Wolfson: Injuries aside, Wolves owner thinking it's playoffs or bust
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In a recent phone conversation, Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was asked if the team's approach this season is playoffs or bust.
"That's mine," Taylor said.
The fallout from another non-playoff year could be that David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, doesn't have the option on his contract for next year exercised.
In the uber-competitive Western Conference, where it's hard to find a playoff team from last year that got worse, the playoffs were no guarantee for the Wolves even before All-Star Kevin Love broke his right hand on Wednesday morning.
Now, with the final playoff spots expected to be decided by a couple games, losing Love for six to eight weeks -- including four to six week of the regular season -- is a borderline disaster.
"I want to turn this into a positive," Taylor said in another conversation on his drive to Target Center for Wednesday's Lynx-Fever WNBA Finals game. "We have young guys who want an opportunity. They need to grab it."
But make no mistake, Love's injury is a blow, and possibly a severe one.
"You hate to lose anyone, especially a star," Taylor said.
The front office told Taylor that Love should be back by early December at the latest.
"With this type of injury, you never know," Taylor said, "but most guys heal in six weeks."
Until Love returns, Wolves coach Rick Adelman could elect to start Chase Budinger at the three and Andrei Kirilenko at the four or give Williams lots of minutes. But either way, their depth takes a hit.
There are free agents such as Kenyon Martin and Troy Murphy available. Taylor won't rule out bringing someone in if Adelman or Kahn deems a move necessary.
"We have room, so we could add a guy," Taylor said. "I would never say no."
A league source told 1500ESPN.com weeks ago that Martin wouldn't sign for the veteran's minimum. But with his options dwindling, maybe a call is worth it.
Assistant coach Bill Bayno has a bit of a relationship with Martin, having recruited him when Bayno was the head coach at UNLV. Martin ultimately chose Cincinnati instead.
Taylor said he didn't know how Love got hurt, but it happened at his downtown Minneapolis condo. A team source said Love's personal trainer, Rob McClanaghan, was in town until Wednesday afternoon.
Until consulting with Kahn and Adelman, Taylor said he wasn't sure if the team would attempt to recoup any money from Love, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract during last season.