Minneapolis is a fun place to live. You got the Mall of America a short drive away. It really is the Land of A Thousand Lakes. If you like city living with a lot of parks for outdoor play — not to mention a cherry in a spoon — Minneapolis is your place. Except for those pesky winters, Minneapolis is the place to be.
That is certainly something the Timberwolves and especially Kevin Love will be selling this summer.
Minnesota finally took a step forward in its never-ending rebuilding process this season. The Wolves were in the Playoff hunt into March until Ricky Rubio’s torn ACL seemed to do the team in. After that, the Timberwolves have fallen apart and fallen away. They have looked like, well, the Timberwolves of the last five years.
With Kevin Love wrapped up with a new contract extension, Rubio still under wraps for a while and a really good coach in Rick Adelman, the Timberwolves finally can look to a very bright future. There is hope in the bleakness of the winter and a reason to enjoy your theme parks outside … or in the Target Center.
This summer will be a pretty important one for the Timberwolves. The pieces are in place and Minnesota does not have its own draft pick, which means if Minnesota is to take the next step, it has to dip into the free agency market.
Love told Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he will ask ownership to be “aggressive” this summer to add players, especially veterans, who will help this team grow. This is a new era for the Timberwolves and they have to manage this right to get into the Western Conference Playoff picture again.
“When you look at Kevin and you look at Ricky and the style that we’re going to play, it’s going to be good,” Adelman said. “I think people will look at it. We have some pieces people would like to play with. I mean, this team was pretty good not long ago and let’s face it, guys like to get paid. So if you can pay ’em and you have some people around? There are some positives here.”
The core is there for the Timberwolves. Love is an All-NBA First Team-caliber player and seems only to have improvement ahead of him. Rubio has his entire future ahead of him if he can recover from a torn ACL. And Minnesota has a superb coach in Rick Adelman.
If free agents can get over the weather aspect of being in Minnesota, they would be getting in on the ground floor.
So what does Minnesota need to do in free agency? Certainly, the Wolves need to add depth. This is a very young team still and could use some veteran leadership for sure. But on a skills basis, they could use a perimeter scorer to complement Kevin Love. Michael Beasley did not work out and he seems on his way out of Minnesota this summer. Besides that there are some good role players in Derrick Williams and Wesley Johnson — both in their first or second year.
Again, there just is not a lot of depth on this Minnesota team. The core is in place. And that is more than a good place to start as Minnesota looks to finally complete its rebuilding.
So the question is can Kevin Love sell free agents on this paradise?