2007 Minnesota Timberwolves Season Preview
With the off-season trade of star player and former NBA MVP Kevin Garnett to Boston, the Timberwolves made it abundantly clear that they were looking towards and devoted to creating a whole new future for the club. When you consider the fact that the disillusioned Garnett, a 10-time All-Star, has been unable to lead the Wolves to the Promised Land and that the team had steadily declined over the past half-decade, the trade made sense.
Upfront, power forward Al Jefferson (.514 FG%, .000 3P%, .681 FT%, 11.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 16.0 PPG), a former Celtic, is a tough inside player, offering double-double potential every game. Also from the Celtics, Ryan Gomes (.467 FG%, .381 3P%, .811 FT%, 5.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 12.1 PPG) arrives with solid defensive skills and point-scoring prowess. Seven-foot center Mark Blount (.509. FG%, .290 3P%, .754 FT%, 6.2 RPG, 0.8 APG, 12.3 PPG) offers a fine mid-range jump shot but is a poor defender and inadequate rebounder. For Minnesota to win, he must bring more to the court.
The outside game is controlled by second-year point guard Randy Foye (.434 FG%, .368 3P%, .854 FT%, 2.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 10.1 PPG). Foye likes to take it to the basket, but he needs to hone his passing skills to make his game team oriented. Swingman Corey Brewer, former Florida standout, was added during the draft. He can defend and has some amazing point-scoring potential. Brewer could be the starting shooting guard for the club this season.
Starting from scratch has its benefits and frustrations. Vice-President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale has stressed that the Garnett deal will have long-range, positive results for the Wolves. The fact is that Minnesota has chosen a good time to start all over again. Garnett was unhappy, the fans were not pleased and there seemed to be no hope for the club. New blood, a commitment to rebuilding and the promise of developing, young talent may just boost this team’s adrenaline. The Wolves were 32- 50 in 2006- 2007. They may not be much better in the extremely competitive Western Conference, but they will have a new look that should be interesting to watch.