Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jeremy: ... and Tigers... OH MY!!!

Nobody, and I mean not one single person, expected the Tigers to win a series in the Metrodome this weekend against the Hometown 9... I wouldn't even have been surprised if the Tigers themselves had some doubts about coming in and beating the hottest team in baseball.
Look, I knew the Tigers were good, anyone can tell by their record that they are good, but I haven't had much chance to see them play this year. I've heard that they are scrappy, that they find all kinds of ways to win. But these guys are unreal! You cannot make a mistake against Detroit, or it will cost you dearly.
Just ask Brad Radke. No stranger to getting knocked around in the first or second innings, Radke looked like a little leaguer last night. You throw anybody on the Tigers a hitable pitch (and Radke threw PLENTY of hitable pitches) and guess what... well, just have a look at the play-by-play for the top of the first inning...

Brad Radke pitching for Minnesota
C Granderson singled to left. 0 0
P Polanco singled to center, C Granderson to second. 0 0
C Monroe singled to left, C Granderson to third, P Polanco to second. 0 0
M Ordonez grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, C Granderson scored, C Monroe out at second, P Polanco to third. 1 0
C Guillen grounded into fielder's choice to first, P Polanco scored, M Ordonez out at second. 2 0
D Young singled to right, C Guillen to second. 2 0
M Thames flied out to left. 2 0
2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors

Detroit then proceeded to add one in the second, and one in the third, and that was that for Brad Radke. (Here's a fun little stat, courtesy of "Opponents are hitting .390 off Radke in the first inning this season.")
Of course we know, the Twins battled back, but ended up falling short and the Tigers won 8-6.
Let me go ahead and say that nothing anybody has said about the Twins in the past week has been wrong. They HAVE been the hottest team in baseball, they HAVE been doing everything right, the offense HAS come around and the pitching HAS been better than it was earlier in the season. None of this changed on Friday or Saturday night. Outside of Radke's poor performance, the Twins did almost everything right, but the Tigers are just a better baseball team.
If anybody is suggesting that the Twins are going to catch the Tigers... well, then I just don't think those people have actually seen the Tigers play. (My apologies to Jeffrick after reading his Twins fever post... I will guess that his opinion has changed slightly too.) Of course their W-L record is incredible for this time of year (70-33, 37 GAMES OVER .500?!?!?! HOLY SH*#!!!), but the difference with them is that offensively Detroit's execution is almost flawless. Sacrifice flies, moving runners into scoring position, baserunning, stealing, they do it all, and they do it all well. Not to mention the fact that they hit for average and they hit for power all over their lineup. The Twins are a very good ball club right now, but there just simply is nobody in baseball that comes close to the Tigers.
With the Twins sweeping the Sox earlier this week in Chicago, and now Detroit banging the first two out against the Twins at the Dome, we really have an opportunity to see who the front-runner is in the Central. If everyone in the AL Central continues to play like they have the last two weeks, then all will be right with the world. Detroit will win the division, the Twins will end up second, and the White Sox will fall away quietly. The only question left is what happens with the Yankees and the AL Wild Card.
I think I speak for us all when I say...
I cheer for the Twins, and whoever is playing the Yankees.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Jeff: I've got a Twins Fever, and the only prescription is...


That's right, this die-hard Seattle Mariners fan has Twins Fever and I can't help it anymore. I would never break my allegiances with the M's, but I finally broke down and bought a piece of Twins paraphenalia last night to wear to the Twins/Tiggers tilt tonight when I got with TheBigSam (it's his last night in Minnesota. SAD BIGSAM! SAD!) and my roomy Kris. I'm hoping this won't be my last Twinkies game this year, and I probably need to stop wearing Mariners stuff to the Dome- especially when Minnesota isn't even playing them. So I picked up the Justin Morneau jersey/tshirt, justifying that as supporting a hometown guy (we're both from different suburbs of Vancouver, BC) while maybe kinda sorta admitting I'm getting caught up in this incredible Twins run. You've heard the numbers by now: 34-8 and now right smack dab in the middle of the wildcard race. And if they can take 2 of 3 from Detwah this weekend (a very good possibility) they'd be welcomed back into the division race too.

