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The Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins trade is still two weeks away from even possibly happening, and already a writer in Toronto has loaded up the hottest of hot sports takes: He sees this trade as a boon to Toronto, which will surely be able to pry native son Wiggins away from cold, desolate Minnesota in the future.
No one from the organization can or will talk about the potential impact of Wiggins and fellow Toronto-born No.1-overall pick Anthony Bennett being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that will send Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even Drake wouldn’t want to pay those fines. … Who knows what getting Wiggins out of Cleveland would have been like after he’d been to the NBA mountaintop alongside LeBron James? Getting Wiggins out of Minnesota first chance? Easy as pie.
Do tell, sir!
The soonest that Wiggins could begin to make noises about leaving Minneapolis would be in the summer of 2017, which is the earliest he can be offered an extension on his rookie scale contract. If he begins to balk then, it would likely kick-off a lengthy auction for what will hopefully be an emerging NBA star at that point. If he takes the safe route and signs an extension he’s likely in Minnesota until 2021.
But for all the restrictions on player movement in the NBA, history has shown that when a player really wants out of one place and has a preferred destination in mind, things tend to get done.
And why would Wiggins want to go to Toronto, a team that can match the Wolves’ on-court futility brick-for-brick? Well, it’s not just that he’s from Toronto. It’s that MINNESOTA IS COLD AND LAME.
When NBA free agents come up with their list of things they’re looking for as a potential destination, the Timberwolves have none of them. Weather? Minneapolis is the coldest major city in the United States. Its average December-to-February temperature is 18 F, or -8 C. That’s average. Even last winter, during the Polar Vortex, Toronto’s average temperature was -3.3 C. Typically, Toronto winters come in at a balmy 0 C. … It’s got one of the highest state income tax rates, and as for culture? Well, Fargo was filmed and set in Minnesota. So was Grumpy Old Men. And The Mighty Ducks. You get the picture.
A cold sports city take is about as hot as a sports take can get, but doubling down on the flamethrower with a Fargo reference? BRAVO!
Listen: We’ve been to Toronto. It’s a great city. One of our favo(u)rites. But so is Minneapolis.
Plotting a move from one freezing, basketball wasteland to another in three OR POSSIBLY SEVEN years when nobody knows anything about how either team or conference will look then? It might make for good theater, but it’s the theater of the absurd.
We see it every year with hope — realistic or not — that a 0-0 team might just take that clean slate and run with it all the way to a championship. It keeps us clinging to games far longer than we should.
The Twins are down 6-1 in the eighth, but there are two men on with one out. A homer here …
The Vikings are down 24-7 in the third quarter, but they just got the ball back and they’re driving. One score here …
And so on.
Where we potential most generously ladled out into our bowls of optimism, though, is with young pro players — the ones who show flashes of brilliance early on or carry reputations for excellence, enticing you to believe they will just keep getting better and better.
We are in the midst, then, of a potentially exciting time in Minnesota sports — and most definitely an exciting time when it comes to potential. The Wild, Wolves, Timberwolves and Twins are in various stages of building, but we cannot recall a time when the four collectively had this many exciting young players or were all best suited to go the route of Clarence Swamptown and “give the keys to the kids” — essentially trusting the youngsters to lead and seeing how far it takes each team. (And yes, that’s a picture of our daughter, Anabel, in this post. She is driving us to work today just to prove how much we believe in keys/kids).
The Wild has a mix of veterans and youth, but the development of that young core was an undeniable reason for the team’s success last season and will determine if and when the team takes more steps forward. And there is more youth on the horizon.
The Wolves are on the verge of trading for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, the last two No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft. They also drafted the super-athletic Zach LaVine, while second-year guys Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad are intriguing. Their best course of action will be giving those guys as much run as possible.
We’ve seen promise from Kyle Gibson and Danny Santana for long stretches this season. Kennys Vargas is intriguing. Oswaldo Arcia is intriguing. And much of the best for the Twins is still, theoretically, still yet to come from the minors.
The Vikings had seven first-round picks in the past three seasons, many of whom look to be blossoming. They very well could hand the QB job to a rookie this season. They will succeed or fail largely on the backs of youth.
It’s a state-wide youth movement. It guarantees nothing in the future, but it sure does seduce us in the present.
McCombs met with Raiders owner Mark Davis last month and spoke to the San Antonio Express-News about the meeting on Wednesday:
In his first public comments after his 90-minute meeting with Davis, McCombs told the San Antonio Express-News his family would be interested in buying into the Raiders “if that’s what it would take to get them here.”
McCombs, though, was quick to add he isn’t sure whether Davis would want local investors. “But I told him if he wanted some, they wouldn’t be hard to get,” said McCombs, who owned the Minnesota Vikings from 1998 through the 2004 season.
With the Raiders’ lease in Oakland set to expire after the 2014 season and stadium talks stalled in the Bay Area, Davis’ visit to San Antonio sparked speculation he is using the city to gain leverage back home. But McCombs said he believes there is a “definite possibility there may be a relocation” and that “it’s a myth that San Antonio is a bargaining chip.”
