A Pirate's Guide to This Year's Timberwolves

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron (USA TODAY Sports)

Ahoy, me hearties! Come one, come all, and gather ‘round ye quartermaster, Spencer Nelson, for the present year’s Minnesota Timberwolves season preview. As keepin’ with ye’s ol’ honorable traditions of yore, yer quartermaster has chosen this year’s theme to be the most treacherous, crusty, and unshakable gang of scallywags to ever sail high on the seven seas.


‘Twas only fittin’ for that in the calendar startin’ with the winning of a most conspicuous drawin’ of the lots, that the tongue of the privateer be the one to proclaim the comin’ exploits of ye seadogs of the North! So, fill your tankard o’ grog, batten down ye’s basketball hatches, for ‘tis nigh time to weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen on the for an analysis of those on Captain Saunders’ ledger of hands.

Karl-Anthony Towns

The unquestioned first mate of affairs, ye KAT is a tale aliken to many o’ mermaid who patrol these depths: If be viewin’ only half of their body of work, an unsuspecting scurvy dog may be inclined to tie the square knot upon her ring finger, thinkin’ he’s taken home quite the booty! ‘Tis only when viewing the whole of ‘er, does the unfortunate tar find he’s been run a rig upon, as he has fallen prey to scaly surprise!

‘Tis he a KAT, or a possum? Sure, when on the offensive, the fire boils over inside of ‘im, and he fights with the posture of trice a man. But, when bashed and battered upon on the defensive, he would sooner walk the plank than to heave-ho on the less glamorous side o’ the ship.

For all the doubloons he demands as his share, KAT expanded too much energy pursuin’ the glory of plunderin’, then sleeps it off when he is to be scrubbing the defensive deck, and his hearties take note. If this first mate won’t ascribe to all hands on deck defensively, ‘tis time to cut anchor and recoup some losses. Show a leg, KAT, lest ye be a hornswoggler!

D’Angelo Russell

Aye, previously the newcomer of the fleet, ‘twas to be the pearl of the outfit, but as he laid up in harbor over the dog days of the sun, ‘e appears to ‘ave lost part his luster. The second mate in the hierarchy, his domain is lesser in the plunderin’, but of the same company as the first mate in the unglamorous proceedings of defensive techniques.

Lo, the clipper that was parted with for he was far from a Man-O-War, the chests delivered alongside the sale as further collateral ‘ave left this outfit’s stores barer than the head of the vultures of the bay. Many ‘ave taken to questionin’ the wisdom of partnering the first mate with his second, as many a ship ‘ave been scuttled to Davey Jones’ locker with the promising of their plunderin’ being greater than their defensive hull’s holes.

However, those loyal to the first and second mate believe that the plunderin’ will be so good, that a third plunderer, Devin of Booker, shall be enticed aboard to pursuit riches with his mates. Aye, that do not be solvin’ the problems of matter, but the legends they would sow!

Anthony Edwards

Arrr, now thar be some fresh blood upon these decks! Though much be promised about his abilities across all disciplines, little has been noted of his actual exploits in lands far, and especially in his short fortnite upon this crew. ‘Tis he a first mate, second, or third? ‘Tis he a navigator, boatswain, cook, or merely a lowly gunner?

While his plunderin’ in the training exercises left many questioning his fit, when Sir Edwards crossed swords with the mighty Don Cic de la Luka and emerged victorious, well, ‘twas enough to send any freeboot dreamin’ of becoming one of the greatest privateers to venture far from home in search of fame and riches. But, henceforth from the momentary duel with Don Cic, ‘tis important to find a role upon the vessel, as these seas have no time for eternal apprentices, regardless of prior heraldings.

Malik Beasley

Yarrrrgh, if there be a player on these seadogs who epitomizes what he truly be to be a pirate, ‘tis Malik Beasley. Wench-chasing’ on a sworn woman? Check. Brandishin’ a flintlock at innocents? Affirmative. Runnin’ afoul of the law? Check. A coffer full of doubloons? Aye.

All that Malik is missing to go down alongside Blackbeard as one of the greatest scurvy dogs to patrol these depths be a pegleg and hook. Also, with this much booty being spread to those only concerned with plunderin’, who will be left to scrub the decks? Too many cannons on the deck, not enough wood over the hull!

Ricky Rubio

Now here be a tale! A mysterious Spaniard from lands far away, who legend when he cut his teeth against the world’s best before he even had hair upon his chest. Possessing the devilish good looks to drive all the wenches and barmaids into fever the moment his cavalry boat touched down on the sands of their ports and harbors.

