Timberwolves are endangering themselves

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Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#1 » by rand » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:19 am

Minnesota has had the worst record in the league for virtually the entire season, and they still have it but they've won 6 of their last 15 games which well outpaces all of the other bottom-6 teams over this span. This is not random either, they've been trying to win games.

The Wolves lose their FRP to the Warriors if it's not top-3, and all of the bottom-3 have the same odds of drawing a top-3 pick: 40.17%. The 4th worst record has a 36.62% chance of drawing a top-3 pick, the 5th worst a 31.60%, the 6th worst a 27.61% chance. Proportionately speaking, Minnesota has a one-third better chance of keeping their pick if they have a bottom-3 record vs 6th.

Here's each bottom-6 team by the inverse order of wins they would have if they keep their last-15 game W/L pct ROS. Every team has between 21 and 23 games remaining:

Houston 15.9 wins (.133 ROS)*
Minnesota 21.4 wins (.400 ROS)
Washington 21.6 wins (.200 ROS)
Detroit 22.0 wins (.333 ROS)
Orlando 22.9 wins (.267 ROS)
Cleveland 23.8 wins (.267 ROS)

Now, these ROS win projections are going to be at least a little off, and that's scary for Minnesota because they only need to be a little off in the wrong direction for them to slide beyond 4th worst. There's reason to believe they will be off in the wrong direction, since some of the others are clearly tanking while Minnesota is clearly competing.

Why did they fire their incompetent coach and replace him with a competent one when they should be trying to lose games? Why is Towns playing every game including B2Bs? Why is Rubio still playing the 29 mpg he's gotten the last 15? It's too late to showcase him for trading. I wouldn't shut down any of the good players if they didn't want to be shut down, but there would be a lot of rest games, especially against teams with losing records.

What are the Wolves thinking? There is not enough talent on this team to be a contender even if Edwards develops favorably, but there's more than enough to keep them well out of the bottom-6 next season. They're going to be getting one pick in the first round for the next two seasons combined and it's either going to be a top-3 pick this season or perhaps a late-lotto pick next season. The stakes are potentially franchise-altering. Are they thinking about culture and development and stuff like that? Because I agree those things are real and have value but I think the stakes are too high right now for those considerations. If Edwards does develop into an all-star, this is an opportunity to create a three star nucleus and position the franchise to not just be a playoff team but a championship contender. When the stakes are that high you do everything in your power to give yourself every percent chance possible. Not aiming for a bottom-3 record is a colossal mistake.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#2 » by FinnTheHuman » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:30 am

You are correct, but somehow we will manage to lose enough, we always do. Still, 40% is not the greatest odds anyway.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#3 » by rand » Wed Apr 7, 2021 10:36 am

FinnTheHuman wrote:You are correct, but somehow we will manage to lose enough, we always do. Still, 40% is not the greatest odds anyway.

That's true but when we're talking about hitting the jackpot vs just a consolation prize, I want every percent.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#4 » by God Squad » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:27 am

Meh, they've proven to burn through high lottery picks like they're nothing. Pretty much hoping any prospect I like doesn't end up there.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#5 » by slos » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:44 am

Minny and Houston are locks to bottom 3 and try to keep their picks. They don’t need to lose every game to make it happen. Detroit, Orlano, Washington and Cleveland are all trying to win too. If they get too close, I’m pretty sure they will just sit KAT.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#6 » by Leslie Forman » Wed Apr 7, 2021 11:48 am

They're playing 4D chess to get Chet Holmgren next year.

Or they just don't care anymore. It's probably that one.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#7 » by lars_rosenberg » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:23 pm

As a Warrior fan I'd prefer to get the 4th or 5th pick in the next draft, that has 5 top prospects rather than wait another year, even if it turns out to be a better pick, because we need immediate help for our aging core.
Wiseman is already far from being a positive impact player, we cannot afford another long term project.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#8 » by OrangeBlueSkies » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:39 pm

rand wrote:Minnesota has had the worst record in the league for virtually the entire season, and they still have it but they've won 6 of their last 15 games which well outpaces all of the other bottom-6 teams over this span. This is not random either, they've been trying to win games.

The Wolves lose their FRP to the Warriors if it's not top-3, and all of the bottom-3 have the same odds of drawing a top-3 pick: 40.17%. The 4th worst record has a 36.62% chance of drawing a bottom-3 pick, the 5th worst a 31.60%, the 6th worst a 27.61% chance. Proportionately speaking, Minnesota has a one-third better chance of keeping their pick if they have a bottom-3 record vs 6th.

