"I’m not as down on Rose as I was last season, but I think there are a lot of legitimate questions when it comes to his fit with the team, both short and long term. You have to ask whether there’s anything being lost in terms of opportunity cost, as they rely heavily on an injury prone, shell of a former MVP who literally went AWOL on his previous team at the expense of young, talented, and still developing players."
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We release three Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs a week, one on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), one on Wednesday (Minnesota Wild related), and one on Friday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
For this weeks Timberwolves edition, life coach and Rambling On Wolves analyst Beartrap McManus discusses the latest insane Jimmy Butler talk, debates the worth of the decently playing Derrick Rose, touches on the teams play so far, and has some words on the young, up-and-coming Josh Okogie.
Thanks for reading!
If it is true that the Houston Rockets are offering the Timberwolves a deal including four first-round draft picks for Jimmy Butler, on a scale from 1-10 how dumb are the Wolves for not taking it right now?
A nine, probably. The only thing keeping it from being a ten is not knowing what else would be out there. Thibs would probably hate it because of his win-now approach and lack of patience/ability to develop players.
It's pretty ideal though. The Wolves are going need cheap talent to surround Wiggins and Towns' contracts.
The Wolves are 2-3, and each of their losses were relatively close games. What are your thoughts on how the team has played overall so far? How much of a difference does Butler make?
They’re playing about where you’d expect them to based on last year’s performance and that the roster has mostly stayed the same. The starters are still quite good and can compete with anyone. The bench and roster as a whole still have the same weaknesses as last year.
Butler is still their best player on both ends and what he brings won’t be easily replaceable when he’s traded.
Were you okay with Butler taking off the Dallas game? He didn’t even take the trip with the team...
I’m fine with it. He’ll need to be healthy to maximize trade value and he’s at the age where NBA players often begin their physical decline (which is another reason I’m ultimately fine with him moving on).
Is Josh Okogie’s fresh presence and good play trend or mirage?
Impossible to say with such a small sample size, but it’s all been in line with the type of player he’d shown himself to be at Georgia Tech and in summer league.
His defensive ability and effort are super refreshing, as that’s something the Wolves have always lacked historically, not just in their current incarnation. There was a moment in the Pacers game where he got matched up with Myles Turner in transition and successfully fronted him to prevent an entry pass that was particularly impressive and demonstrated his versatility and ability to put his massive wingspan to good use . His offense still leaves a lot to be desired, but I think he’s earned a spot in the rotation even once Wiggins is back with his play so far.
Derrick Rose is a contentious topic among Wolves fans. His numbers have been pretty good this year, but the rap on him is still pretty negative. What are your thoughts on Rose? Many say it’s bad that he’s taking minutes away from Tyus Jones. Your guy, esteemed Star Tribune columnist Patrick Ruesse, says that Jones isn’t that good and that we overrate him because he’s one of us. Buy or sell?
Hoops has never been Reusse’s strong suit, and when you combine that with a need to generate hot takes for attention, you get analysis like that.
Tyus Jones is a good NBA player. He’s a good team defender, given his size, and is excellent at pushing the pace and facilitating ball movement. He also plays within himself very well. His stint with the starters while Teague was out last season was some of the best basketball the Wolves have played in a while.
Rose is a better player than Tyus when it comes to creating his own shot and scoring. It’s been nice to see him play well but his good play as of late, and those advantages he has over Jones, are enough to account for their disparity in playing time. Much of what Rose brings is redundant and his injuries have left him physically incapable of playing as he once did. A lot of the time it seems he hasn’t adjusted his game to fit that reality, but his effort has at least been impressive so far. He’s also not a good three-point shooter or defender, so he exacerbates their issues there.
I’m not as down on Rose as I was last season but I think there are a lot of legitimate questions when it comes to his fit with the team, both short and long term. You have to ask whether there’s anything being lost in terms of opportunity cost, as they rely heavily on an injury prone, shell of a former MVP who literally went AWOL on his previous team at the expense of young, talented, and still developing players.
There’s a reason why no other teams were willing to give Rose a minimum contract, and there’s a reason why most guys on those contracts languish at the end of benches until an emergency or garbage time. I’m not sure Jones-Rose would even be a debate on any other team or with any other coach. I’m not sure any other team would even sign Rose, much less make him an important part of their rotation.
Beartrap McManus is an NBA and Timberwolves expert. He has been a life coach for Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland since before time, a consultant for Rambling On since its founding, and Timberwolves analyst beginning in Series Five. He resides with his wife and twelve kids in Hurley, Wisconsin, where his wife owns a popular supper club.