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Scott M

Souhan's 10 Moves the Wolves should have done in last 13 yrs

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Scott M

KG in Boston reminds us of the moves Wolves missed

by Jim Souhan, Star Tribune

Is this game necessary? Does one of the worst teams in basketball history really need to waste fossil fuel traveling to Boston to face the best team in the NBA, just so Minnesotans can be reminded that New England is the sports Hub of the universe, and that we in Flyover Land give new meaning to the phrase "farm teams"?

Couldn't the Twins, with their downsized payroll, just ship Johan Santana to Boston on the Wolves' charter, and use the savings to buy a used space heater for the new ballpark?

Tonight, the Wolves face Kevin Garnett in a Boston uniform for the first time in a game that counts.

Thirteen years of mismanagement left the Wolves with no choice but to trade Garnett last summer. The beautiful basketball exhibited by the Celtics this season proves again that, with the right people around him, he can be the world's greatest complementary player.

Garnett's ability to play nicely with others is the latest indictment of Wolves management. Twice the Wolves gave Garnett a guard who could make big shots. The first time, Stephon Marbury helped Garnett get to the playoffs and elicited predictions of greatness from Charles Barkley. The second time, Sam Cassell helped Garnett to the Western Conference finals.

With one or two more good moves in the past 13 years, the Wolves could have remained relevant. Here are 10 moves they should have made:

1. Keep Ray Allen: Let's admit that until Stephon Marbury forced his way off the tundra, trading Allen for Marbury in 1996 looked like a good idea. Now we know that Allen is the better and more reliable player, and that Marbury deserves Isiah Thomas.

2. Draft Josh Howard: Duh. With the 26th pick in the 2003 draft, the Wolves selected raw, skinny high schooler Ndudi Ebi instead of the ACC player of the year.

3. Trade for Allen Iverson: The Wolves felt the price was too high, and perhaps felt that Iverson alone wouldn't resurrect the franchise. But the Wolves typically screw up in the draft, so why not trade away your picks for a guy who would fill the arena?

4. Fire Kevin McHale: Self-explanatory, especially since you can't fire the owner.

5. Let Joe Smith leave: Double duh. Smith was never a special player, yet the Wolves lost four first-round draft picks because they signed him to an under-the-table deal. For a five-year stretch, the only player the Wolves took in the first round was Ebi. This is the single most stupid and damaging move Glen Taylor and McHale ever made, and that's saying something.

6. Ignore KG: The Big Ticket was more like The Big Lebowski when it came to personnel ideas. This is the guy who pushed for Joe Smith's and Troy Hudson's long-term deals, and embraced the Mike James signing. Can we blame Garnett for bringing in Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz, too?

7. Keep Billups: A franchise cursed at the position of point guard had a future All-Star in its midst and let him leave, so it could keep Terrell "Iron Man" Brandon.

8. Keep Roy: The general consensus about this draft was that Brandon Roy was a superior player to Randy Foye. The consensus among the Wolves' braintrust was that they were close enough in ability that the team could afford to draft for need, choosing Foye, considered more of a point guard.

Which should remind everyone of the most important rule in sports -- never draft for need. Foye is promising; Roy is an elite player.

9. Keep Cassell, or trade him for better value: Cassell was a pain in the shorts, but Cassell to the Clippers for Marko Jaric and a first-round pick? As Cassell said, "I wouldn't trade Sam Cassell for Marko Jaric.''

10. Make Cassell Wolves' GM: See 9.

***************************************************

Funny stuff, for anyone but a Wolves fan. Just two or three of these suggestions would have the franchise a lot more competitive than the state it is in now.

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ole

It's all history now. What he should be writing about is the 10 moves the T-Dogs need to do NOW to build a successful francise.

Starting with( oh please Lord let it happen)the #1 pick in the draft. Let's not sqaunder this opportunity like we have so many times in the past - KG! Build with fresh young talent. ole

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beer batter

Let's assume the wolves do get one of the top 2 picks this year. Who are they?

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ozzie

Bealsey(sp) out of Kent State!!! He is a beast to bad he isn't 6'11" though!!

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ole

Michael Beasly, 6'10 245 Kansas State! Downside, Freshman teenager. Currently leading NCAA in Rebounds #2 in scoring.

Is he the real deal? Sure looks awesome when you watch him play...

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lookincalifornia

i finally got to see beasly, and i'm still not reall sure. he kinda seems like a thug. he has a real nice stroke from 20'. i kinda thought he was gonna be like a big nasty or marcus fizer. great college players, no real positon to play in the nba. and i went to ISU, so it hurts me to speak of fizer in a bad way. beasly still needs may be athleatic enough to contribute at the next level. heck, i thought durant would get eaten alive, and he aint doin to bad. why not the indian kid, or collins and UCLA. there are some really good point gaurds.

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maros91

I haven't seen the Gordon cat from Indiana play yet but have heard good things about him.

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ozzie

What I liked about Beasley is that he stayed at Kent State even though Huggins left for a different job.....I guess it helped that his former AAU coach is on the Kent State staff but that shows something....maybe...LOL and if he is 6'10" and is only 18-19 I like that even more he might grow another inch or 2.

and lets not talk about Marcus Fizer...at best he would have been the second coming of Corliss Williamson and didn't even do that....he wasn't that tall and didn't have enough game to play enough at the next level.....

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ozzie

Gordon is good but I am not sure as to how dominant he can be at the next level......he definatly has potential but I think he is benefiting from the play of his center right now....White I think is his name.

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Hammer Handle

Let's face it. KG would be here and we would be a contender...extra for #5 above, the Joe Smith screw-up.

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