Now that the Minnesota Timberwolves have found a way to sign Ricky Rubio, the question is, what's next? Whether Rubio turns out to be a star or bust, two things must be made clear: the Timberwolves needed this shot in the arm, and they have built the team in such a way that they are assuming he is the real deal. So now, they must build their team and decide whether the current pieces on the roster fit his preferred style of play.
The first decision that must be made will happen at the 2011 NBA Draft. The Timberwolves hold the No. 2 pick, but they have been rumored to be open to trading it to find more help or to acquire more picks. The logic was that they needed another veteran with so many young players already on the roster. But according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, their tune has shifted.
Despite reports, I'm still hearing MIN has every intention of keeping the No. 2 pick. Want another young star to join with Rubio, Love
The question is, who? Neither Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams, the two players most rumored to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick, are good fits with Minnesota. Irving plays Rubio's position, while Williams seems superfluous with Kevin Love and Michael Beasley manning the forward spots. The Timberwolves could select Enes Kanter at No. 2 overall, or trade down and acquire more picks. I also still think moving the pick for a veteran makes some sense, with Rudy Gay of Memphis being the guy I'd target.
Regardless, the Timberwolves will need to figure out which players fit in with Rubio. Love is certainly a fit, but beyond him, the Timberwolves need more shooters and scorers. Beasley is a scorer, but is also a ball-dominant forward who may not mesh with Rubio. Wes Johnson, last year's No. 4 overall pick, may be a better fit as a defender and three-point shooter. The Timberwolves will also have to find another big man, with Kanter being an interesting fit, and will need to figure out a trade package for Jonny Flynn, who is now expendable.
No matter what happens, simply getting Rubio to the U.S. is just one step in the Timberwolves' rebuilding effort. With so many moving parts and pieces that may or may not fit, David Kahn certainly has his work cut out for him, and it begins at the 2011 NBA Draft.