How Well Will Corey Brewer “Blend” With The Timberwolves?

Corey Brewer is taking his smile to Minneapolis

Corey Brewer is taking his smile to Minneapolis in 2013-14

The Wolves are reportedly on the verge of acquiring veteran wing (and former T-Wolves lottery pick) Corey Brewer. Apparently it will be a three-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-million.

So now you’re looking at a rotation that might be something like this:

PG: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved, Will Kahnroy

SG: Kevin Martin, Shabazz Muhammad, Alexey Shved

SF: Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer, Shabazz Muhammad

PF: Kevin Love, Dante Cunningham, Derrick Williams (!)

C: Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng, Chris Johnson

Andy G: First things first:


I never thought Brew would be back after he mildly disappointed as a seventh overall draft pick, and was given away in a trade that brought back Anthony Randolph.

But according to today’s reports, he is back — back for the relatively hefty sum of $15 Million.

Your thoughts?

Patrick J: This is a solid pickup for Flip & Co. The Wolves defense was in a bad place after the Kirilenko divorce. The big question was, who would guard the wings? Certainly not Kevin Martin. And as much as we’re loathe to admit, Ricky Rubio probably can’t guard both backcourt positions by himself. And now, Brewer is back and is likely to fill a position of need–his lanky frame and hawk quickness enable him to guard most NBA shooting guards. So there’s his niche. Brewer can play the role we desperately need played.

The question that still stands out in my mind is, where does Brewer fit into next season’s rotation? Does he fill Kirilenko’s vacant starting position? Or come off the bench?

Andy G: He comes off the bench. I doubt Coach Adelman (or anybody on the Wolves’ side) wants to see starting floor time shared by Ricky Rubio and Brewer. It’s just not enough perimeter shooting to make up for what will inevitably be tenacious defense. That isn’t to say they’ll *never* share the floor. I’m sure they will. But I expect Martin to start at the 2 and Chase to start at the 3. Of course, like last season, all of this could be blown up by injuries. But for now, I’ve got Brewer slotted to come off the bench.

I was away from the internet when this news broke and returned to what seemed like divide of emotional reactions on the Timberwolves Twittersphere. Some are overjoyed to see a fan fave return. Some are disappointed in what might be overpaying a limited role player.

How do we FEEL about this move? Happy to see Brew return? Upset at the contract?

Patrick J: “Yes, awesome.” That’s all that really needs saying. I’m on record as saying Brewer provided some of my favorite memories as a Wolves fan. I’m glad Brew is back.

Besides, he did this.

And this.

And owns this.

Who does that? Corey Brewer, that’s who. Color me excited.

But onto practical stuff: it’s always a feel-good story when a local favorite comes back to ‘Sota, but the Brewer signing needs to be taken with a dose of “forest from the trees” thinking (MIXED METAPHOR!). Basically, the Wolves seventh or eighth man isn’t going to be the difference between winning and losing a playoff series (or at least certainly shouldn’t be). So the news shouldn’t get people too happy or sad or anything at all, really. Still, there’s plenty to like as chess move (tongue firmly in cheek): Brewer’s contract is reasonable; it solves the logjam at point guard (don’t get me wrong, Ridnour’s consistent play will be missed, but there was too much Luke and J.J. last season out of necessity and that was unsustainable); and it balances out the roster–something Flip Saunders emphasized as a priority since the day he was hired.

Now, assuming the Wolves re-sign Nikola Pekovic–which could happen soon–the 2013-14 roster looks to be pretty much set. They have their shooting guard. They have their wing defender. They have their scorer off the bench. There’s reason to be optimistic.

But still, you live or die next season on the strength of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, right? What do those guys need to do to get this team out of the lottery and into second-round-of-the-playoffs territory where they belong? After all, the Adelman clock is ticking…

Andy G: Yep, that’s exactly right. Is Kevin Love a “superstar?” (We certainly thought so in the games leading up to Ricky’s knee injury and Love’s hand-smash episode.) If Love plays like a 20 & 12 machine that shares the ball and puts out close to max effort defensively, that’s the biggest thing going for next year’s playoff hopes. Ricky needs to basically do what he’s been doing… and hopefully make more shots. Let’s hope that between traveling the world and learning new languages he’s getting 500 or more shots up a day. In the short term, those dribble jumpers from the elbow need to become close to automatic. (See Paul, Chris; Parker, Tony.) Longer term, it’d be nice to see him pull a J-Kidd and extend that range out to three-point land.

But yes, it’s nice to have a balanced roster that should better withstand the annoying injuries that go along with the 82-game grind that is the NBA regular season.

Corey Brewer is a winner, first and foremost, and if nothing else the Wolves can use another one of those. So I guess, in closing:

You’re my boy, Brew!



Filed under Free Agency, Timberwolves

8 responses to “How Well Will Corey Brewer “Blend” With The Timberwolves?

  1. Brett A

    I love Brew. The Barista. His iconic Fish-fry. His pet goat. The crazy eyes and smile.
    I know he won’t always do everything we want, but I’m sure as hell that Ricky’s gonna love him, and he’s gonna love Ricky.

    • Brett A

      Furthermore, I loved Luke. I came to see him as the quintessential Wolf. Quiet resiliency while out of position, never complaining, played and started 82 last year. He too couldn’t do everything we would like, but that’s probably why he’s a classic Wolf.
      If anyone were to come in and take over that mantle, Corey’s the guy.

      I’m excited for the season.

  2. Maybe I’m just used to his old self, but I’m not sold on this used-to be Nugget and returning Minnesota Timberwolf.
    I’m hoping I am proved wrong and hope this season will bring back my hope I had when I was a kid, seeing the T-Wolves make the post-season.
    Well, Flip is back, so that’s something like old times.

    • You might be right–we’ll see. It hurt to see Kirilenko sign for $3M per with Brooklyn, but given that it appears there was no way he was re-signing in Minny–whether it was our choice or his–Brewer at $5M was a solid gap fill. As we mentioned, no one’s expecting miracles, or at least shouldn’t be, but he’ll play solid defense on the wing, and that’s important given where our gaps are/were.

      Also, I’d conjecture that Brewer adds value on a good team in a way he doesn’t on a bad one. I think that’s another reason to be more optimistic about Brewer and his role-player role on this year’s Wolves than on Wolves teams of years past.

  3. Pingback: INBOX: The “We haven’t discussed Kevin Love in a while” Edition | Punch-Drunk Wolves

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