Are the Wolves the team to beat?

Updated: July 12, 2004, 10:04 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
With Shaq all but gone from the Lakers, Steve Nash bolting the Mavericks, Vlade Divac possibly retiring from the Kings and the Spurs faced with losing at least Hedo Turkoglu to free agency ... what Western Conference team has had the best summer?

Ironically, it could be the one that has done nothing. The Timberwolves made all of their big changes last summer after a series of first-round playoff defeats. The moves propelled them to the Western Conference Finals, where they were destroyed by a dominant Shaq (20.7 ppg, 15.7 rpg).

With all the elite teams in the West looking either the same or weakened, can the Wolves capitalize by taking the road less traveled -- continuity? Or are they willing to move one of their more coveted players, Wally Szczerbiak, in an attempt to find the missing piece of the puzzle?

Here's a look at what to expect as Insider continues its summer blueprint series.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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