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  #16  
Unread 07-14-2017, 04:11 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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Originally Posted by Granite Armadillo View Post
I am pleased and excited to have you aboard! Funnily enough, I came down to Tim Hardaway and Glen Rice as my two options for the No. 3 pick. While I hope to build this team around solid defensive players (a fact which I hope is evident through my moves as this diary continues forward), I also knew from past experience with the game that Minnesota would get quashed without an offensive force to build around. Hardaway better all-around in some respects, because he is solid both offensively and defensively. However, I thought Rice was a better fit at what I wanted with the pick: a player who hopefully can become an All-Star and carry most of the offense.

Anyways, I wanted to pop in and let you know that you should be expecting another entry in the saga of Minnesota Timberwolves basketball tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Free agency was quite the roller coaster this year!
Looking forward to free agency then!! I figured that it was probably the offense that attracted you to Rice; and it makes sense if you are trying to build a defensive team around him with all the offensive teams that are out there. Plus if you have a really rough year and need help on defense....I believe there's a certain defensive player of the year available in the next draft
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  #17  
Unread 07-14-2017, 05:50 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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The 1989 Free Agency Period...

Many familiar faces were on the market as free agency kicked off on July 1st, 1989. Fat Lever, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone were only some of the games superstars who teams were vying for. We knew that the Timberwolves, being an upstart franchise in a small market, were going to have a hard time getting into serious discussions with players. It was important that we try.

So, at the stroke of midnight, my staff and I hit the phones. We cast a wide net, yet were also calculated in what players we called. Agents were not receptive to our overtures; so, we made our offers and continued down our list.

Once a few days passed, Magic Johnson, Chris Mullin, Terry Porter, and Joe Dumars all turned us down. Midway through the process, we cut Pace Mannion in an effort to free up a roster spot. We cast a wider net, and reached out to players like Reggie Theus, Brad Davis, and Jerry Reynolds. Again, no luck. The market would kick us out, as I refused to overpay for guys who I did not think would fit with us long term. Theus ended up signing with the Clippers for four years at $9,537,230 total. Davis stayed in Dallas, signing a four year deal worth $4,099,545. Reynolds left for Cleveland on a four year, $2,2736,214 deal.

I knew we had money to spend, but I also knew that didn’t mean I had to spend it.

Yet I had a mandate from ownership that they wanted us to sign somebody who could help the business department sell tickets. And as free agency continued onward, I was worried I was going to fail them. Short term gains weren’t attractive to me if that meant jeopardizing our long-term future: I wanted to build a contender, after all. Somehow, though, I struck the perfect balance when long-time Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar agreed to sign with us on a one-year deal for $373,672 with a player option for a second year. Despite being 42 years old, and well past his prime, I knew Kareem was precisely the kind of big name who could help sell tickets in Minneapolis. While the second year was not ideal (who wants to be locked in paying what could be a horrible Kareem at 43 years old), I was willing to sacrifice next year’s payroll a little bit in order to satisfy ownership.

Minnesota Acquisitions




Free Agency Summary


By the time the free agency period cooled off, the Boston Celtics were a shell of themselves. Bird, gone to Houston. Parish, gone to Cleveland. And in Los Angeles, the loss of Magic Johnson to the Sixers was going to be devastating. Tons of big names moved, completing shifting the landscape of the NBA. We in Minneapolis just couldn’t play ball in the changing landscape—as an unknown quantity, nobody knew what to expect from us. While my focus was and is to buld through the draft, I was disappointed with our turnout this year; based on our roster, I quietly thought that we were going to stink to high heaven this season. But the boys and I in the front office did what we had to get by. It was time to see just how our creation would fare…

Author's Note

As it is not too clear what Magic, Mullin, Porter, and Dumars signed for, I wanted to provide you with some precise figures. Magic signed for a total of $25,725,000. Mullin signed for a total of $23,581,250. Porter signed for a total of $23,581.250. Dumars signed for a total of $18,375,000.

Also, not shown here is Bill Laimbeer. I mention him because he was the second big name from the Pistons to leave Detroit. He signed with the Clippers for 4 years at a total of $10,8989,224.


NEXT: The 1989 NBA Preseason...
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  #18  
Unread 07-14-2017, 06:10 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Looking forward to free agency then!! I figured that it was probably the offense that attracted you to Rice; and it makes sense if you are trying to build a defensive team around him with all the offensive teams that are out there. Plus if you have a really rough year and need help on defense....I believe there's a certain defensive player of the year available in the next draft
So true, haha. Knowing precisely who is going to be in the next draft class and roughly how good they will be is, actually, one of the weirder pieces of the game. Fortunately for me, I think the Timberwolves have a good chance of getting a Hall of Fame caliber player in the next draft. The team looks like it should be horrid, so I am optimistic about our odds in the Lottery.
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  #19  
Unread 07-16-2017, 10:12 AM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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The 1989 Preseason...

