If you want to get three superstars together and try to build an NBA dynasty, make sure to call the Minnesota Timberwolves first.
The Wolves acquired Michael Beasley – yet another power forward! – in a late trade Thursday night from the Miami Heat. The Heat got rid of Beasley to free up salary cap space after finding out earlier Thursday that LeBron James has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh this season.
The Wolves, of course, traded Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics a few years back, allowing him to join forces with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Garnett, who played a decade or so without winning a title in Minnesota, won one in his first year in Boston.
I guess this is the way the NBA is now. Stars team up to form super teams. But what does that do for parity?
And, more importantly for fans in this market, what does it mean for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks of the world?
It’s unlikely markets like that are ever going to attract two or three superstars at the same time, and even more improbable that those markets will develop two or three superstars before their three-year rookie contracts expire.
That’s why, despite the presence of a salary cap, I think no league has quite the distance between the haves and the have-nots as the NBA does.
Sure, in Major League Baseball, there’s the Yankees and Red Sox, and no salary cap to stop them. But after that, there’s no reason to think year-in and year-out the Minnesota Twins aren’t capable of competing consistently with the rest of the bunch.
I’ll reference the "Title Track" portion of ESPN’s Ultimate Standings. The Timberwolves were dead last among all of the teams in the four major sports in terms of championships won or potential to win a title in a fan’s lifetime.
But it’s not just the Wolves. The bottom six teams in the rankings are all NBA teams, and it’s hard to dispute it.
At some point down the road, the NBA will have to confront this issue, or risk losing the fan bases in a number of its smaller markets.