The Minnesota Timberwolves have a situation at their center position with different players who can handle the role.
General Manager David Kahn felt last offseason that the Serbian Darko Milicic would be the solution by re-signing him to a four-year, $20 million contract.
Milicic turned in a respectable season in 2010 by scoring 8.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and two blocks per game. His two blocks per game ranked fifth in the league and is what helps his case in getting minutes for next season, although an upgrade is still needed.
That upgrade could be the 6'11", skinny-framed and lanky Anthony Randolph. The Timberwolves are the young 21-year old's third team, and he has been utilized as a power forward, center, and even a small forward throughout his career.
Randolph's talent and potential are unquestioned. It's his poor consistency and lack of an obvious position that have held him back ever since he was drafted No. 14 out of LSU to the Golden State Warriors in 2008.
Kahn has been adamant about not trading Randolph even though there's speculation of a logjam at the Wolves' forward positions. This summer, Randolph has supposedly added 10-15 pounds of muscle to his skinny frame in an effort to get bigger and play center for the Wolves next season.
If Randolph can continue to add weight, there won't need be any talk of Randolph not getting minutes at power forward as he'd be getting minutes at center instead.
Chandler was a tall and lanky player just like Randolph is now, only Randolph is two inches shorter. Their athletic play and versatile games are what makes them similar. They are different in their own ways, though, with Chandler being a better shot blocker while Randolph is a better jump shooter.
If Randolph has gained that 10-15 pounds of muscle this offseason, then their bodies correlate even better as they'd both be in the range of a solid 235 pounds. That's not the ideal weight of an NBA center, but it's more than manageable due to the league's style of play changing.
Chandler handles his business at the center position quite well, so there's no reason why Randolph couldn't do the same. Both can beat their opposition on pure athleticism, speed and hustle not to mention their ability to run the court.
In his favor is the type of game the Timberwolves will be playing next season on fastbreaks with Ricky Rubio at point guard. Michael Beasley and the newly-added Derrick Williams will be able to run the wings while Randolph follows the play up from behind creating plenty of mismatches for their opponents. This will likely be where Randolph has a huge advantage like Chandler has had throughout his career.
Minnesota may have their center they've been looking for in Randolph. Kahn would be thrilled if Randolph plays like Chandler and the team would benefit greatly if he does. Timberwolves fans will just have to wait and see.
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