Kevin Love laid down the gauntlet for David Kahn and the Timberwolves earlier this summer. He let it get out to the public that he would consider heading elsewhere if Minnesota did not make a move that would get it to the Playoffs. As he met with the media earlier this week, Love said he has faith that the Timberwolves will perform to his expectations and get to the Playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett roamed the court.
It was quite a rebuild for the Wolves this summer.
Minnesota completed that rebuild, which included signing Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Alexey Shved and Greg Stiemsma, by signing Lou Amundson earlier this week.
Amundson seems to be exactly the kind of player the Wolves were looking for as they try to build a winning identity. Amundson lacks (really) any offensive skill, but he makes up for that with a lot of hustle and determination, particularly on the defensive end.
This is not an earth-shattering move from Minnesota. After all, Amundson is coming in as a veterans' minimum guy. But it is a further symbol of what the Timberwolves have tried to do this summer.
Minnesota let Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic walk in free agency, hoping to cleanse the locker room a bit and bring in a more professional attitude. That is what Glen Taylor said in a recent interview with Twin City Business Magazine (h/t Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk).
Most of the moves David is making are heavily influenced by what Rick has asked of us. But when it comes to finances, David will tell Rick no. At the end of the year, Rick gives me a report of what he thinks of each player. He tells me it’s the same one he gave David and that David knows he is giving it to me. Then he goes through the list. He says, ‘This is the first one I want gone’—that was [underachieving veteran center] Darko [Milicic]. ‘This is the second one I want gone. This is what I think of this player.’
We were going to build slowly with a young coach [Rambis] and young players. It was a good plan, but there was a misstep. Now we have a seasoned coach who has said ‘This is my last job.’ He is going to push faster because he wants to win sooner. But his [style of communication] is one I understand and can relate to.
Yes, the Wolves had a lot of missteps. There was no doubt about that. The Rambis years seemed to feature the franchise just tripping over itself trying to rebuild. Things began getting better with the team forging a new path under Rick Adelman.
Shedding some of the immaturity and unprofessionalism that appeared to be going on behind closed doors — the quote from Glen Taylor certainly suggests that Darko Milicic was one of many problems for Minnesota — was a good way for the franchise to move forward.
Most would agree, the Timberwolves are as close as they have been and moving in the right direction. A small acquisition like Amundson certainly continues that step in the right direction.