It's apparent our dear readers of MWSR are sick of Jer and I lamenting the "Woes of the Wolves", but I'm writing this to say that I promise you this will be my last post on the Wolves. I'm serious, this is it: I'm DONE! Jer is his own man, and a better man than I, so I will leave him to his own devices of how to deal with the "Woe of the Wolves." The Strib's Patrick Reusse had an on-point column about the Wolves today, and the part that stuck out most to me was a quote from an unnamed NBA coach when asked about the Wolves and their salary cap situation: "This is their team for the next four years." Four years is how long Kevin Garnett has left on his contract, and the sad group that Kevin McHale has surrounded him with will look much the same for those remaining four. People can complain all they want, and amazingly some have, that KG's contract is the deterant and the reason McHale can't put a winner in the Target Center. Yes, KG's contract is 5th highest in the league (after Shaq I bet you can't name the other three) at $18 million, and will escalate by $2 million every year through the end of the contract. But as Dan Patrick pointed out on his radio show yesterday, Shaq's contract is bigger, at $20 million, and yet the Heat have been able to surround him with Dwayne Wade, AND still had the flexibility to grab guys like Antoine Walker and Jason Williams, players who are role guys there but would be the 1st or 2nd scoring options in Minnesota. Jason Kidd's at $16 million and they can still afford Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter. Tim Duncan makes almost $15 million and they still have room for Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (and oh by the way they're the defending champs). I could go on and on.
Point is there are other great players in the league with huge salaries whose GM's have managed to put good players around him. KG has the worst supporting cast of any All-star in the league, and there's only man to blame: Kevin McHale. McHale is the reason they have the horrible (and unmoveable) contracts of Mark Blount, Troy Hudson, and to a lesser extent Trenton Hassell. And then there's Marko Jaric: in what should be viewed as the WORST move in franchise history, McHale traded an expiring contract of an inspired player (whenever Cassell was playing for a contract, he played his best basketball. Look at him with the Clippers now!), AND a 1st rd pick for a 6'7 Euro who before the trade had not proven he was capable of running a team or being an NBA starter- unless you believe, as McHale did, that career averages of 27 mpg, 8.4 pts and 4.4 asts, means you're ready to run a team. To make matters worse, he signed him to a 6 yr deal worth more than $37 million. Keeping Cassell (with an expiring salary of $6 million) plus the expiring contract of Olowakandi (another $6 mill) plus the draft picks and somebody like Rashad McCants or Eddie Griffin would have been enough ammo to get Paul Pierce, Ray Allen or Allen Iverson as the Alpha Dog KG has so sorely missed.
Instead, along with the Wally trade, you've got no cap flexibilty and only 2 of your next 4 first round picks. And I've lamented at length at McHale's draft history, which besides Garnett, is awful. Just awful. I know this franchise has had some bad luck with the lottery ping pong balls in the early going (having poor records and missing guys like Shaq, Zo, CWebb, Larry Johnson and others), and Malik Sealy's death, but their current predicament is not the result of bad luck, it's the result of bad management. Kevin Garnett has done nothing wrong in his time in Minnesota, and has tried to everything right to win. But because of McHale it hasn't happened, and because of McHale it won't happen for the remainder of his time in Minnesota.
The two options left are trade for Marbury (which I support), or trade KG and start completely over. THere are no other alternatives. If you stand pat and try to sign free agents with the mid level exception or build through 2 of your 4 draft picks, you're going to be stuck with the same team and same results you've seen this year. That's not doom and gloom, that's just the facts. But because McHale's track record has shown him incapable of making the right moves, and because owner Glen Taylor has proven just as incapable of identifying this, your hopes of anything better than a late lottery selection for the next four years are slim and none.
Folks, I know I've bored you with this stuff before, and I know you're as sick of it now as you were then, but I'm doing this because I'll be doing it for the last time. Until the Wolves fire McHale, I'm really truly done with them. Call me a fair weather fan, call me whatever you want, but I'm done. I've ranted and cried and nashed teeth as loudly as possible and to no avail. I've spent what seems like countless posts going over and over the same crap with this team, but it never changes. As a basketball fan, I will continue to follow the NBA and will continue posting on NBA matters, but this will be my last specific post on the Wolves.
It's been real, at times it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun.
Gleeman and The Geek #337: Wild Card Postgame Show
6 months ago