I just love being in a town with a team in a pennant race. After their awful April and parts of May, the Twinkies have been baseball's best team the past two months, and don't think the fine citizens of the Land o' 10000 Lakes haven't noticed. Usually walk-up tickets are easy to come by at the Dome, especially on a summer Friday night, but with all the hype (and with The Cisco Kid on the mound) for this series, we had Sammy go pick up tickets yesterday to make sure we got them. It's like playoff baseball in July, and I'm absolutely loving it.

What makes this even better for Twins fans is that the Little Engine That Could is scaring the bejeezus out of the rest of the league right now. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, wants to face this team in the playoffs. Nobody wants to see Santana and Liriano 4 times in a 7 game series, because if that happens your chances of beating those guys 4 times (which just also happens to be the number of games you need to win a playoff series) are slim to none. Add a lights out bullpen and a rejuvenated Brad Radke to the pitching mix, and the Twins should be the favorites in baseball to win it all- IF they can just get in.

I've been a proponent of having the LETC (Little Engine That Could) spend some serious money on a cleanup hitter, which will probably not happen for the umpteenth trade deadline in a row. However, this time around I actually agree with it. There's only one guy the Twins could get that would be worth giving up P Matt Garza and some other top prospects for. It's not Alfonso Soriano, who's price tag according to most sources is 2 or 3 top-level prospects, or the Carlos Lee, who was just dealt today to the Texas Rangers (also dealing a major blow to any playoff chances my M's had in the AL West). Both of those guys are the corner-outfield thumpers the Twins needs. But considering their both free agents at year's end, and would be unlikely to get a big contract offer in the offseason, it's just not worth it give up some top prospects for a two-month rental.

The only guy who COULD be on the market that would be worth it for me is Baltimore Orioles SS Miguel Tejada. The Orioles are going nowhere again this year, and Peter Angelos might finally be ready to trade away his most prized trade chip to blow it up and start over. It would cost the Twins Garza and at least one other top guy, but I think it'd be worth it. He not only solves the cleanup-hitter conudrum, but he could slide over to comfortably play third. I know, I know, I know Twins fans...what about Nick Punto? Punto's been hitting .385 in July, but there's a reason he's a .261/.331/.349 career hitter. He won't keep this up all year, and when the playoff chase comes, would you rather have Punto or Tejada up in a big situation? I thought so.

I don't expect Terry Ryan to make this deal, but if there's one out there to make a splash, that's the one. Although the backend of the Twins rotation has struggled, it doesn't make any sense to try and add another starter because there's so few guys available and none of them (not counting Barry Zito) are any better than the guys the Twins already have. If Silva can keep the ball down and the sinker sinking, he'll be fine as the #4 guy, and they can mix and match (possibly Garza) for the 5th rotation spot.

I'm expecting Ryan to let this team play out and not make any moves, but I DO think there's one deal that makes a lotta sense for the Twins. It would give them a big bat without compromising their, um, fiscally responsible (read cheap skate) mentallity, and also wouldn't cost them any prospects. The Twins should deal righty Kyle Lohse to the Red Sox for outfieled Wily Mo Pena. Lohse and his $3.9 million salary won't be returning to the Twins next year, and although he's out of the rotation in Minnesota, he's better than the guys the Sox have been trying to put in their 4th and 5th starter slots.

Like Loshe, Pena has fallen out of favor with the Red Sox. He's not a good defender, but at 24 with ridiculous power, he'd be worth the gamble to add the power bat the Twins crave (remember, despite their torrid pace, the Twinks are still 2nd to last in HR's in the league). And he's only making $1.25 million. Even if the Twins had to throw in a marginal prospect along with Pena, it would definitely be worth the risk.

