5 Ways To Fix the Minnesota Timberwolves this Offseason

5 Ways To Fix Minnesota Timberwolves This Offseason

5 Ways To Fix Minnesota Timberwolves This Offseason
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are at a crossroads; they must decide to either trade superstar Kevin Love this offseason and begin rebuilding or let him play out the last year of his contract and hope he either stays past 2015 or does a sign-and-trade deal after next season. For the purpose of this article, however, I assume the Timberwolves will keep Love, as they have indicated, and attempt to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

5. Hire Vinny Del Negro

Hire Vinny Del Negro
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

5. Hire Vinny Del Negro

Hire Vinny Del Negro
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Vinny Del Negro has been a successful NBA coach during his short five-year career, yet he found himself out of a job this past season after leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 56-26 mark in 2013. He's been to the playoffs four of his five years as a head coach and should bring immediate success to the Timberwolves if Love is still in town.

4. Acquire Backup PG

Acquire Back-up Point Guard
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4. Acquire Backup PG

Acquire Back-up Point Guard
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio has failed to live up to the hype surrounding him prior to the 2009 NBA Draft, but he's far from a finished product and may need some competition for the starting point guard spot. The Wolves need to rid themselves of J.J. Barea this offseason and should then target a senior point guard like Russ Smith or Shabazz Napier in the second-round of the upcoming draft.

3. Trade Nikola Pekovic

Trade Nikola Pekovic
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

3. Trade Nikola Pekovic

Trade Nikola Pekovic
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves were smart to lock up Nikola Pekovic to a five-year, $ 60 million contract during the 2013 offseason, but with the late-season emergence of rookie Gorgui Dieng the Wolves would be smart to deal Pekovic and his contract. It's not that he's expensive, and at just over $ 12 million per year he's a player many teams should be interested in. But his exit means more minutes for the high upside and defensive-minded Dieng.

2. Sign Lance Stephenson

Sign Lance Stephenson
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Sign Lance Stephenson

Sign Lance Stephenson
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Although not the most popular player in the league, Lance Stephenson has exactly what the Wolves are lacking -- heart. Stephenson always plays his hardest when on the court, and as a menace on the defensive side of the ball he would be a perfect two-guard alongside Rubio. Stephenson would also give this team extra effort late in games, which was the Achilles heel of the Wolves this past season.

1. Draft Kevin Love's Replacement

Draft Kevin Love's Replacement
Getty Images

1. Draft Kevin Love's Replacement

Draft Kevin Love's Replacement
Getty Images

If the team wants to win now they will keep Love in uniform for at least one more year, but that doesn't mean they should ignore the power forward position in the looming draft. There are a few top notch prospects set to be taken early, but one player who provides high upside with a versatile style of play is Croatian point-forward Dario Saric. Saric should be there when the Wolves draft at No. 13, and he could even play overseas one more year.

Nick Baker is a contributing writer for Rant Sports and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

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