Here's each bottom-6 team by the inverse order of wins they would have if they keep their last-15 game W/L pct ROS. Every team has between 21 and 23 games remaining:

Houston 15.9 wins (.133 ROS)*
Minnesota 21.4 wins (.400 ROS)
Washington 21.6 wins (.200 ROS)
Detroit 22.0 wins (.333 ROS)
Orlando 22.9 wins (.267 ROS)
Cleveland 23.8 wins (.267 ROS)

Now, these ROS win projections are going to be at least a little off, and that's scary for Minnesota because they only need to be a little off in the wrong direction for them to slide beyond 4th worst. There's reason to believe they will be off in the wrong direction, since some of the others are clearly trying to tank while Minnesota is clearly competing.

Why did they fire their incompetent coach and replace him with a competent one when they should be trying to lose games? Why is Towns playing every game including B2Bs? Why is Rubio still playing the 29 mpg he's gotten the last 15? It's too late to showcase him for trading. I wouldn't shut down any of the good players if they didn't want to be shut down, but there would be a lot of rest games, especially against teams with losing records.

What are the Wolves thinking? There is not enough talent on this team to be a contender even if Edwards develops favorably, but there's more than enough to keep them well out of the bottom-6 next season. They're going to be getting one pick in the first round for the next two seasons combined and it's either going to be a top-3 pick this season or perhaps a late-lotto pick next season. The stakes are potentially franchise-altering. Are they thinking about culture and development and stuff like that? Because I agree those things are real and have value but I think the stakes are too high right now for those considerations. If Edwards does develop into an all-star, this is an opportunity to create a three star nucleus and position the franchise to not just be a playoff team but a championship contender. When the stakes are that high you do everything in your power to give yourself every percent chance possible. Not aiming for a bottom-3 record is a colossal mistake.



Listen man, you’re a visionary...
No in all honesty, if you don’t look at it the way this poster does, you are dead on wrong.

Save me the “Need to keep KAT happy”, “need to establish winning culture” mumbo jumbo.

You’re going to lose your first rounder this year, not make the playoffs, and KAT will be even more unhappy.

Shut KAT down, let Russell ease his way back in, take every loss you can.


However OP, I do think the D’Angelo Russell contract will hinder them in a quest to build a true contender around Towns.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#9 » by thinktank » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:48 pm

Except Rosas can monitor the situation and sit guys whenever he wants.

We’re finishing with a bottom three record.

Watch.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#10 » by AbeVigodaLive » Wed Apr 7, 2021 12:53 pm

1. The Wolves have a 4.5 game "lead" with only 21 games to play. That's A LOT of wins considering these are the worst teams.

2. 40% chance to keep the pick at best... obviously better than 36% for the 4th worst record or 31% for the 5th worst record. But it's likely they're not keeping it either way.

3. Nobody tanks better than the Timberwolves. Check this out...

2010: Finished 1 - 23.
2011: Finished 0 - 15.
2012: Finished 1 - 13
2015: Finished 0 - 12
2017: Finished 0 - 6
2020: Finished 4 - 23
Total: Finished 6 wins - 92 losses

When the Wolves want to lose games at the end of seasons for more lottery balls... nobody does it better. It's literally the only thing they're good at.

4. The Timbewolves have tried to lose more than they've tried to win over the past 32 years. And it hasn't worked. Eventually, they have to make winning a priority, even if there's a downside. More importantly, they've had D. Russell + Towns for 13 months... they've only played 6 games together (3 - 3). The team has no future until they know if they can play together, even if that's only 10 or 12 games now before they tank at the end to ensure they finish in the bottom 3. They have to TRY to win at some point... at least for a little while.

Want some irony?

The team's first coach, Bill Musselman, was fired for WINNING TOO MUCH! And it cost him his job 30+ years ago. I think he cursed the team on his way out.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#11 » by jamaalstar21 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:03 pm

I don't think you realize which franchise you're talking about. We built different. We can have the worst record in the league AND have lose our pick by falling to 4th. Stop acting like we can't have both!

In all seriousness though, I don't see Russell improving our winning. His minutes come at the expense of Rubio's, our only competent perimeter defender this season and our best passer/decision-maker. Russell is our last-minute tank commander. Ideally, he comes in and puts up huge numbers while leading us on a nice little losing streak while Rubio bemoans our culture on the bench and gives KAT someone to vent to.

I'm sure the front office is well aware of the lottery odds. We still have 21 games left in the season. Rubio led us to a little 6-9 record and I honestly enjoyed a little break from the depression. There is nothing the franchise can do to guarantee we lose more games than Houston, Detroit or Orlando. Those teams have completely emptied the cupboard and were not in the best position to do that. We just have to hope for the worst (best?). Jaden McDaniels has been a big part of the winning streak, should we shut down a rookie making gains?

