Wolves Loading Up With Impactful Veterans


The Wolves are raw, a young team still looking for its identity on and off the basketball court. With so many young players, it can be hard for teams to realize this identity.

Therefore, the Wolves front office has been proactive in signing seasoned veterans to help the young guys find their identity. It’s also possible that with Flip Saunders’ recent Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis the veterans play a bigger role than some may realize. We don’t know this, but it’s conceivable that Saunders may be off-and-on the Wolves bench during the season. These veterans could be a steady stream of leadership in the coming year.

We start with obvious heart of the team in Kevin Garnett. The Big Ticket is no doubt past the point where he can make a serious difference on the court and while he’s capable of playing 20-25 minutes per game, he won’t put up numbers like he did in 2004.

The true importance of Garnett lies in what he does beyond the stat book. Garnett is the definition of a leader, and he has held that title since his first go-around in Minnesota. Garnett’s pure intensity and love for the game should be something these young players can look up to. There is no better player to learn under than Kevin Garnett. He can teach them things on the court, but he can also teach these young guys how to behave off the court.

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The beauty of Garnett is his drive to win basketball games, and that “Garnett mentality” will no doubt rub off on the moldable minds of the young players.

The Wolves have also recently brought in veteran guard Andre Miller, who seemingly he has played for all 30 NBA teams. In reality he has only played for eight, but I think that “journeyman” status may suit Miller well in Minnesota.

When you think about it, playing for eight different teams, many different coaches, and eight different rosters, Miller has seen it all. Every sour situation, every sweet situation, and he knows how to react in those moments.

Miller has never been the greatest player on the floor in terms of statistics, but he is crafty, he plays a perfect “old man” game so to speak. Miller’s importance lies in his ability to react to different situations that go on with the Wolves this season. Chances are whatever happens, good or bad this season, Andre Miller has seen it, and he will know exactly what to do.

Finally, the recent signing of Tayshaun Prince adds another element of leadership to the Wolves. Prince has been on winning teams (2004 Pistons) and losing teams (2012 Pistons), but the thing about Prince is he always seems unfazed. He always has the same reaction on his face at all times, whether his team is winning or losing.

Today’s NBA is riddled with players who complain about every bad call or anything that goes against their team. Young players are so impressionable to things like that, and they in turn will start to complain about everything, rather than play the game. Tayshaun Prince doesn’t complain — he just plays, and that is something that the raw Wolves need to see.

You can say whatever you’d like about what kind of impact these veterans will make in the stat book. One thing is for sure however, they will without a doubt influence the new Timberwolves beyond wins and losses.

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