Welcome to today's Timberwolves Live Chat with Jerry Zgoda. He'll be here at noon to answer questions and field comments. You can start leaving them now.
Good afternoon, everyone! It has been a long, long time since we've done one of these so with the lottery over and the draft approaching before you know it, I figured it'd be a good time to jump back in. The questions are coming in. I'll get to as many as I can in an hour. Thanks for stopping by!
I'd say better it is than not. The new guys -- Thibs and Scott Layden -- are going to be very aggressive in making moves. This is a new day in Wolves history. The days of them waiting for youth to mature are over, I think. It's very telling that in a matter of months Glen Taylor has gone from wanting to sell a third of the team as the first part of a succession plan to being all in by himself for the next several years. They want to win and they want to start it now, which means they're could be a lot of movement here in the coming weeks and months.
Thibs probably would do that in an instant, not sure the Bulls would. The question there is how quickly the Bulls come to the realization that it's time to start over. I'm not sure that time is here just yet. I get the impression Thibs thinks the foundation here is Towns and Wiggins. That's it. Anything else is open to discussion
I heard it paraphrased, that he said Towns needs to be in a big East or West market? I won't call him an idiot but I will say he's living in the 1980s or 90s. Have Durant and Westbrook needed to be a big coastal market?
I think you probably start with the guys he has coached before and has a relationship. Joakim Noah and (less likely) Pau are both free agents this summer. So is Luol Deng. It all depends what other moves they can make probably. Depends what their needs are after the draft and as free agency played out. I know there are guys like Randy Foye that Thibs has always liked if it comes down to things like looking for a backup point guard. I think he's going to look to add a handful of guys 25-early 30s who've played in the league.
The Jimmy Butler for No. 5 and Zach is the most popular conjecture at this point probably. I could see them doing some like the fifth pick for a guy like Serge Ibaka as well. No question defense (especially rim protection), rebounding and shooting are the priority. Ibaka's not a great rebounder, but he does the other things and could be available. I'm sure you'll hear all kinds of stuff.
I doubt Batum leaves Charlotte
What's a number less than zero that he walks away from that money? It's tricky trying to get that money off the cap. I know they have and will try. They're going to have money to spend, lots of it, even with Pek still on the cap. Trouble is, so will everybody else.
Like I said, I think the only real locks are KAT and Wiggins (and maybe Dieng, I know Thibs wanted to draft him when he was in Chicago). No question Ricky does a lot of things that Thibs appreciates. But he'll make a move if he thinks it's an upgrade. Hears a team to watch in a Ricky trade that I haven't heard mentioned much: The Sixers. Adding Simmons or Ingram only adds to their surplus of frontcourt players. They need to balance it in the backcourt and they can't keep adding 19 or 20 year old players, not in the Colangelo era. Jerry saw Ricky play in the Olympics at age 17. If the Wolves can add a defender/shot blocker (Nerlens Noel?) and address point guard another way, would they do it?
Whether I think they should or not doesn't matter. I don't think you're going to see them sit still and be patient.
It's interesting, three guys who have coached for Thibs and are tight with him might all be available: He's right-hand guy is Andy Greer, who's still coaching with the Raptors in the Eastern finals. Ed Pinckney is top assistant in Denver but MIke Malone told me last week he and Ed have talked about him leaving for the Wolves, although Malone made it clear he wants Pinckney to stay. And now that Orlando is abruptly changing coaches, Adrian Griffin could be available. I doubt all three come here but certainly two of them could. I'd expect Ryan Saunders stays on and possibly David Adelman, too. There there are other spots down the line, like player development coaches. I heard OKC's PD assistant Royal Ivey's name mentioned as a candidate a couple weeks ago but nothing more since
They're like Thibs and Layden. They don't want to "stay young." They need to balance out that roster with some proven guys who can play so they have a fighting chance.
Unless they trade KAT or Wiggins, they're not mortgaging the future. Those guys are the future, And possibly LaVine, too.
Yes, there is, not that Boston or Phoenix needs another point guard but like the Wolves, they could use that spot as currency to make a deal for a team that wants to trade up to get Dunn.
They do their homework for all sorts of possibilities: Trade down, acquiring another pick (they only have the No. 5 right now in the whole draft), free agency. The guys they've brought into town so far, most of them you've never heard of. Just doing their due diligence.
I would think they'd take one of the guys -- Murray, Dunn, Hield -- depending who's there or Bender if he drops. I don't see Ellenson going top five.
Depends who else is available. Not if Murray, Dunn or Bender are there.
I think he's in their plans but you never know what pieces might be included in bigger deals to get a guy(s) they really want
I don't think they're taking a "flier" at 5. I still think it's most likely they trade the pick but that's not always possible. If they don't, it depends on who drops. I only see them taking a guy like Chriss -- I don't think they interviewed him in Chicago -- if somebody below them offers something good to move up to take, say, Dunn and they drop a few spots. That doesn't happen often
Thibodeau's probably going to go with guys he knows and trusts
He's a dynamic two-way player who could become a "lockdown" defender at point. There aren't many of those guys at the point, if any