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  #1  
Unread 06-27-2017, 04:26 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Default Minnesota Timberwolves: An Origin Story


INTRODUCTION
April 22, 1987. NBA Commissioner David Stern announces the inclusion of four—yes, four—new National Basketball Association franchises: Miami, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Minneapolis, Minn. The main story of that day as not the addition of a Minnesota-based franchise, or the arrival of the NBA to North Carolina. Instead, the focus was on the league's decision to grant not one, but two franchises to the state of Florida. For Minnesota, this would be the first time professional basketball would take place in the Land of a Thousand Lakes sense the Lakers left with future Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor to Los Angeles.

Owners Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson were optimistic of their bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Wolves squad... despite nobody being on the payroll quite yet. A lot of groundwork needed to be laid between 1987 and the kickoff to the 1989 season—the team’s first in the league. The Target center, the $104 million dollar arena which would house the Timberwolves beginning in 1990, needed to be built. A general manager needed to be hired. A coaching staff needed to be formed. And, perhaps most importantly, a roster needed to be filled. Thankfully, they had time. Because on April 22, 1987, as champagne bottles popped in celebration for the return of pro ball to Minnesota, all of that seemed inconsequential. To Ratner and Wolfenson, there was no doubt success would be in their, and their franchises, future.


WRITER'S NOTE
Welcome to the introduction to my Minnesota Timberwolves Fast Break Pro Basketball diary. This is my second diary for this game, and my third or fourth attempt on these forums. I particularly love doing diaries for this game, though, and am excited to get the ball rolling. Before I get any further, I wanted to give a shot out to two of the previous dynasty writers who have inspired the format of this dynasty: michgcs's "Sacramento Kings: One Goal" and trypio's "Minnesota Timberwolves: Rewriting history." If you have not yet given either of those dynasty's a read, I highly recommend it. |

For the purposes of this diary, I will begin my game during the 1988 season. We will join in, though, just before the 1989 season. This means we will get to start the Timberwolves from scratch with the 1989 Expansion Draft and the 1989 Rookie Draft. My in-game play will be slightly ahead of my posts here, but I do encourage feedback for any roster moves you could find beneficial as well as any additional posts outside of the normal updates I will post you would like to see. In order to not burn out on this project too quickly, I will be pacing my posts. I will likely have some additional posts to set up the diary; however, it will typically be unusual to see more than one or two posts in a two to three day span.

SEASON RECAPS
[1988 season] | [1989 expansion draft] | [1989 NBA draft] | [1989 NBA free agency] | [1989 Season: Preseason - First Half of Season - Second Half of Season - Playoffs] | [1990 NBA draft]

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 08-04-2017 at 07:54 AM.
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Unread 06-27-2017, 04:28 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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The Current Minnesota Timberwolves Roster...

Centers


Power Forwards






Small Forwards


Shooting Guards





Point Guards







Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-23-2017 at 11:03 PM.
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Unread 06-27-2017, 04:57 PM
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Kevin Kunnert, new Timberwolves General Manager

Flash forward to Summer 1988...
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Minnesota Timberwolves are excited to announce Kevin Kunnert as the new general manager and president of basketball operations. Kunnert, 36, is a former first round pick who played with the Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, San Diego Clippers, and Portland Trailblazers over the course of his 10-year career. With 4,602 career points and 4,031 rebounds, Kunnert hopes to instill a hard-nosed defensive philosophy which will match the seven-footers own reputation.

Kunnert is most famous for his role in the fight between Rudy Tomjanovich and Kermit Washington. Kunnert, who was with the Rockets at the time, instigated the fight by initially punching Washington. Washington, in response to Kunnert, punched back, before punching Tomjanovich—who was coming in to serve as peacekeeper.

Prior to his NBA career, Kunnert played for the University of Iowa. A Dubuque, Iowa-native, Kunnert is excited to be closer to his friends and family.

“I think we have an excited opportunity here in Minnesota,” Kunnert said. “While I may not have formal front office experience, I promise Timberwolves fans that we in the organization are going to do everything within our power to bring this franchise a championship.”

