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Continued: Wolves go all in hoping Wiggins becomes all that

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 23, 2014 - 1:22 PM

Patience needed

The only certainty at this point is that the Wolves roster is going to look a lot different. Saunders and his staff will be challenged to turn Bennett from a first-year flop into a serviceable NBA player. Young will provide much-needed scoring.

The prospect of athletic rookies Zach LaVine and Wiggins running the floor with Ricky Rubio is a captivating one. But don’t expect too much too soon.

“I love the idea of LaVine and Wiggins being complementary to each other, flying up and down the court with Rubio driving the train,” Penn said. “It could be exciting. But the reality is, they won’t quite know where to fly or what to do for a while. That’s why it won’t translate into wins right away.”

Penn points to Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook, who came into the league as an exceptional athlete whose game needed polishing. “There were some painful stages as he grew into what he’s become,” Penn said. “He and [Kevin] Durant, as spectacular as they are, didn’t win many games together their first year together.”

Both Van Gundy and Penn said the fact that Saunders both brokered the deal and will coach the resulting roster is a good thing, a sign the entire organization is on the same page.

It’s just a matter of finding out where Wiggins goes.

“Hopefully Wiggins is the next Garnett,” Van Gundy said. “A guy who is all in, loves Minnesota and the Timberwolves, doesn’t want to go anywhere else to win, plants his roots and becomes an all-time great.”

Van Gundy said he remembered how hard it was to win at Target Center during the height of the Garnett years. “That place was hopping,” he said. “It’s a great basketball town. That’s why I hope Wiggins turns into a Garnett-type presence.”

 

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