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TFD: The Wolves and their unusual approach to making the playoffs

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wolves news Updated: August 14, 2013 - 5:58 PM

 

The Wolves announced a 5-year, $60 million contract Wednesday for Nikola Pekovic that essentially finishes off their roster shopping for the season. There is probably one spot left, and it will go to an end-of-the-bench type.

 

The starting five figures to be something like this: C-Nikola Pekovic; PF-Kevin Love (pictured); SF-Corey Brewer; SG-Kevin Martin; PG-Ricky Rubio.

The first four players off the bench on many nights figure to be: Chase Budinger, J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham and possibly Ronny Turiaf, at least early in the season.
 
The four players whose playing time appears to be most nebulous are: Derrick Williams, Alexey Shved, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.
 
So what we have here is a team that won 15 games in the 2009-10 season, had lottery picks in 2010, 2011 and 2013 … and is now poised to challenge for the playoffs, perhaps without a major contribution from any of those picks.
 
Wes Johnson was the pick in 2010, and he’s gone. Williams was the pick in 2011, and he figures to have challenges finding playing time as long as Love, Brewer and Budinger stay healthy. Same goes for Muhammad, who could even wind up in the D-League. Dieng will need seasoning as a rookie shot-blocker.
 
Maybe Williams breaks through. Maybe Shved carves out a niche. Maybe Muhammad scores in bunches. Maybe Dieng is a force.
 
Or maybe the Wolves triple their wins from four seasons ago without much help from any of the past four drafts.
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Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 1
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 7 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 2
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 8 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: D. Salazar 2
Baltimore - LP: E. Meek 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: S. Delabar 9
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Leesman 6 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 8
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Miami - WP: J. Fernandez 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 0
Minnesota - LP: K. Gibson 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 7
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: J. Lester 3
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Hammel 9
San Diego - WP: D. Roach 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: A. Figaro 1
San Francisco - LP: M. Bumgarner 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: F. Morales 2
Texas - WP: A. Ogando 5 FINAL
Oakland - LP: L. Gregerson 4
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 5 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 3 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 2
Atlanta 85 FINAL
Indiana 101
Brooklyn 95 FINAL
Toronto 100
Washington 101 FINAL
Chicago 99
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Montreal 4
Boston 3 FINAL
Detroit 0
NY Rangers 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
San Jose 4 FINAL(OT)
Los Angeles 3
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