Whether Ryan makes a move or not, the Twins have to be the frontrunners for the Wild Card and will challenge the Tiggers the rest of the year, and that means Twins Fever should continue to sweep the upper Midwest the rest of the summer. Remember, the Twins put their pants on one leg at a time just like you. Except they make gold records- wait no they win lots and lots of baseball games.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Jeremy: Quickly

*The Twins have won their last 7 games (all at home) and yet it seems like nobody is holding out any hope that they will win this weekend's series in Cleveland. (By the way, count me as one of those people who holds out no hope that they will win the series in Cleveland this weekend.) Until they Twinks start proving that they can win on the road, instead of the current trend of only being able to prove that they can lose on the road, nobody is going to take them seriously as a contender. This shouldn't be the case for a team that is suddenly only 4 games out of the American League Wild Card position.

*I realize that I'm a homer of the most rubish kind, and I normally don't talk about any other teams in the NFL besides the Vikings, but here's something that threw me off this morning: Chris Brown wants out of Tennessee, and in the words of Jeffrick, "can't blame him." Remember just a couple of years ago when the Titans were one of the top teams and near the top of the AFC, it seemed like, every year? Steve McNair was a top 5 quarterback, Eddie George was a top 5 runnings back... what happened to these guys? Suddenly they are relying on two rookies to bolster their offense? Did you know that both Travis Henry and Chris Brown are under 30 years old? Why is it that they both seem ancient?

*NFL line of the week, from Jason Whitlock's 10 NFL Truths column: 9. Brett Favre will regret his decision to return to the Packers by Week 4, when John Madden won't be around on "Monday Night Football" to explain away Favre's terrible performance against the Eagles.

*Something deep down inside of me wants to see Tiger Woods struggle. I can't explain it, but something in me wants to see Tiger lose week after week, and I don't even care who beats him. I used to feel this way about the Bulls, there was really no reason that I could come up with that I wanted to see MJ and the Bulls NOT win championship after championship, I just didn't. And I just don't want to see Tiger win either. Maybe it's because I like parity in sports so much, the same reason I love the NFL so much, but I know it's not rational, and I am sorry. For me, I feel toward Tiger Woods a little bit like Wes Mantooth felt toward Ron Burgundy in "Anchorman," I don't like Tiger Woods, but damnit do I ever respect him!

*I did not watch one single minute of World Cup Soccor on purpose. I might be the only person in America that didn't become a bigger soccor fan after the World Cup.

*This will be the only time I write about Danica Patrick and her back-and-forth dance with NASCAR... I DON'T CARE!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jeff: Goodbye Says It All

Tis a sad, sad day. I had heard all the rattling about how the Sonics could or might move but never thought it would happen, but now it looks like a virtual certainty that 2006 will be their last year in Seattle. And that sucks. I realized after hearing the news yesterday how much I loved them. Shawn Kemp was my favorite player growing up, as was Payton until owner Howard Schultz made the stupid move of trading him. I love Nate McMillan, Detlef, Sam Perkins, Ricky Pierce, Eddie Johnson and on and on and on. That was my team. Seattle had Sonics fever, and with MJ hitting his twilight, it seemed certain the Sonics were set for a run at the Title well into the new century. My move down to Minnesota cooled it a bit as their moron GM (who's still employed there, by the way) refused to talk about an for Kemp (who at the time, in '96, was the best power forward in basketball and a top 10 guy) but then signed Big White Stiff Jim McLvaine to a contract larger than Kemps. That was really the snow flake that started the avalanche that became the Sonics leaving town.

As I was moving south to Minnesota, the fortunes of the team went south too. They wouldn't give GP an extension that could have kept him in Seattle for the rest of his career, and so he was dealt too. By the turn of the century, the team I knew and grew up loving was gone. I had also found a new love in Kevin Garnett, and being in Minnesota and around passionate Wolves fans (none more so than my buddy Jer) my love for the Sonics waned. I still followed them as much as I could (as much as I wanted the NBA League Pass the budget simply wouldn't allow it), but never with the same passion. However, after this past season, I officially decided to stop following or caring about the Timberwolves until they fire GM Kevin McHale (which I'm pretty sure will never happen). It was too much anguish and anger to follow a team who had no leadership and no clue coming from the front office, and knowing that because the owner has the world's biggest Mancruch on McHale, it's never going to change.

