Rejoice! Rejoice! Ring the bells of celebration for, the Minnesota Timberwolves have finally added another quality piece in this unusually active free agency--everyone please welcome the microwave scorer this team desperately needed... and a drumroll, please..... Jamal Crawford!
I don't think so. Over the past week, you could feel the fear and the nervousness from Wolves' fans out there in that "minefield" you call the internet. For example, peppering local beat guys on social media with the same general question over-and-over, "How are the Timberwolves going fill out the rest of their roster with very little cap room remaining?
Now let's moonwalk down to Subreddit Lane at r/timberwolves. After signing Gibson, the next few days had been relatively quiet leading up to the Crawford signing, probably a little too quiet for the ever-impatient, Minnesota sports fan.
Look at these thread headlines over the past week, they are just rife with nervousness and clammer:
So to summarize even further, after an offseason that included acquiring Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson (Probably the greatest offseason in Timberwolves history)--The fans here still have something to complain about. As Joel Embiid and Philadelphia 76ers fans like to say, "Trust the process."
That process continues with the addition of Crawford
At $8.9 million for two years, this signing adds a significant scoring option off the bench for the Wolves. Although he's regressed every season since the 2013-2014 season, Crawford adds as a savvy-scorer off the bench who will put up 12-15 points a game, with the ability to go off at any moment and take over if need be. He is also a career 35% three-point shooter who adds another element to this already versatile squad.
With one of the worst reserve-play in the NBA last season, the Timberwolves now have a bench that features Crawford and Gorgui Dieng or Gibson on it (my guess, the former). With another move or two slated to come and with the newly added arsenal, the Wolves will surely be able to keep a lead when the starters are resting during all 82 games throughout the season.
Losing big leads in the third quarter and consistently choking in the fourth quarter of most games throughout all of the last year seemed to be a staple of the Timberwolves' 2016-2017 season. Choking by demand.
So many games were handed over on a silver platter by a lack of experience and immaturity resonating on the team. The young squad just didn't have the discipline to follow through on Thibodeau's defensive system. There were bright spots, but their late game collapses cost them a shot at the playoffs last season, in what was considered a weaker Western Conference at the time (The West is stacked as hell now).
Now that the team is loaded with veterans who have scores of playoff experience, the expectations to contend for the Larry O'Brien Trophy have grown incredulously high--in fact, infinity-plus-one percent high.
That's an over exaggeration of sorts, but I'm not too far off with that line of thinking. The future was chopped and shipped for win-now pieces, missing the playoffs with how the team presently looks on paper, would be completely unacceptable.
The Crawford signing isn't the last move everybody. So let's all take a deep breath and relax. Look for Thibodeau to add another wing who can sling it from downtown, a third point guard and a few veteran minimum worthy players who will shore the bench up and provide a good example for the young guys like Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
So take it easy, Minnesota. We're still wining and dining impactful free agents, this offseason is far from over.