PURPLE PRIDE, PURPLE PRIDE, PURPLE PRIDE!
Let’s assume that all of the reporting and hunches leading up to Thursday were correct and that Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that the Cavs and Wolves have agreed to a Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins trade is correct. The pending question beyond that is this: What does the Wolves’ roster and rotation look like in 2014-15 if no other moves are made?
Assumptions: The Wolves get Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a No. 1 pick, but they are not immediately able to move J.J. Barea or anyone else, per Woj.
|33||Dante Cunningham (FA)||PF||27||6-8||221||Villanova|
|0||Othyus Jeffers (FA)||SG||28||6-5||210|
|23||Kevin Martin||SG||31||6-7||197||Western Carolina||$6,792,500|
|12||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute||PF||27||6-8||230||UCLA||$4,382,576|
|1||Glenn Robinson III||SG||20||6-6||220||Michigan|
Remove Love. Add Wiggins and Bennett. Jeffers and Cunningham won’t be back. Shved, Barea and Mbah a Moute could very well be gone, too, but for now let’s assume they are at the end of the bench.
Here is your core:
PG: Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams
Wings: Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Robbie Hummel, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III.
Bigs: Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng, Nikola Pekovic, Ronny Turiaf
Option for starting lineup (1): Rubio, Martin, Wiggins, Bennett, Pekovic. … Bennett would be by default, to a degree, since he’ll be the only listed power forward on the roster. Rubio and Wiggins would guard the two best offensive players out of the three guard/wing spots, leaving Martin to the weakest guy. Pekovic and Martin would be leaned on for scoring initially.
Option for starting lineup (2): Rubio, Martin, Wiggins, Dieng, Pekovic. This would assume Dieng and Pek can play together. We’re not sure that’s possible.
Option for starting lineup (3) Rubio, Brewer, Wiggins, Dieng or Bennett, Pekovic. This loads up on defense and saves Martin for a sixth man/scorer off the bench role.
Second unit: Williams, Brewer or Martin, LaVine/Muhammad/Budinger, Dieng or Bennett, Turiaf.
Fighting for minutes: Probably Hummel, LaVine, Robinson, and Muhammad early in the season (which doesn’t even factor in Barea, Mbah a Moute and Shved).
Overall: We like the looks of a second unit better with Martin in there, but we also worry about how the first unit is going to score. IN general, though, the roster is showing an imbalance toward wings. Yes, LaVine is technically listed as a point guard on the Wolves’ roster, but we can’t imagine he plays there much with Rubio and Williams in the fold. There is a real hole at power forward with Love gone unless 1) Dieng and Pekovic can play together or 2) the Wolves aren’t done making moves and can add Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, as has been rumored, for some of their spare parts.
If Flip Saunders can finish off the Cavs trade and make another move or two to alleviate the roster imbalance, there will be a chance to have an intriguing — albeit raw — first and second unit. We have to imagine he has more moves lined up or he wouldn’t have signed Williams. As it stands, the Wolves have too many wings — and too many players, period — on their roster.
|Texas - WP: N. Martinez||5||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi||4|
|Seattle - LP: J. Paxton||3||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels||4|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||9||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson||5|
|NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler||8||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija||5|
|Atlanta - LP: D. Carpenter||2||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: M. Melancon||3|
|Houston - WP: S. Feldman||5||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: D. Huff||2|
|Arizona - LP: E. Marshall||2||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: R. Soriano||3|
|LA Angels - WP: C. Rasmus||8||FINAL|
|Boston - LP: C. Buchholz||3|
|Detroit - WP: R. Porcello||6||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi||0|
|Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto||3||FINAL|
|St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn||7|
|San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy||8||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson||3|
|Baltimore - WP: W. Chen||4||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi||3|
|Cleveland - WP: T. House||5||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco||0|
|Kansas City - LP: D. Duffy||2||FINAL|
|Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa||5|
|San Diego - WP: E. Stults||4||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez||1|
|Carolina||8/22/14 6:30 PM|
|NY Giants||8/22/14 6:30 PM|
|Jacksonville||8/22/14 6:30 PM|
|Oakland||8/22/14 7:00 PM|
|Chicago||8/22/14 9:00 PM|
|Tampa Bay||8/23/14 3:30 PM|
|Tennessee||8/23/14 6:00 PM|
|Dallas||8/23/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington||8/23/14 6:30 PM|
|New Orleans||8/23/14 7:00 PM|
|Minnesota||8/23/14 7:00 PM|
|St. Louis||8/23/14 7:00 PM|
|Houston||8/23/14 8:00 PM|
|San Diego||8/24/14 3:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||8/24/14 7:00 PM|
|Montreal||8/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Toronto||8/23/14 3:00 PM|
|Calgary||8/24/14 2:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||8/24/14 6:00 PM|
|Ottawa||8/29/14 6:30 PM|