It has been a very, very positive start to the season for the 2013-2014 Minnesota Timberwolves. They are 5-3 after 8 games, and their best player (Kevin Love) is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate. With that, why in the world would Minnesota be searching for a potential trade?
Well, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski shed some light on the situation in Minnesota on Tuesday, and the second sentence is extremely interesting.
Kevin Love is on deck to be recruited to New York in 2015, and that’s among the reasons the Timberwolves are so determined to make deals to climb deep into the playoffs these next two years. Young Minnesota players Derrick Williams and Alexey Shved are available in deals for veterans to help these T’wolves now, league executives told Yahoo Sports.
For me, the Kevin Love aspect of this report is a non-story. Of course the Knicks (and about 15 other teams, I’m sure) are setting up to make a run at an elite power forward after the 2015 season, and that (to be frank) isn’t newsworthy my view. However, it certainly makes sense that Minnesota and new GM Flip Saunders would want to make Love happy, and building talent around him to increase the ability to win immediately should help.
In the case of Shved and Williams, Minnesota simply isn’t getting the production they need from either spot. Williams had his contract option picked up before the season, but the former #2 overall pick is position-less at this point, and he is only playing 17.3 minutes per game (of bad basketball if you believe his 8.60 PER) on the year.
Shved is an interesting case because he does provide what they need in theory (shooting), but his defensive acumen is so bad that it hampers their ability to play him any real minutes. His youth (like Williams) at age 24 does make him an interesting commodity, and if packaged together, Minnesota could get some positive return.
Minnesota is certainly a situation worth monitoring at this stage, and if they can continue this pace on the court, the rumor mill (and level of intrigue) will continue to turn up in heat.