So I was ready to give myself back to the Sonics. Back to Seattle. Back to my roots. I was hoping they'd land Adam Morrison or Brandon Roy in the draft (instead of their 3rd Stiff center in a row), but none the less I was excited to be back where I should have been all along- with the green and gold (and for a couple of years there the green, red and gold).

Then the news broke yesterday. I immediately dialed up 950 KJR on the internet and listened to Gros' reaction and the press conference and Gros with Gas. It ended up being about 3 hours of coverage and talk about the Sonics and how upset everyone out there was. And I felt the same. All my my memories came flooding back. The good, like the '96 Finals run, or any GP-to-the-Reignman alley-oop. And also the bad, like Dikemebe F%^&ing Mutumbo laying on OUR FLOOR clutching the basketball like a baby after they're comeback (I've hated him since that day. Also for the finger-wagging. I hate the finger-wagging) or game 7 of the Conference Finals against the Suns when David Stern was still determining the outcome of games. But I realized then how much I loved the Sonics, and how much I cared. And that I probably cared too much.

Now it looks as though we'll get one last year of Seattle Supersonics basketball. Blame Howard Schultz, blame the politicians in King County, blame Wally Walker for the McIllvane signing that started all of this. THey all deserve an equal share. But I also want to thanks. Thanks to Kevin Colabro, who to me was the Voice of the Sonics growing up (and STILL the best play-by-play guy around). Thanks to Kemp, Payton, Detlef, Nate, Big Smooth, Michael Cage, Ricky Pierce, Dana Barros, Xavier McDaniel, Tom Chambers, George Karl and everyone else that I loved as a Sonics fan. And most importantly thanks to all the Sonics fans who made being one with them such an enjoyable experience. The city of Seattle (despite what Rick Reilly said a few months back) has some of the best, most loyal fans in the country, and they don't deserve this. Hopefully Seattle will get a chance to be a basketball city again soon. Until then, thanks for the memories.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jeremy: Weeping for a man

Here's what you need to know about this picture.
1. This picture was taken outside of the Metrodome after the Twins game on Friday night.
2. It was taken with my phone.
3. YES, the guy is carrying his girlfriend's purse.
4. He did not look uncomfortable doing this.
5. I laughed out loud when I saw this.
6. I died a little bit inside later that night when my soul wept slightly for the death of this gent's manhood.
7. My wife knows that this will never be me.

The Monday Musings

The quality of today's Musings will be worse than usual because I am entirely unmotivated today. Bloody hot weather with like 124% humidity will do that to you. So will the complete lack of decent sporting events on TV over the weekend. I actually watched parts of the celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe yesterday. However it DID provide me with an opportunity to laugh out loud. When Ravens QB Kyle Boller strolled up to the tee, commentator Dan Hicks mentioned that Boller had a new backup in Steve McNair. Really? Um Dan? I think that's the other way around. Boller should keep working on the golf game, because he won't be seeing much football action this year.

* Speaking of unmotivated AND football (how's that for a transition) I managed to preview 2 NFL divisions before realizing I'm not going to finish the preview this year either. Hey I tried, but summer classes keep getting in the way. Who do I hate more: the person who invented the idea of classes in the summer, or me for taking them? You're right, it's me. I'm an idiot.

* So to finish off the preview, here's my predicted order of finish for the other 6 divisions...and I'll throw in the NFC West and South again just for %^&* and giggles. (* denotes wild card)

St Louis
San Fran

New Orleans

Green Bay

NY Giants (Eli makes The Leap this year)

Kansas City (LJ cracks 2000 yds this year)
San Diego



New England

* I need help deciding on my 3rd keeper in a fantasy football league. My first 2 are no brainers: wideouts Steve Smith and Terrell Owens. My 3rd is either Willis McGahee or Eli Manning, who I'm convinced makes the Carson Palmeresque leap here in his 3rd season into elite status (well at least until the playoffs when he melts down just like his brother). I have to keep at least one running back, right? RIGHT?