With a little more than a season left until the expansion draft, Kunnert says he and his staff are now focused on filling out the coaching staff.

“I am not sure who we are looking to fill the role of head coach,” he said. “This process will not be taken lightly, though. We are going to search high and low for the right candidate.”

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-08-2017 at 09:37 AM.
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Unread 06-27-2017, 06:50 PM
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The 1988-89 NBA season...
The 1988-89 season started off with a bang. We had not made it past November when, much to the surprise of the NBA community, 25-year-old Karl Malone—the power forward for the Utah Jazz who was entering the final year of his rookie deal—was traded on November 14, 1988 for sharp shooter Jeff Hornacek. Hornacek, a 26 year old small forward who went to Iowa State, had wallowed in obscurity on the Phoenix Suns. In 1987-88, Hornacek averaged 9.5 points per game during 27.4 minutes a game. Yet here he was, be paired with John Stockton on the Jazz and asked to make the leap. Would he do it?

End of Season Standings
In the end the two expansion squads, the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat, struggled. Charlotte, led by rookie Rex Shapman and former Cav Dell Curry, ended up with a respectable 21 wins while struggling to contain teams on defense. Miami, on the other hand, floundered to nine measly wins. Their follies were ones which we in Minneapolis hoped to avoid. They were led, offensively, by rookie big man Rony Seikaly. Seikaly was their only bright spot, though. Nobody else on the squad could score, a fact represented by the Heat's season average of 94.74 points per game. When you cannot score, it really hurts when you allow 112.77 points per game. We knew, based on Miami's struggles, that we needed to have a balanced defensive approach if we wanted to find success.


End of Season Awards


Playoffs
The Karl Malone trade worked out in the regular season for Phoenix, as he took home 2nd Team All-NBA honors and Lenny Roddy took home GM of the Year. The Suns also ended up with a Western Conference best 58 wins on their way to the number-one seed and a date with the Clippers in Round One. In the East, Charles Barkley and Hershey Hawkins led a dominate 76ers squad to 68 wins. No doubt the NBA Finals was their destiny this season.





The 1988-89 NBA Champion Utah Jazz



It was an upset for the ages. Somehow, Hornacek and the Jazz silenced the critics. It all started with a shocking 3-1 series victory against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Then a lucky break caused them to match-up with seventh seeded Portland; a six-game series victory. Utah's improbable championship run should have ended there. They were facing Karl Malone and the Phoenix Suns, after all. Karl Malone, the form Jazz. The Suns, the 58 win juggernaut. Where there is a will, there is a way. In an epic series which went to seven games, the Jazz made history and squeaked into the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who were engaged Cinderella bid for the NBA Championship, awaited them in the finals. Hornacek, meanwhile, never blinked throughout the postseason. In 24 games, he averaged 37 minutes per game, 21.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 7.6 assists per game, and shot 55.8 percent from the field and 55.3 percent from the three-point line. By the time game seven rolled around, it was clear who the Jazz's MVP was.

NEXT: The NBA Draft Lottery...