While ‘tis true that the Spaniard has become more weathered a seadog during his voyages on other brigs, he returns all the capable and selfless when it comes to spreadin’ ‘round the loot and ‘tis a better marksman than remembered. Whether or not ‘e can patch up the hull and tattered sails upon his lonesome remains to be seen, lo.

Juan Hernangomez

Now here be a less interesting tale of a less mysterious Spaniard! Lo, though as a boy he held a level of acclaim and fame as, his plunderin’ on previous vessels had him sent adrift, whereas ‘e linked up with this outfit.

A few short weeks of fair take last voyage as the starting powder monkey, and now he be rewarded with a fistful of doubloons, only to no longer be in the form? Aye, if he can broadside from the depths, ‘t’would be a good contract suppose I, but ‘e be as inconsistent as the tides of Fundy.

Jake Layman

Now here be a brute who has all the trappin’s of a broadsider, yet without the punch. ‘Tis strange for a powder monkey to be green with cannons in this age of pivateerin’, but Lay Thy Man o’ Jake be skilled with a cutlass in the most unexpected ways.

Many a foe has been laid low by an unexpected strike from Lay Thy Man, and many speculate that ‘tis he who ties the whole outfit together. When sailin’ with Lay Thy Man under the spell of scurvy in the infirmary, the plunderin’ was poor, the swells wer’ treacherous, and Captain Saunders had none to deploy in his stead upon the second deck.

Jarrett Culver

Avast ye, what to do with the man of two seasons! Prior to making landfall, Private Culver was lookin’ to be shark bait. But, after landfall and before the voyage was abandoned, Private Culver quietly went about ‘is business with that trappings of a flibustier of old. He broadsided, he crossed swords with many a’ worthy foe, ‘e plundered and he scrubbed!

Lo, there still be whispered about plans to maroon Private Culver upon an unspecified isle regardless of these deeds. It be a cruel life, the one of a pirate, but, a chosen few of the maroon return, to rain fire and hell from a rival cutter upon those who forsaken them so. Take heed, ‘tis not the hand to give over to the sea, lest not yet…

Josh Okogie

Aye, here be a fan favorite, but for all the bravado and reckless boardings, is O’Kogie truly helping the cause? Sure, ‘e be ‘ne of the only deck scrubbers aboard, but his inability to blow the man down from deep be holding ‘im back, like a gunner with two hooks for hands.

If ‘e ever is to find the touch from yonder, perhaps then his exploits will match the tales spun about him by the most steadfast of sympathizers, but ‘til that morrow, ‘e simply can’t be counted upon.

Jaden McDaniels

Aye, here be one so green that it be hard to even know what to be ‘specting! Any amount of support from the abaft of the vessel ‘ould be fine and good, as his exploits in the seas off the land of Washington left much to be desired.

Naz Reid

Aye, if there be a mountain of a man on the ledger, ‘tis thee of Naz! However, don’t be deceived, as while Naz be havin’ a delicate stroke of a man half his size from distance, the gallery be wonderin’ why this bear of ship-boarder be strugglin’ to assert his might within the close-quarters of brawls, where ‘t’would be expected that he would thrive.

Aye, Naz wishes to be rigging the sails, nimbly soaring from mast to mast, high above the decks upon the ropes but trapped within the body of a cannonball juggler. ‘Til he be able to fall into whatever role he fancies, and thereby prove himself a capable buccaneer, would be foolhearty for any to assume his share is spoken for on any future voyage.

Ed Davis

Yargh, here be an interesting salty dog. Lo, his skills be useful upon this vessel, but his lack of booty among the waters of the Great Salt Lake be concernin’, though he was a fine hand among the lesser fleet of New Amsterdam two winds past. Aye, while ‘tis to be seen how he fairs in engagements, to be certain is that he is among the finest boatswains currently on the seas, and the green of the crew will have much to learn from Ol’ Man Davis.

Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell, Ashton Hagans

While these may well be one or another’s sweethearts, the cruel reality of thar station be that of lowly cabin boys, lest til an endless morrow ring. While all be swearin’ up and down the deck that they be ready for a full share, all have looked the part of landlubber in their limited deployment upon being given orders by Captain Saunders.

‘Tis but a sad reminder that of all the boys who dream of fame and fortune, sailing the swells and plunderin’ across the world, only a small fraction of them ever rise to the prominence they so desire in their sea-loving hearts.

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