* College football is right around the corner. Remember kids, for the sake of the student-athletes we can't have a playoff system because it would take too much time away from studies. But we CAN add a mandatory 12th game (13 if you play Hawaii), and start games in almost mid-August. No contradiction there. Glad to know they've got the players well-being, and BILLIONS of dollars, in mind here.

* Despite that I"m positively giddy at the thought of college football. Sure my UDub Huskies and the local Minnesota Golden Gophers will be lucky to combine for the 6 wins to be eligible for one of like 98 bowl games, but I'm still positively excited. With Vince Young graduating and like half of USC under investigation, things are as wide-open as ever this year. All the top teams have a ton of talent and plenty of question marks. You have to like West Virginia's chances of running the table, and I think Auburn has a good chance to do the same in an impossibly tough SEC. Still, if USC doesn't lose Dwayne Jarrett for more than a game or two, I think USC returns to the national title game. Remember what happened last time they had to replace a Heisman winning quarterback.

* Is there even a question that Texas will lose to Oklahoma this year? Stoops has beaten UT every year when the talent levels have been close, and now that VY is gone, so are the Horns chances of beating the Sooners. Sure Jamaal Charles and their usual good D will be tough, but there's no overcoming having to start a freshman QB- or having Mack Brown have to outcoach Stoops.

* We're about 2 weeks away from the baseball trade deadline, and there are a grand total of 7 teams that can be considered out of the running (Tampa, Baltimore, KC, Cleveland, Washington, Pittsburgh and the Cubbies). A few more may drop out (i.e. Seattle as long as Hargrove continues to manage and insists on using Carl Everett as his DH. You or I could hit as poorly as C-Rex right now) but there's going to be a lot of teams buying and very few selling. Why can't the trade deadline be pushed back to mid-August?

* Don't look now, but after getting destroyed by the Yankees this weekend, the White Sox have come back to the pack. Looks like we'll have a wild card race after all!

* Finally, my other laugh-out-loud moment from the weekend: watching a preview for Talledega Nights and hearing the names of Ricky Bobby's sons. Walker, and Texas Ranger. HA! Wow I'm dying right now just thinking about that! August 4th can't come soon enough!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Jeff: The Time to Deal KG Is Now

Before I take the plunge into the darkness of "we need to trade KG" territory, let me first say congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Jer.

Onto the business at hand. Jer is the most passionate Minnesota sports fan that I know, and is just as passionate about Kevin Garnett. The fact Jer stated in his post just below this one that although it would kill him to see KG go, that it'd be good for Kev because he's not going to win a ring here, well, he's right. KG's not winning a ring here. I thought Strib columnist Jim Souhan put it best last week, saying

"What is wrong with the Wolves, Garnett can't fix alone, and that's his only option if he stays."

I couldn't have said it any simpler. Garnett is in a no-win situation because the roster is essentiall locked for his remaining three years on his contract. Thanks to the moves made by GM Kevin McHale, the Wolves are capped out for the remainder of Garnett's tenure in Minnesota, meaning not only can they not add any viable players via free agency, but they can't trade for any either because the guys that ARE eating up salary (i.e Mark Blount, Marko Jaric and Troy Hudson) are virtually untradeable at this point. So what you're stuck with is a team that at its best is good enough for the 7th or 8th playoff spot (meaning you get whipped in the first round) or at worst the 7-14th worst lottery team (and not bad enough to get into the top 5 where you've got a decent chance at landing a high pick).

So basically the Wolves you saw last year are the Wolves you'll see through 2008-- and that's IF Garnett doesn't force a trade before then, which he almost certainly would. Garnett deserves a shot at at title, and there is not only the perfect destination out there for him right now, but it's a place that can also give the Wolves some great building pieces back. Not only that, but a trade for Garnett now is going to net you more than it would say in February before the deadline when everyone knows you HAVE to trade him.