Preseason Signing


Quite frankly, even I wasn’t positive why we signed Joseph Martin just before the start of the season. The 21-year-old rookie out of Florida had just been waived by the Nets, and there was nothing remarkable about him. At six-feet, five-inches, he was a tall point guard, who had the type of quickness and stamina that we liked in our front office. Aside from that, though? He was dreadful. He couldn’t shoot. He couldn’t pass. And he couldn’t play defense. Yet there was something about his size and athleticism. Call it first year arrogance, but I thought we’d be able to turn him into an actual NBA player.

Preseason Results


Heading into the 1989-90 season, the front office and coaching staff did not expect to be good. We knew we’d be a team “fighting” for the first pick in the 1990 Draft. What we wanted, however, was to see some growth out of our young guys.

The preseason was a big kick in the gut.

After a promising first out at home against Houston, the Timberwolves were nearly halfway through the preseason without any major setbacks. Then Glen Rice got hurt with a stress fracture. The diagnosis? He’d be out thirty days. Without Glen, Coach Ide and his staff were going to have a hard time keeping pace offensively during the first half of the season. Who would step up for us? That was the question being asked around the front office after that blowout loss to Seattle.

For some reason, when it rains… it pours. While still out on our three game preseason road trip, during the very next game, Anthony Jones was out for nearly two months. A broken foot was a severe injury. While Jones would likely be back during the regular season, none of us knew what kind of condition he’d be in upon his return.

Our starting small forward and third guard were out to start off the season. The inaugural season of Minnesota basketball felt like it was limping into the regular season. An aging legend was our temporary face of the franchise. A young point guard out of Oral Roberts needed to step up and become a leader. Could the team stay healthy? Would the players we needed to play hard make a leap forward? With our first preseason in the rearview window, I wasn’t optimistic.

Author's Note

Now with our first regular season upon us, I wanted to have some fun and do a little bit of a predictions contest for the regular season. The winner of this contest will get a chance for me to do a “scouting report” for whatever team they want prior to the start of the 1990 season. I know it’s not much, but I wanted to add something for you all. Since I don’t plan on following too closely the happenings of around the NBA, I thought this would be a nice reward.

With that said, time for some preseason predictions:

Total number of Timberwolves wins:
Leading Timberwolves scorer:
Points per game for Timberwolves leading scorer:



NEXT: First Half of the 1989 NBA Season...

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-16-2017 at 10:25 AM.
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  #20  
Unread 07-16-2017, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Granite Armadillo View Post

Total number of Timberwolves wins: 14
Leading Timberwolves scorer: Glen Rice
Points per game for Timberwolves leading scorer: 18ppg



NEXT: First Half of the 1989 NBA Season...
[/indent][/indent]
Joe Martin will break the NBA
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  #21  
Unread 07-17-2017, 11:22 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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Total number of Timberwolves wins: 10
Leading Timberwolves scorer: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Points per game for Timberwolves leading scorer: 19 ppg
Let's just say I'm the leader of the "Tank for Payton" fan club so as few a wins as possible is what I'm hoping for I like the addition of the prediction contest, good idea!
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  #22  
Unread 07-18-2017, 07:58 AM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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I am so pleased to see a couple of predictions! For those of you who are interested in joining the prediction contest, you still have plenty of time! At the moment, I am in the middle of my last week of studying for the Bar Exam; another post won't be up until Monday morning.

Also, as an aside, I am taking suggestions for a "Suck for Luck" style campaign for Gary Payton.
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  #23  
Unread 07-18-2017, 10:15 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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Hmmmm...."Blow for love of the 'Glove"?
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  #24  
Unread 07-23-2017, 10:55 PM
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The First-Half of the 1989 Season...

Preseason Trades

MIAMI GETS: SG Mitch Richmond
GOLDEN STATE GETS: PG Tim Hardaway

Regular Season

Everything that could go wrong, did.






The Minnesota Timberwolves ended the first half of the season five wins against 44 losses. Our crew knew we would stink. Yet, for some reason, reality still stung. I think it had a lot to do with why we stink: we just couldn’t stay healthy. Glen and Jones were already out when the regular season commenced. Within a matter of days, Greenwood and Mike went down. Just as we were about to get another man back, another guy seemed to go on the shelf.

It was a parade of miserable as our overworked training staff struggled to keep our crew on the court.

At least once Rice got on the court, I was able to see part of the vision I had for this team come to life. While he only played 37 games, Glen carried the Wolves during those games: 19.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in a little over 32 minutes a game. He was doing everything my staff hoped he would. His defense, though, left a lot to be desired; our squad was a minus 13.4 when Rice was on the court—the worst of any Timberwolves player.

Kareem struggled to keep up with the high level of play he began the season with, too. By the time the All-Star Break arrived, a man who was arguably the greatest basketball player of all time was a tremendous shell of his former self. While he carried the rebounding load, and occasionally flashed brilliance on offense, it was clear the future Hall of Famer was not the man he once was. Since he had the option to lock us in for another year, I was not too thrilled with this.

So, in an effort to rid myself of what I thought was my first major mistake on the job, I sent Kareem packing on the day before the All-Star Break. It took a lot to get the deal done, but at least we were able to free ourselves of this horrid deal.

