Sean Marks has his work cut out for him this summer. Through my “Nets Free Agency” series, I have looked at free agency options for the Nets, on a team by team basis. There are 11 teams left: the Timberwolves, and then a look at the Southwest and Pacific Divisions.
With that, here is a look at the Timberwolves and their free agents (of which they have very few):
Damjan Rudez: Rudez is in his second year, but is 29 years old – reminiscent of Mirza Teletovic in that he came to the NBA late. However, he has only played just over one season’s worth of NBA games. Rudez is not the prototypical piece the Nets need to bring in – they need stars, established rotation talent, and speculative youth, and he is none of those things. However, in a limited sample, he has shown he can shoot the basketball, and you can never have too much shooting. He is clearly not a core piece in Minnesota, and could be available this summer to take a look at on a small deal. The Wolves have a $1.2 million team option to keep Rudez. On one hand, that is a tiny sum to keep him. On the other, teams in recent years despite the cap jump have shown that once they decide you are not a part of the future, they are no longer willing to invest in you, even a little bit.
Tayshaun Prince: Prince offers nothing but veteran leadership at this point in his career. He is a piece the Nets can gloss over this summer . . . unless he is only on board to be a teacher. In that regard, if you think about how Prince was used in his prime, and how the Nets want to use Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, you can see the value of having a piece like Prince around.
Nothing here makes sense for the Nets. A Thaddeus Young-Ricky Rubio swap can be made to work financially, but the Wolves have Towns and Dieng up front going forward and Rubio is their only point guard – why does Minnesota do that? As for a Lopez-Rubio swap, if your issue with Lopez is the win-loss record, all Rubio has done in his career, even with Kevin Love, is lose, and he cannot shot. Aside from that, the Nets do not have the future assets to acquire middling assets like Shabazz Muhammad (unless Minnesota is willing to take a way into the future second rounder, which, why would they?), the Wolves bigtime young assets (like Towns and Wiggins) are not going anywhere, and their veterans aside from Rubio have next to no value.