make Target Center the Happiest Place on Earth, but a possible 50-victory season would make it full and loud again, for now.

  • related content

  • Wolves contingent visits Roy in Seattle

    Sunday July 1, 2012

    The Timberwolves' pursuit of free-agent Brandon Roy is serious enough that owner Glen Taylor, president of basketball operations David Kahn,...

  • Wolves cut loose Beasley, Randolph

    Sunday July 1, 2012

    For the second time in four years, Michael Beasley is on the move, hoping another team will be willing to overlook his inconsistency on the court and try to harness...

  • Chart: A look at NBA free agency and Wolves targets

    Sunday July 1, 2012

    FIVE UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTSL.A. Lakers power forward Jordan Hill: Athletic big man who played for Rick Adelman in Houston is...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 73 FINAL
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
UNLV 75
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close