The NBA free agency season has seen a handful of teams exchanging millions of dollars for the talents of many league stars. The Minnesota Timberwolves, however, have stayed quiet a midst the shopping spree thus far.
According to NBA.com, during the first week plus of the free agency period, the T-Wolves have added zero players and lost zero players from their 2013-2014 roster. Seeing as how the squad finished last season as a perfect example of mediocrity (40-42) in the daunting Western Conference, some moves, however small or large, must be made.
Most of the marquee, significant impact athletes – LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and so forth – have already chosen their new and old teams, respectively. Let’s be honest though — the possibility of either of the aforementioned All-Stars joining the T-Wolves this off-season was about as likely as your high school basketball team gaining the talents of those NBA superstars.
With that said, here are five players remaining in free agency that the Wolves should consider signing.
ANDRAY BLATCHE (Forward, 27 years old, unrestricted free agent)
With the free agent market now looking somewhat like a group of afterthoughts and has-beens, Andray Blatche may be one of the more appealing front-court players remaining. If the T-Wolves do in fact lose Love in a trade this summer, that creates an obvious void in rebounding to the tune of 12.5 boards per game. Without Love, the injury prone Nikola Pekovic and unproven Gorgui Dieng become the best rebounders on the team. The Timberwolves should pursue Blatche in the coming weeks, a player who has only missed nine games the past two seasons and who averaged 16.8 points per game and 8.2 rebounds with the Wizards in 2010-2011.
JORDAN CRAWFORD (Guard, 25 years old, unrestricted free agent)
Another area of concern for the Wolves could be at shooting guard. Unless Alexey Shved can prove to be a solid backup for Kevin Martin, the team should look at another option — perhaps the likes of Jordan Crawford. While the 25-year-old could be one of the pricier options left on the market, Crawford has been a consistent scorer in his young career. After bring acquired by the Warriors last year mid-season, he was stuck behind the Super Splash Brothers duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
GLEN “BIG BABY” DAVIS (Forward/Center, 28 years old, unrestricted free agent)
Was it really only four years ago that Big Baby was helping lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals against the Lakers? While he was rarely called upon to start for the C’s during his four-year tenure there, Glen Davis was one of the key players off of Doc Rivers’ bench during the Boston Big 3 era. Davis was limited to 68 games last year between the Magic and the Clippers, but if he can return to form, the T-Wolves may be wise to look into his services. Big Baby is still on the right side of the 30 year old benchmark, after all. (Editor’s note: Davis re-signed with the Clippers.)
JAMEER NELSON (Guard, 32 years old, unrestricted free agent)
Jameer Nelson was waived by the Magic in late June and is now up for grabs. The all-time Magic assist leader may be looking at his last contract or two in his career, but has still managed to average double digits in points every year since coming out of St. Joseph’s in 2004. The career long Magic player has also averaged over seven assists per game his last two seasons and shoots the three ball at a 37.4 percent career clip. Nelson’s veteran presence could have a positive influence on the still developing Ricky Rubio, a player who is yet to hit shots on a consistent basis.
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS (Guard, 37 years old, unrestricted free agent)
For those Timberwolves fans who long for the days of Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and Wally Szczerbiak during the highly successful years of the early 2000s, Chauncey Billups may be an intriguing option. Billups is likely on his last basketball legs, but was a solid contributor to the 2001-2002 team that finished 50-32 and made the playoffs. Billups was part of the team for two seasons, right in the midst of their eight year stretch of making the postseason and has always had a knack for hitting big shots. A reunion between Saunders and Billups would unlikely lead Minnesota back to the playoffs, but at this point for Wolves fans, why not try it?
Who else should the Timberwolves pursue during the remainder of the off-season? Feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments below.