With so many additions made to the roster this summer, the Minnesota Timberwolves are set to surprise some folks in 2013. Last year, they made one big addition of Andrei Kirilenko to help solidify the small forward position. After just one season in Minnesota, Kirilenko opted out of the final year of his contract and forewent his $10 million on the books.
For that, the Wolves said thank you. $10 million was just too much for a guy that age and it gave the team more room to work with in free agency. Via the NBA Draft, the Wolves grabbed UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad to come in and play on the wing but they weren’t done there.
Minnesota brought back a familiar face in Corey Brewer who started his career with the Wolves. Brewer is a great defender and is formidable on offense. He will definitely fill in the void left on the defensive end by Kirilenko.
The team also went ahead and re-signed small forward Chase Budinger, who played just a few games last year after sitting out the majority of the season due to injury. They like what Budinger brings offensively and the fact that he’s a young, athletic guy that could play either wing position if asked.
With that said, the small forward spot appears pretty wide open. Kevin Martin will likely start at the two guard which leaves Budinger and Brewer to battle it out at the three. Muhammad will probably remain in more of a reserve role right away.
If I’m Minnesota, I would start Brewer because of the defensive mentality he brings. Having Budinger come off the bench would work out perfectly because of his offensive skill set. With some of the starters on the bench, Budinger will be able to get the team some points when called upon. Until the season starts, though, we will have to wait and see what coach Rick Adelman has planned.