Jim Souhan: New boss Saunders building Wolves quickly

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 7, 2013 - 9:27 AM

Flip Saunders is patching together a contender, the best kind of progress for the downtrodden team.

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bruisedupJul. 6, 13 9:01 PM

So far Saunders has added the draft picks and Martin while bringing Budinger back. Martin and Budinger sound like they came back mostly to play for Adelman. Pek would also of course be a returnee. So far I'm OK with Saunders but he is mostly trying to just preserve David Kahn's team while adding a few pieces. I understand the irritation with Kahn. He sounded like the used car salesman that screws everybody. Whether we like it or not this is still the team that Kahn assembled and Saunders is working to fine tune it.

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bruisedupJul. 6, 13 9:03 PM

In other words: Saunders hasn't been building anything. Just stating the facts. I'll be on my way now.

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jachesteJul. 6, 13 9:16 PM

The signing of Martin is huge. Simply because of how he "fits" with Ricky. We're deeper, we can shoot, and we can run. Love is healthy, Budinger is healthy, Ricky is healthy....I think we're in for a very entertaining year. I would be shocked (barring injuries) if we didn't make the playoffs.

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metaltesterJul. 6, 13 9:28 PM

50 win season.

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swingingbuntJul. 6, 1310:38 PM

nothing shocks me anymore - playoffs? now that would be a welcome shock

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ollie3Jul. 7, 1312:42 AM

Saunders did not bring Budinger or Pekovic to the team...but since we're giving credit for players he simply kept here, what about the loss of Kirilenko?

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manoliveJul. 7, 13 1:00 AM

@Bruisedup...Building-The process or business of constructing something. I'd say what Saunders has done is a process of constructing something. Sure Kahn had a hand in constructing this team. So did McHale, for that matter. But this team was unfinished last year. We had little depth, and were deficient in several areas. Saunders has added a much needed shooter, a much needed rim protector, depth at the point guard spot, where we were getting old and lacked talent, and he's not done yet. I'd say that qualifies as building. Kahn had plenty of chances to build a team. He had 4 years to do it, and had some of the worst seasons in NBA history. I like the job Saunders has done so far, and can't wait to see the results of this project.

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manoliveJul. 7, 13 1:08 AM

@ollie3, The loss of Kirilenko? Do you know something no one else does? Has AK signed with another team? No? Then it's not a loss yet. Even if we do lose AK, I'd take KMart over AK. KMart will spread the floor and score from outside, and take pressure off Love and Rubio, something AK couldn't do. Maybe he can't defend like AK, but he's better than Luke at the 2. He creates matchup problems for other teams, and may be the missing piece to bring us to the next level. And Flip's not done yet, so you can't criticize until the job is done. So far, he has done a credible job. The key is staying healthy.

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cjvirnigJul. 7, 13 1:25 AM

I'm still a skeptic for the Wolves making the playoffs, but even if they do, it'll be as the 7 or 8 seed. The idea of this team being a possible dark horse to win the Western Conference is the most ridiculous thing Souhan has ever written. Why don't people understand that the NBA isn't like other sports leagues. Small market, cold weather NBA teams DO NOT WIN TITLES. Period. Moreover, the NBA has a Rotation of Champions (Pistons, Celtics, Bulls, Rockets, Spurs, Lakers, and Heat) that have combined to win 29 of the last 31 titles. Minnesota is not in that rotation, nor will they ever be. You can be a Wolves fan and love the game. Just don't be a Wolves fan who thinks this team will ever (or could ever) win a title.

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ollie3Jul. 7, 13 1:32 AM

I know Kirilenko opted out of the remainder of his contract. By all means, point me towards the comments from Flip where he says signing Kirilenko is a likelihood. I'm not criticising Flip, yet...just not jumping into the live fest yet. As you said, the teams health is what will make or break them, not the personnel moves that have been made so far.

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