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2016-2017 Wolves season


kab21
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For the first time in many years there is a lot of optimism surrounding the Wolves. Several of the ESPN podcasters that I listen are pumping them up to 45+ wins with very few predicting a <.500 record. That is a big step to take but at least things are looking good.

 

The first interesting thing to happen so far this year (since the last thread) is that Garnett will retire. I thought that was likely when both Aldrich and Hill signed. Dieng and Towns will play the bulk of the minutes. I hope Bjelica gets some opportunities and then the two veterans form a solid bench which the Wolves lacked last year.

 

In addition to that Pekovic is out for the season or the team thinks that. Pekovic being on the team never really bothered me since they have tons of unused cap space anyway and no team was ever going to trade anything for him. 

 

But who cares about those two. The Wolves have 3 potential stars in Towns, Wiggins and Lavine and 3 really good players in Rubio, Dunn and Dieng. That is quite a core of a team there if they can add 1-2 more very good players to it.

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They have Rubio, LaVine, Wiggins, Towns, and Dieng.

 

Then they have Bjelica, Muhammad, Dunn, Rush, Aldrich, Hill, and Jones.

 

This is an exciting full freaking roster for the first time since KG's era. Aldrich, Dieng, Hill, and Towns can be very good-to-very great defensively inside, and Rubio, Dunn and Rush will be good defensively on the perimeter. This will be a new team. And KAT is going to start to dominate the league this year. Think about a composed DeMarcus Cousins with more range.

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It's kind of amazing to me how much better the defense looks so far in the preseason.

 

Dunn, in particular, is really bringing it to the defensive end of the floor.

 

It was going to be better just with the addition of Dunn and Cole Aldrich in a major way, and Rush and Hill are ok defensively as well. Add in some more maturity for the young guys currently not good defensively, more maturity for the beast on both ends that is KAT, and THEN add in Thibodeau.

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I think Dunn's ROY problem is that he won't post big numbers due to sharing the PG role with Rubio. I think many might consider him to be one of the top rookies long term by what he does this year.

 

I am not really sold on Ingram filling up a statsheet this year. I think he needs a little time to become an NBA player. That really leaves the ROY award wide open with Simmons injured. Perhaps Saric or Embid put up big numbers if the 76'ers can figure out their logjam of bigs.

 

Theoretical trade - What would you give up for LaMarcus Aldridge if the Wolves are 23-17 and Aldridge is an odd fit and tradeable as a few people have theorized? I think it have to include Dunn or Lavine and Dieng. I don't know about that but Aldridge and Towns seem perfect together in the frontcourt.

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Theoretical trade - What would you give up for LaMarcus Aldridge if the Wolves are 23-17 and Aldridge is an odd fit and tradeable as a few people have theorized?

I've made up my mind that I don't want to trade Rubio. Ever. He's an outstanding leader on the court, and proven. His stats aren't eye-popping, but maybe that will even keep him relatively inexpensive down the line. 

 

Of course, one of our PGs is going to have to go in any trade scenario. I'd rather it be Dunn. Hard to believe, but he's only 3 years younger than Ricky. And he's raw, man. Real raw. It will take a couple years for him just to catch up (if he even does). 

 

But ultimately, I'm just not interested in giving up youth with upside for a 31-year old center. Winning now would be fun and all, but I don't like the cost. 

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So you object to giving up Dieng or Dunn? Lavine, Towns and Wiggins are the young core and they also keep Rubio. Dieng is nice but Aldridge is a near elite player. My biggest concern is the lack of backcourt depth if Dunn is traded. But depth is something that can be found.

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Ben Bentil just hit the waiver wire. The Wolves have a potential roster spot. I wonder if they make a move there or if they're looking for more of a wing.

Good idea. Just let go of Adrien Payne. Bentil would be a nice upgrade at the end of the bench with some real upside.

 

He and Dunn sure were fun to watch play together last year.

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Dunn will be fine. Sheesh.

Let's hope so. It's just preseason, but he almost literally couldn't have played worse on offense than he did. I thought he might adjust quicker because of his age and experience, but it looks like there will still be a significant learning period.

 

His defense should keep him in the rotation as backup point guard, but the reports that the team thinks he will become the starter 20 games in are ridiculous and disrespectful to Rubio.

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I'm thinking tonight's going to be a close one. Some kind of 98-96 final score or something like that, so I don't know who's going to win. But, I am sure that the Big Meow is going to make a statement. 32 points, 12 boards with my man Ruby feeding him all night long. 

Chandler Parsons is out, so that helps. Talent-wise, this should be a Wolves win on the road, but Memphis is always a tough team to beat.

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