So, I totally blanked that it was Monday and my day to do the Daily News. Major fail on my part. Anyway, I remembered in time to give you all a special “lunch time” edition if you’re stuck at your desk eating a bologna sandwich. Enjoy!
The Wrath of Kahn: Dissecting the Timberwolves Draft
via Bethlhem Shoals at Fanhouse
No one’s really asked it much, because the inevitable answer is a punchline: “Kahn will draft three points guards, naturally.” But the Wolves once again have three picks, two in the lottery, with another talent pool thought to tail off abruptly, and then plateau, after the top 10. The question is, what does Kahn do this year to get us talking in the right way?
This isn’t 2009. Instead of picking at 5, 6, and 18, the Wolves are sitting at 4,16 and 23. And, many will say, there’s no way that 2010 — a draft class high on question marks, low on magnetism — could possibly belch out three quality players at those spot.
A pretty good read from an “outsider” looking in. Basically sums up the fact that the players we need the most aren’t slated to fall in the draft positions we currently own. Ugh…
Fanhouse Mock Draft 4.0
by Tom Ziller
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Evan Turner, Ohio State
The Wolves desperately need a perimeter creator, despite the presence of Jonny Flynn, who had a really poor rookie campaign for someone considered by many to be “ready.” Turner will waste a lot of possessions with a middling jumper and turnovers galore, but he’ll also put pressure on opposing defenses from Day 1, and open up the floor for Flynn and whoever survives the Al Jefferson–Kevin Love fight scene.
Yes please! Tom Ziller for GM of the Sixers and Nets!!!!
Thoughts on Favors to the Wolves
From Jerry Zgoda at the Strib via KansasCity.com (don’t ask me how that works…)
“He’s quite a specimen for somebody 18 years old,” Kahn said. “I think you have to wait. I think you have to be patient with him. It’s hard to believe he’s 18 when you look at the body. Now he just has to learn how to play and that could take a couple years. … The team that takes him – obviously somebody will very high – has to keep reminding themselves to be patient because it’ll be a while.”
Can the Wolves afford to be that patient after winning 22, 24 and 15 games the past three seasons?
“We have to do what’s best for the long-term viability of the franchise,” Kahn said. “It’s as simple as that. While I know people would prefer it happen sooner rather than later, I don’t think we can be forced into doing something that isn’t best for the long-term vision.”
Kahn acknowledged that the team eventually would have to make roster moves if it drafts Favors. The Wolves already have power forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love and will try to sign big men Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic in July.
“If he’s there and we take him, that obviously hastens something else that would have to occur,” Kahn said.
It’s kind of a tough spot for the Wolves if you draft Favors. You’re basically forced to trade Al for something because you drafted somebody who may not even end up as good as Al. Having the 4th pick SUCKS!
4th Pick trade is “Very Unlikely”
from Matt More at NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk
This morning the Pioneer Press in Minneapolis reports that Kahn has said it is “very unlikely” that the selection will be traded. This could be pillow talk, and certainly things change before and on draft night, but as of now, it looks like the Wolves will be where they are. This leads to further speculation that the top five selections have already been nailed down to John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, and DeMarcus Cousins.Kahn also stated that he doesn’t see the team trading the rights to Spanish star Ricky Rubio. Kahn has long said that Rubio is part of the Wolves’ future plan to compete on a consistent basis for championships, and that he wouldn’t be dishing off Rubio to a larger market like New York. You know, like one Rubio might actually be willing to play for.
Kahn has been seen as a hyper-aggressive, if sometimes foolhardy manager, but it looks like he might be taking a more conservative approach in his second draft.
Referencing the above analysis, we almost HAVE to trade the #4 pick. Unless you feel Wes Johnson is going to set the world on fire (doubtful) or Tom Ziller just nailed the first four picks of the draft (even more doubtful), the Wolves are going to find themselves in a situation where they lose value, standing pat at #4. Then again, maybe Kahn’s exhausted all our options and there aren’t any worthwhile offers… Can we get to Thursday already!