The Wolves are likely to lose their pick. They will try to lose the tank wars and I'm sure you'll see some strategic sitting of KAT and Rubio down the stretch. There is only so bad you can be though. You can sit everybody and still win a game (especially if the other team does, we have 1 game left against each of the other 3 worst teams). It will be pretty hard to out tank Houston, but they've got a really easy schedule so here's hoping Olynyk and Wood go OFF. Cleveland is going to sneak into this conversation with the hardest schedule in the league. Detroit's it tough too. Orlando is similar to us.

We're at a strategic disadvantage in the tank wars, because we actually hoped to be good this year. Houston and Orlando have sold off all their parts (Orlando's remaining pieces are out for the season), Detroit sold off all their vets. We weren't trading KAT this year, and Russell has negative value right now. Our best sneaky tank move was having no rotation level forwards, but McDaniels is RUINING that!
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#12 » by The_Hater » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:12 pm

An argument could be made that the Wolves are better off giving up a non top 3 protected pick this year instead of an unprotected pick next year. Maybe they’re better next season, maybe not, and at least they don’t have it hanging over their head for another full season.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#13 » by Quentin » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:13 pm

The teams we're competing with who have less than 20 wins all play each other more than the Wolves play them. So they will be racking up guaranteed wins. I also believe finishing with the 4th worst record is close enough to finishing in the bottom 3. Wolves will have a good chance of getting a top 3 pick.

However, Rosas is a complete idiot for not protecting this pick in the top 5, let alone giving it to them in the first place. What a moron.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#14 » by jamaalstar21 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:16 pm

Leslie Forman wrote:They're playing 4D chess to get Chet Holmgren next year.

Or they just don't care anymore. It's probably that one.


At least one franchise has to permanently give up. We can't all be doing the same thing: "trying". When everyone zigs, someone must zag.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#15 » by jamaalstar21 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:23 pm

Quentin wrote:The teams we're competing with who have less than 20 wins all play each other more than the Wolves play them. So they will be racking up guaranteed wins. I also believe finishing with the 4th worst record is close enough to finishing in the bottom 3. Wolves will have a good chance of getting a top 3 pick.

However, Rosas is a complete idiot for not protecting this pick in the top 5, let alone giving it to them in the first place. What a moron.


The optimism around Rosas has to dance around the fact that his marquee move thus far is this awful, awful joke of a trade. 2 bad players got traded for eachother, but 1 GM got persuaded to attach an extremely valuable 1st rounder, and protect it way less than is considered standard at this point. Near guaranteed contenders still put top 5 and top 10 protection on their traded picks. We stood a very good chance of continuing to be bad, and Rosas was like: sure! top 3! why not! what could go wrong?

It's a permanent blemish on his GM resume, even if we keep the pick this year imo.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#16 » by The_Hater » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:35 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:
Leslie Forman wrote:They're playing 4D chess to get Chet Holmgren next year.

Or they just don't care anymore. It's probably that one.


At least one franchise has to permanently give up. We can't all be doing the same thing: "trying". When everyone zigs, someone must zag.


I think OKC already did, SGA, Horford and Bazely are nowhere to be seen. But all those undrafted rookies, 2nd round picks and castoffs don’t seem to be cooperating. They have recently beaten fellow lottery teams Houston, Toronto and Minnesota which is taking them out of the running for the top pick.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#17 » by HeartBreakKid » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:41 pm

It's amazing to me that people on realgm do not realize that most teams do poorly because they can't do any better, not because they're not trying.

There is nothing wrong with the Timberwolves trying to "win games", nor does it even greatly diminish their chances of a great pick. You strongly overrate the Timberwolves ability to win if you think they can just turn it on and start winning.

They don't even have any good players they can reasonably shut down. Their best guys are young and healthy.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#18 » by LordCovington33 » Wed Apr 7, 2021 1:42 pm

There must come a time when winning must be priority. All these top draft picks and nothing really to show for it, and you think another high lottery pick will make you competitive? I hope the pick is given to a team whose primary objective is not to keep tanking to give their fans false hope. Develop the talent you’ve got and teach them that winning matters, or else your only star will eventually demand a trade.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#19 » by AbeVigodaLive » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:06 pm

LordCovington33 wrote:There must come a time when winning must be priority. All these top draft picks and nothing really to show for it, and you think another high lottery pick will make you competitive? I hope the pick is given to a team whose primary objective is not to keep tanking to give their fans false hope. Develop the talent you’ve got and teach them that winning matters, or else your only star will eventually demand a trade.




But how do you expect the Timberwolves to win with only three top 2 draft picks... they need MORE promising, young talent with potential.
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Re: Timberwolves are endangering themselves 

Post#20 » by Mauro Pedrosa » Wed Apr 7, 2021 2:14 pm

Maybe they should cash in on Towns and Russell and start from scratch

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