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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2009-10-18


Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2009-10-18


Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2009-10-18ANALYZING STARTERS:

F Ryan Gomes is a valuable reserve on a playoff team, but a starter on this one who can play both small and power forward positions. He'll need to assert himself on the perimeter with his shooting on a team that lacks outside threats.

F Kevin Love led all rookies last season in double-doubles with 29, breaking the Wolves' rookie record set long ago by Christian Laettner. A freakish rebounder and outlet passer, Love has shown signs in preseason play that he will expand his outside game this season, possibly as far as the three-point line.

C Al Jefferson is a sure-bet All Star if his team ever gets beyond lousy. Last season, he was a 23.1 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game guy who missed the final 32 games after he tore his anterior-cruciate knee ligament. He appears to have recovered fully except for his conditioning, despite losing 31 pounds since last season.

G Jonny Flynn entered the preseason considered by new boss David Kahn and new coach Kurt Rambis as the starter, probably because of both his promise and the investment in him with the sixth pick in a draft when the Wolves selected Ricky Rubio fifth overall. They won't, however, see Rubio for at least the next two years. Al Jefferson mentioned Flynn in the same sentence with Chris Paul when camp opened, but the 20-year-old still has a lot of learning to do with Ramon Sessions waiting behind him.

G Corey Brewer, like Al Jefferson, is coming back from season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL. Long, too lean and very active, he will be the team's defensive stopper, if he can shoot just well enough from the outside to keep him on the floor. Brewer should be well-suited to the new up-tempo game coach Kurt Rambis wants his team to play.

ANALYZING KEY RESERVES:

G Ramon Sessions, signed to a four-year, $16 million free-agent deal in September, is more prepared to play now than rookie Jonny Flynn because he already has played 96 NBA games, scored 44 points in one game and had 24 assists in another. Even so, Sessions started the preseason off the bench and probably will stay there unless Flynn clearly proves himself unworthy, simply because the Wolves drafted Flynn sixth overall and appear firmly committed to developing him.

C Ryan Hollins is supposed to be the athletic complement to the frontcourt tandem of Love and Jefferson that David Kahn once called "earthbound." A restricted free agent signed from Dallas for a three-year, $7 million deal, he can run, jump and block some shots, but entering his fourth season nobody still is certain if he knows how to play the game.

G Sasha Pavlovic is a September free-agent signee acquired to fill the team's most glaring need, perimeter shooting. Three seasons ago, he was a starter in the NBA Finals. Now, at age 25, he's on a one-year, $1.5 million deal trying to prove he still belongs in the league.

G/F Damien Wilkins was acquired from Oklahoma City last summer in a trade strictly for salary-cap purposes, but the six-year veteran provides a locker-room presence this young team needs and just might be steady enough to earn more playing time than you'd think. He's finally is in Minnesota on the final year of a five-year contract he signed with the Wolves in 2005, but that Seattle matched.

F Oleksiy Pecherov is a 7-foot mystery who will get a one-year audition to see if his rare combination of size and shooting will keep him in the league after two seasons in which he played little for Washington.

F Brian Cardinal is mostly valued for his expiring $6.75 million contract, but can give the Wolves size and smarts in limited minutes.

G Wayne Ellington is perhaps the team's best pure three-point shooter, but he's also a rookie who likely won't play much early in the season.

MEDICAL WATCH:

F Kevin Love (broken left hand) was injured Oct. 16 and will be out until late November.

Both Al Jefferson and Corey Brewer have returned healthy for all of training camp and preseason season after recovering from season-ending injuries that required each to have his torn anterior-cruciate knee ligament surgically repaired.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 18, 2009

 

 
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