Regular Season Trades

MINNESOTA GETS: PF Orlando Woolridge



L.A. LAKERS GETS: C Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, PG Joseph Martin, and 1990 Dallas Second Round Pick

The Lakers agreed to waive Martin right away (and we ended up reclaiming him), so in reality the deal was Kareem and a second rounder for the much younger player on the one-year deal. While we had to give up a second rounder to shed ourselves of Kareem, I thought we got the better player in the deal. If Orlando turned into a solid role player—which I had a suspicion he might—then we would be in a perfect spot to resign him during the offseason.

Plus, if anything, adding Woolridge might just be the kick in the pants the guys need to get their heads out of their asses and begin to play basketball. Our unit was a sieve defensively, and nobody on the roster played consistently. Maybe this random also ran from Los Angeles might just be the force we need to have a strong finish to an abysmal season…

WASHINGTON GETS: C Danny Schayes
DENVER GETS: SF Bernard King

SACRAMENTO GETS: SG B.J. Armstrong
UTAH GETS: SF Vinny Del Negro

Author's Note

It should be noted that normally I would have a screenshot of the players I traded away post-trade. In this instance, I forgot to take a screenshot. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at the time of the trade, was rated as a yellow with his potential in the yellow. He had significantly declined.

NEXT: Second Half of the 1989 NBA Season...

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-23-2017 at 11:09 PM.
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  #25  
Unread 07-23-2017, 11:30 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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Wow that is a harsh start to the season......let's get Glove!!
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  #26  
Unread 07-24-2017, 10:55 AM
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Jeez, I thought you would be bad this year but not that bad Hopefully you'll get the number 1 pick. In my 80s Bulls games, Wooldridge was insane for me. I tried tanking for MJ but he was averaging close to 40 ppg and wouldn't let me lmao
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  #27  
Unread 07-24-2017, 04:28 PM
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Good lord, I didn't think that Cap would allow this team to tank, but sheesh, Payton is truly your best option going forward, you should shut down your best players for the second half.
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  #28  
Unread 07-24-2017, 05:55 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg01 View Post
Wow that is a harsh start to the season......let's get Glove!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by daulten6 View Post
Jeez, I thought you would be bad this year but not that bad Hopefully you'll get the number 1 pick. In my 80s Bulls games, Wooldridge was insane for me. I tried tanking for MJ but he was averaging close to 40 ppg and wouldn't let me lmao
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smasher1311 View Post
Good lord, I didn't think that Cap would allow this team to tank, but sheesh, Payton is truly your best option going forward, you should shut down your best players for the second half.
Yeah, the injury bug destroyed the T-Wolves. I definitely shifted my focus on the second half of the season on scouting the players on my roster, and tanking. Gary Payton is the prize, and I am going to do everything I can to try and snag him.

As for Orlando, he did prove to be an impressive player. I won't spoil anything, but he definitely was a bright spot for us (it helped that he managed to stay healthy).
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  #29  
Unread 07-24-2017, 06:15 PM
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The Second-Half of the 1989 Season...




We always knew this first season was going to be rough. Heading into the All-Star Break at 5-44, the roster riddled with injuries, I just hoped our guys would use the second half of the season to showcase why we should keep them around. The Timberwolves did not fare much better after the All-Star Break. But we did see signs of progress—winning three of our last eight.

Orlando Woolridge was a revelation, though. From day one, Woolridge showed he could carry the load offensively when called upon. After Glen went down for a month, Orlando shined even more as the primary scorer—carrying the team throughout the second half of the season. This was a pleasant surprise, but I was disappointed that Haywoode wasn’t asserting himself. So I told him so, demanding that he push himself while Glen was out injured.

Glen Rice proved to be the star of the Timberwolves, but his rookie season was not without its issues. He only suited up in 55 games, yet in those games he averaged 19.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and shot 44.6 percent from the field and 46.1 percent from beyond the arc. Despite his limited action, the man who came to be known as G Money led Minnesota in points per game and rebounds per game.

Haywoode Workman, our other first round selection, was one of the only players from our squad to play all 82 games. He averaged 6.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, led the team with 4.7 assists, and shot 40.0 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc. He showed flashes of tremendous potential, and I had high hopes for Haywoode as a fixture of our roster. In light of the fact that Gary Payton, the consensus number one pick in the upcoming draft, happened to play the same position could put a fork in that plan—a concern I welcomed.

NBA Regular Season Awards





Playoff Preview

Karl Malone and the Phoenix Suns were dominate in the regular season. Malone averaged 30.8 points and 9.4 rebounds, leading a roster which averaged the third most points per game in the NBA: 113.99. The Suns were only rivaled by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls—who were on a bloodlust after failing to claim the title last season. Jordan averaged a league high 36.95 points per game, while the Bulls’ stingy defense yielded only 96.26 points a game. A Bulls-Suns Finals seemed evident at this point; though, the 76ers won’t go down without a fight.

NEXT: 1989 NBA Playoffs...
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  #30  
Unread 07-24-2017, 08:21 PM
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The Magic gave you a run for your money, thankfully you were able to out-tank them.

Jordan was a damn monster - nearly 40 points per game? Good lord.
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