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-08-2017 at 09:51 AM.
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  #5  
Unread 06-29-2017, 01:08 PM
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daulten6 daulten6 is offline
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I'll be keeping an eye on this, surprised Philly only made it to the second round.
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Unread 06-29-2017, 01:50 PM
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This one seems promising, surprising playoff results, how the hell did the Blazers eliminate Hakeem in 4?
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Unread 07-01-2017, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daulten6 View Post
I'll be keeping an eye on this, surprised Philly only made it to the second round.
I've been scratching my head over the Sixers elimination too. I went back to check to see if maybe Hawkins (16.4/4.1/4.9 during the postseason in 9 games) or Barkley (26.0/10.4/4.4 in 9 games) were injured. Hawkins was out for 7 days with a broken finger just before the postseason, but he did not miss any time in the playoffs. Jordan did average 35.1/6.6/5.7 during the playoffs while shooting just under 50-percent from the field. Maybe they were just out worked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smasher1311 View Post
This one seems promising, surprising playoff results, how the hell did the Blazers eliminate Hakeem in 4?
The Dream (21.8/10.8/1.3 in 4 games) did break his finger during the playoffs, but he was only hurt for 8 days and missed no time. Drexler (27.4/6.9/5.1 in 10 games), Daughtery (19.9/9.1/2.8), and Terry Porter (13.3/5.6/8.4) did not play particular better than Hakeem, Otis Thorpe (19.0/11.0/2.5), and Sleepy Floyd (11.0/5.0/5.3). I guess the Blazers bench just played better than the Rockets, when all was said and done.
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Unread 07-01-2017, 06:12 PM
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The 1989 NBA Draft Lottery...
Our odds were good heading into the 1989 NBA Draft. We had the best chance at the number one overall pick. In a draft with David Robinson, the center from Navy, as the prize, a fortunate bounce of the ping pong balls would go a long way to future success for the Timberwolves. Robinson, in 1988, averaged 20.9 points per game for the Midshipmen and 8.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game of action. Those stats, coupled with his seven-feet, one-inch frame that was filled with 245 pounds of muscle, had the look of a future Hall of Famer.

Robinsin was not the only gem in this draft, though. Michigan small forward Glen Rice, an excellent offensive player who did not appear to be an absolute scythe on defense. Point guard Tim Hardaway, the defensive force from UTEP who could also do it all offensively, was rising up draft boards. And, of course, Illinois shooting guard Nick Anderson, who had the look of another great offensive player. With names like those on the draft board, we knew we would be fine if we slipped a couple of spots. But Robinson… Robinson was the prize.

Pre-Lottery Odds


1989 Draft Preview


Post-Lottery Results



NEXT: The 1989 NBA Expansion Draft...

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-08-2017 at 11:27 AM.
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Unread 07-01-2017, 06:14 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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The 1989 NBA Expansion Draft...
Jim Les, part of the ’89 Utah Jazz championship squad, was the very first Minnesota Timberwolves player. The pickings were slim, though. In the end, our choice came down to Les as our first selection, or former Nets player Charles Shackleford. Les fit with our vision for roster. All of our selections did. We want athleticism in a league where size and strength paid dividends. We wanted defensive ability from the scrapheaps of NBA rosters. What was important to our selections was remembering that we still had a long way to go: our roster was by no means finished.

Draft Results



NEXT: The 1989 NBA Draft...

Last edited by Granite Armadillo : 07-08-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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  #10  
Unread 07-02-2017, 10:24 AM
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Smasher1311 Smasher1311 is offline
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You should look to get Hardaway or Petrovic, one should be available at the 3 pick for sure, or you could try and trade up to get David Robinson, I'm excited to see your plan.
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Unread 07-08-2017, 09:16 AM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Just wanted to let you all know that I am going to get the Draft up at some point today. I am in the midst of studying for the Bar, thus my post rate is not quite as high as I would like. I am going to convert all my photos from Photobucket to Flickr, and then you should be getting another update from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smasher1311 View Post
You should look to get Hardaway or Petrovic, one should be available at the 3 pick for sure, or you could try and trade up to get David Robinson, I'm excited to see your plan.
I'm excited to see your reaction. I can say, without spoiling too much, that there is a trade involved in this Draft... just not like the one you described.
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Unread 07-08-2017, 01:00 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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The 1989 NBA Draft...

Pre-Draft Trade

Jim Les was the first Minnesota Timberwolves player we selected. Today, he was a part of the first Minnesota Timberwolves trade. Days before the trade, my staff and I knew that our current roster wasn't up to playing competitive basketball. If we are going to suck, we thought, we might as well suck with some young assets. So, while we liked Les, as I our best trade chip... well, he was a goner.