Ladies and gentlemen, the next destination for Kevin Garnett should be: the Chicago Bulls.

Bloggers and fans and even the media often make a common error when suggesting trades: they only look at one side. People like to think you can combine a few of your fringe players together in a big bundle and bring back an all-star. Not going to happen, even with Isiah Thomas still employed in New York (at least until Christmas). Chicago has been a rumored destination for KG for awhile because he spent his senior year of high school there, AND the Bulls have some nice young players, as well as the cap room to absorb KG's mammoth contract without Minnesota having to take back a bad contract to match salaries. The rumors continue to swirl because it makes so much sense for both sides.

First there's Chicago. GM John Paxson has rebuilt the Bulls beautifully with young players and plenty of cap space, but the signing of Ben Wallace earlier this week for a fat salary actually ENHANCES the Wolves bargaining position. With Garnett, plus Wallace as the inside defender and rebounder every team would love, along with uberpoint guard Kirk Heinrich and a bevy of talented wing players, the Bulls are the new favorites to represent the East in the Finals. And although I don't think the BUlls would be better than Phoenix, Dallas or San Antonio, as the Heat showed this past year and the Pistons showed 3 years ago, if you're good enough to get there, even if you're not favored on paper, you can be good enough to win it. Garnett's 31, Wallace is 30, and together you've got a 4 year window for a championship run. Without Garnett the Bulls still have a gaping hole at the 4 spot, and no inside scorer. They're improved, but probably only the 4th best team in the East. And Paxson knows this. The Ben Wallace signing turned Garnett from a luxury to a necessity for the Bulls. No one else makes as much sense for them as he would, and nobody would work as well as he would. He's the guy they now HAVE to have to make the Wallace signing a good move.

For the Wolves? It's the only trade partner that makes sense, as long as you get one thing: Chicago's 1st round pick for the upcoming 2007 draft- and along with it, the right to swap that pick with the Knicks (which you're 99.99999999% guaranteed to do because of how awful the Knicks will be this coming season). Paxson has been very, very, VERY reluctant to include this pick in any deals for anybody. Why? If you haven't heard, the 2007 draft is being lauded by people in the basketball community as anything from the best draft in years to the best in decades. There are 5 bonafide potential superstars expected to declare, the best of the bunch being Ohio State-bound center Greg Oden. Oden has been touted since he was a high school freshman as the best big man since Tim Duncan or David Robinson. After he destroys the Big 10 next year, you'll see that those comparisons are accurate. The other elite prospects aren't too shabby either and would go a long way towards hitting the fast-forward button on rebuilding for whatever team is lucky enough to have a pick in the top 5. And here's the thing: if the Wolves demand that Chicago/Knicks pick be included for Garnett, Minnesota has a very real chance of having not one but TWO top 5 picks next year. That's a helluva way to start the post-KG era in Minnesota.

I did some research on this (thanks to for the info) and it looks like McHale wasn't quite as dumb as I'd feared. Although his trade of Sam Cassell AND a conditional #1 pick for Marko Jaric is still one of the worst deals of the decade so far, the Clippers are by no means guaranteed Minnesota's pick for 2007. The pick is top 10 protected through 2011, so if you dealt Garnett, the WOlves would be a very bad team, all but assuring them of keeping their pick. So there's plus what should be the pick from an also very bad Knicks team means the Wolves now have 2 chances at landing Oden in the lottery, or at worst, two picks in the top 6 or 7 of a great draft.

So that pick HAS to be included. Again, Paxson will not want to part with this for the reasons mentioned above, but it just doesn't make sense for Minnesota to trade KG if this pick isn't included. Paxson knows how valuable the pick is, but he also knows the time is now to get KG to make a run for the title, and his opportunity may not be as good if he waits.

