The turning point of Minnesota's 2011-12 season came back on March 9 when it lost dynamic rookie point guard Ricky Rubio to a torn ACL in a loss to the Lakers. The Wolves floundered from there, missing a chance at a postseason berth.
That said, things in the Twin Cities are no longer a lost cause. The franchise has two solid building blocks now in Rubio along with All-Star power forward Kevin Love, who was extended through the 2014-15 season. That gives David Kahn three more seasons to tinker with things before Love can opt out.
Powerful underrated center Nikola Pekovic is under a cost effective deal through next season and the team has a solid wing with upside in Derrick Williams
A healthy Rubio along with a offensive minded wing could turn the Wolves into a playoff club by next season. Instead of reaching with the 18th overall selection Minnesota sent that pick to Houston for veteran swingman Chase Budinger on Tuesday.
Under Contract: G: Ricky Rubio; G: J.J. Barea; G: Luke Ridnour; G: Wayne Ellington; G: Wes Johnson; G: Malcolm Lee; G/F: Martell Webster; F: Kevin Love; F: Derrick Williams; C: Nikola Pekovic; C: Darko Milicic
Free Agents: F: Anthony Tolliver; F: Michael Beasley (restricted); F: Anthony Randolph (restricted)
Recent Draft History: 2011: Derrick Williams (2), Donatas Motiejunas (20) 2010: Wesley Johnson (4), Luke Babbit (16), Trevor Booker (23), Paulo Prestes (45), Hamady Ndiaye (56) 2009: Ricky Rubio (5), Jonny Flynn (6), Ty Lawson (18), Wayne Ellington (28), Nick Calathes (45), Henk Norel (47) 2008: O.J. Mayo (3), Nikola Pekovic (31), Mario Chalmers (34) 2007: Corey Brewer (7), Chris Richard (41)
Draft picks: 2nd round (58th overall)