MINNESOTA GETS: 1989 19th Overall Draft Selection
GOLDEN STATE GETS: Jim Les and Mark Alarie


If you are looking for franchise-caliber guys, this draft is deep at the top. If you are looking for good role players, this draft has plenty. That's why getting rid of two short term contracts for a rookie locked up on a four-year deal was worth it. Our roster is filled with contracts which I would practically give away, because we hope to build through the draft. To snag an extra first round pick for two pending free agents was a steal in my book. With this trade done, the Timberwolves go into the Draft with the 3rd, 19th, and 29th picks... with needs pretty much everywhere throughout the roster.

First Round
Shock and awe came immediately. Nick Anderson, somehow went number one overall to Orlando. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during the Magic's talks over that selection. Unfortunately for us, we weren't lucky enough to have another team gloss over the consensus number one prospect. The Nuggets swooped in and took David Robinson at number two. That left us with a tough choice to make: do we go with 19-year-old Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway, or Glen Rice. Those were the next three on our board, and there was not clear consensus in our front office on who to take. Any selection, though, would yield a pivotal piece for us moving forward. Yet it would also be a bold statement of how we wanted to play.

With the third pick in the 1989 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select...


With the nineteenth pick in the 1989 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select...


I was personally pleased with our first round picks. Rice, while not the stout defensive player I dreamed of, has great offensive potential. It was his potential to carry the offense which we envisioned carrying this franchise forward for years to come. The fact we felt he could also contribute today, too, did not hurt his cause either.

Haywoode Workman, on the other hand, was the replacement for Les that I thought we needed to look for before the Draft ended. Defensively he is better than Les, which is important to me. Our front office projects that he will be an important bench player for our squad once the roster fills out. For now, though, he will be a serviceable second banana to Rice as these two youngsters grow alongside each other.

Second Round

Trade

MINNESOTA GETS: 1989 36th Overall Draft Selection and Dallas's 1990 Second Round Pick
DALLAS GETS: 1989 29th Overall Draft Selection

With the thirty-sixth pick in the 1989 NBA Draft,
the Minnesota Timberwolves select...



Scott Meents, a power forward out of Illinois, finished our night off. An older prospect, at 25, we felt he was ready to contribute in the short-term as a good rebounder for us and a good defender. Our front office projects he'll be a career bench player, but he will be an important role player for us during these early dog days. We had our eyes set on Meents heading into the second round. To get him seven slots down from where we were originally slated, along with an extra pick, made us all extremely happy.

1989 NBA Draft First Round Selections




NEXT: The 1989 NBA Free Agency Period...
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  #13  
Unread 07-08-2017, 03:57 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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I updated the second post of this thread with the current roster. You can find that post here. I will continue to update this post throughout the course of the diary to reflect changes made through free agency, trades, or the draft. So, keep an eye on it if you ever find yourself lost with who is still on the Timberwolves! Additionally, I will be taking a few days between the NBA draft and free agency. Don't expect another post until Friday/Saturday of next week. In the mean time, I look forward to any discussion which might come as a result for the diary's recent updates!
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Unread 07-11-2017, 09:40 PM
tg01 tg01 is offline
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I just wanted to pop in and say how glad I am to see another diary in this thread, I don't know ton about basketball's history but really enjoy learning through diary's like this! I must say that I really like the images you use for this diary as well, very eye popping. With that said about the recent draft as I mentioned I don't know much about Glen Rice, although looking at his Wiki it looks like he's a great 3pt shooter....so I automatically assumed Tim Hardaway would be the way you go as that was a name I knew. Looking forward to see what happens next!
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Unread 07-14-2017, 01:59 PM
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Granite Armadillo Granite Armadillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg01 View Post
I just wanted to pop in and say how glad I am to see another diary in this thread, I don't know ton about basketball's history but really enjoy learning through diary's like this! I must say that I really like the images you use for this diary as well, very eye popping. With that said about the recent draft as I mentioned I don't know much about Glen Rice, although looking at his Wiki it looks like he's a great 3pt shooter....so I automatically assumed Tim Hardaway would be the way you go as that was a name I knew. Looking forward to see what happens next!
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!
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