IF the pick is included, it's reasonable for the Wolves to get two more guys back. I know a draft pick and two non-allstar players for a guy like Garnett doesn't sound like much for Wolves fans, but hear me out. I've already explained what getting that pick will do, and adding two more from the Bulls young core would be a steal. One of those guys NEEDS to be Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls lottery pick from this past draft. He's long, athletic, and most importantly, the kid works his ass off. The biggest gamble teams have to take on these kids now is whether they're going to be willing to work or not. With most of them you never can tell, but Thomas has been a workout warrior in his two years at LSU, and from everything I've read, that should continue. He's about as safe a bet to be an allstar down the line as anyone selected in the 2006 draft, and if the Chicago had Wallace AND Garnett he wouldn't play much anyways, so he's expendable.

Your third guy is one of the following three: combo guard Ben Gordon, swingman Luol Deng, or swingman J.R. Smith. Gordon was a hot rumor for awhile, and although I really like him, the Wolves drafting combo guard Randy Foye eliviates the need to get BenGo. As good as these two could be, having two guards 6'4 or under in the backcourt would cause you problems defensively. Deng is a Dukie that came out a year or two too early, but is a great athlete, good defender, smart player, and a great kid to boot. He's expendable for Chicago because of how well Andres Nocionni played in the past playoffs. Still, the guy I'd target would be Smith, the 6'6 super athletic wingman who doesn't turn 21 until September. The Bulls just picked him up from the Hornets, as he got into Coach Byron Scott's doghouse and couldn't get out. Still the kid has oodles of potential, and has more of that magical "upside" than the other two. Better still, the kid is getting paid next to nothing, so if he doesn't pan out in his one-year tryout or cops more of that bad attitude, he's still very tradeable because there'll ALWAYS be somebody willing to take a chance on a then 22-year old athletic swingman with a cheap contract.

2006 would be a tough year. Ok, ok, 2006 for the Wolves would be an out and out Gong Show. But if you're not going to make the playoffs WITH Garnett, it'd be worth it to put yourself in this situation without him to be completely unwatchable for 2006-- and then have the best young team in basketball in 2007 and beyond. For the start of 2007 you'd have two high lottery picks who'd be able to make an immediate impact, plus Ty Thomas and Foye with a year under their belt, JR Smith, AND a healthy Rashad McCants. That's 6 guys for 5 spots. Give them 2007 to battle it out, and then package one or two with your remaining gawd-awful contracts for cap relief and role players to fill out your roster. Voila!! In less than 2 years you go from borderline playoff contender with no hope, to burgeoning playoff contender with the brightest future in the league!

You never want to have to deal a player the caliber of Garnett, but if you have to, this is the best you're going to find at turning things around in a hurry. As Jer said, Garnett deserves a shot to win a title, and he'd get it right now in Chicago. The Wolves deserve a new guy running the team, but since they can't get that, a white hot young nucleaus of talent to replace The Franchise is as good as they can ask for.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jeremy: Wolves Quickie

It's so hard to get a trade done on the NBA, isn't that right Kevin McHale? Weird, seems like the GM's of the Bulls and the Hornets don't seem to think it's all that difficult. The Mavs and Pacers also don't seem to find it too difficult. Of course, it might be the case that their GM's didn't hog-tie them with ridiculous contracts to past-their-prime players constantly over the past 5 years.
A couple of things bother me with who the Wolves are supposedly pursuing.
Does it bother anyone else that Mike James is 31 years old and just, FUNNY!, had his best season as a pro last year before his free-agent season for a horrible team that had minimal scoring options?
Also, anyone else concerned by the fact that the two guys that Wolves are most heavily interested in (reportedly) are 31 (James) and 30 (Lorenzen Wright) respectively?
Look, Lorenzen Wright adds size to your team, rebounds, and that's about it. He's averaging less than 9 points a game for his career and has a pretty low field goal % for a big man, 46%.
Yet another off-season of minimal moves with likely poor results.
I still would hate to see the Wolves trade Garnett, but for KG's sake, not the Wolves, I think it's time for him to go. Garnett is my favorite athlete ever and it makes me sick to see him subject to Kevin McHale's janky management and poor talent evaluation. He deserves a shot at a championship, something I fear he'll never get in a Wolves uniform.