It’s been quite sometime since the Minnesota Timberwolves made another key addition to their roster. This off-season the Timberwolves, as I have stated in my previous posts, have been as active as I have ever seen them before in making adjustments to their team. The Timberwolves have waived/traded players and have signed players. Martell Webster, Darko Milicic, Wes Johnson, Anthony Randolph, Brad Miller, Wayne Ellington, and Michael Beasley will no longer be seen wearing the blue, forest green, and black at Target Center.
In exchange for those giveaways the Timberwolves have picked up two former NBA All-Stars in Russian forward and defensive specialist Andrei Kirilenko, who led the Russian national basketball team to a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and Brandon Roy, who last played for the Portland Trail Blazers before retiring due to knee problems.
The Timberwolves have also revamped their point guard spot with the addition of Kirilenko’s Olympic teammate, Alexey Shved, who showed positive signs during the recent Games especially in the bronze medal game.
Minnesota’s David Kahn, the current President of Basketball Operations for the Timberwolves strengthened the team’s front court to support Timberwolves captain Kevin Love and rising talent Nikola Pekovic with shot blocker Greg Stiemsma from the Boston Celtics and the athletic Dante Cunningham from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Most recently the Timberwolves have added another big man into the mix with the addition of forward Lou Amundson, who some of us might remember as that one hardworking basketball player from the Phoenix Suns who rides his bike to every home game. Unfortunately, with the Minnesota weather, the environmental friendly Amundson might not be able to do that. If he does, I applaud you sir.
Ever since being traded away by the Suns to and after having a good run alongside point guard Steve Nash as one of the factors for the Suns making it all the way to the 2010 Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Amundson has slowly disappeared from the hearts of many NBA fans. In Golden State Amundson wasn’t a perfect fit for a fast paced offensive team with a scoring point guard most of all. Going to Indiana to play with the Pacers seemed perfect for Amundson, even in my opinion, joining a young club that at the time lacked tenacity or in Greg Popovich’s words, “some nasty!” Amundson was that kind of player for any team he would play for and now with the Timberwolves he has found his home.
Like Kevin Love in the paint, Amundson has a thing for getting rebounds despite being not as athletic as other forwards in the NBA. Off the bench in Phoenix and playing only about 14 minutes per game, Amundson would average 4.4 rebounds per game and 4.7 points as well. With Stiemsma most likely being the back-up center, Amundson looks poised to be the back up to All-Star forward Kevin Love. In my opinion, I’m liking this a lot. Even though I would have preferred the Timberwolves to try and pick up forward Kenyon Martin, Amundson now looks like a better pick mainly because of his age and his health. Although he won’t bring as much screaming or energy that Martin could bring, Amundson relies on his work ethic to speak for itself.
Last season with the Indiana Pacers, Amundson averaged 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game through 12.6 minutes per game. In 2007, Amundson was awarded the NBA D-League Rookie of the Year.