By: Joe Perovich, KFAN Promotions Intern
It’s that annual story we all casually gloss over.
Organizations all across the NBA are scrambling to put the finishing touches on their 15-man rosters by the league-mandated 4pm Monday deadline.
Instead, the Minnesota Timberwolves have opted to act swiftly, embracing the “We find it’s always best to fire people at the end of the week” strategy that ‘The Bobs’ from the 1999 movie Office Space (generously?) employed.
The slew of cuts began on Friday, when 2013 second-round pick Lorenzo Brown and journeyman Othysus Jeffers were let go. When Saturday afternoon arrived, the Timberwolves new regime and Glen Taylor went about their business efficiently once again.
NBA veteran point guard A.J. Price and 2012’s No. 58 overall pick Robbie Hummel were informed that they had earned the final two spots on the Timberwolves opening night roster. This, of course, means that management has decided to buy-out the one year, guaranteed deal that center Chris Johnson received on June 8th of this year.
We’re conditioned to let these “end-of-bench” sort of moves pass us by without much thought or care, but last year’s injury-riddled season is the epitome of why these moves should at least warrant an ounce of a fan’s attention. Who were Mickaël Gelabele and Chris Johnson to us at this time last year? They weren’t even reserves on the opening day roster, as ailments mercilessly carried widespread through even that portion of the roster. The injury bug hovered above the entirety of the teams 2012-13 season, climaxing with Gelabele and Johnson, originally on 10-day contracts, combining for 13 starts and 66 games played by season’s end. The irony of the Timberwolves being snake-bitten by injuries ever since “The Mamba”/Rubio knee collision is almost too rich to ignore.
As much as we hope Robbie Hummel and A.J. Price will experience a share of triumphs during their time here, last season is examples why I think we would much rather prefer to not think about them all season. Historically, the final cuts aren’t without their notables. Just last season, first-round flameouts that took a part in final cuts: 2009 11th overall pick Terrence Williams, 2006 3rd overall pick Adam Morrison, 2010’s 29th overall pick Daniel Orton, 2009’s 6th overall pick Jonny Fly… lets move on.
And then there’s that tiny subsection of final roster successes that burst onto the scene out of nothingness. For example, the Houston Rockets organization might as well have gotten a truckload of coal shipped to their arena on Christmas Eve 2011. The day prior, they used their final cut to send relatively unknown guard Jeremy Lin packing, to free up cap space to sign center Samuel Dalembert.
Then Rocket, but current Timberwolves swingman Kevin Martin’s thoughts on the move when it was made? “That was our Christmas gift,” -Jonathan Feigen, Rockets Beat Reporter (12.25.2011)
Expect Kevin Martin to knock down more buckets than predictions this season.