More draft analysis…
from Tom Powers at the Pioneer Press
The Wolves, on the other hand, always have a chance to stumble across an immediate impact player. The consensus appears to be that they will take small forward Wesley Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick. That appears to be the safe choice. Johnson turns 23 in a couple of weeks, and that is old for a rookie. He might start to creak before the Wolves turn it around.
More daring moves include trading up for the No. 2 pick so they can grab Evan Turner. Or trading down to where they still can draft, say, Al-Farouq Aminu while acquiring other assets in return for the swap. The Wolves also might look to work a deal so they can draft Bloomington’s Cole Aldrich with their second pick — and then hope he doesn’t turn out to be another Greg Ostertag.
Anyway, the Wolves have some possibilities. And there are absolutely no expectations for the coming season. The organization has done a splendid job of selling the public an open-ended rebuilding job. To paraphrase their marketing slogan: “Yeah, we’re really terrible, aren’t we? Someday we’ll be better.”
Personally, I’d take Greg Ostertag given our current big-man crop.
And to take a cue from WallyWorld, should the Wolves trade for Al “Farouq my life” Aminu… Well, the name sums it up. By far the best nickname heading into the draft! Strong work, Mike!
And some more…
via Jerry Zgoda at the Strib
Johnson is the safer pick, a 6-7 small forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan who would fill team needs for length, athleticism, outside shooting and a perimeter presence, even if he might not be the exact ballhandler and playmaker they seek.
Cousins is the risk/reward pick, a massive 6-11 center/forward who might be more talented than anyone in the draft, but also would join a roster where Jefferson, Love and presumably Milicic already reside. He has league executives concerned about his temperament and maturity.
Favors impressed during last week’s Target Center workout with a combination of size (6-10, 7-4 wingspan) and freakish athleticism, but the Wolves probably would at least have to swing a deal with New Jersey for the third pick to get him.
Both Cousins and Favors possess the kind of size and reach that Jefferson and Love lack. If Kahn indeed trades any players currently on his roster this summer, he must decide whether to do so this week or wait perhaps for what he calls the “fallout” from a free agency period that will hum once James, Wade and Bosh, among others, decide their futures.
Wes Johnson WOW’s the Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers have the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 NBA draft, and they’re expected to take Evan Turner, of Ohio State. But Syracuse’s Wes Johnson might have them thinking twice about what to do on Thursday night.
Johnson worked out for the Sixers on Saturday morning, and coach Doug Collins was thoroughly impressed with the former Orange forward.
“Watching Wesley work out was like, ‘Wow, that was impressive.’ This young kid has got it. He’s charismatic. He can play. He’s respectful. He’s older. Impressive,” Collins told the Philadelphia Daily News.
I have to admit, Wes Johnson almost seems like the kind of guy who will end up being the sleeper of the draft. Great name, good character, great interviewer… Then I remember he’s old and can’t create his own shot. In other words, not happening.
Randolph deal is D. E. A. D.
from Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group
Several NBA sources said over the weekend that the Warriors and Minnesota are no longer having trade discussions about Anthony Randolph heading to the Timberwolves.
“Not happening,” one league source said. “Dead.”
I’m definitely not too bent out of shape about this. If we’re going to turn the team around, we need to trade forwards, not backwards.
And finally, our TWB Reader Mock Draft…
With the 24th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks select…
Solomon Alabi, Center from Florida State University
With the 25th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Memphis Grizzlies select…
Devin Ebanks, Small Forward from West Virginia University
With the 26th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select…
With the 27th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the New Jersey Nets select…
Make your picks! Results and the 28th and 29th pick poll will be posted tomorrow!
TWB Reader Draft Board
|2||76ers||Evan Turner||SG||Ohio State|
|3||Nets||Derrick Favors||PF||Georgia Tech|
|6||Warriors||Al-Farouq Aminu||SF||Wake Forest|
|10||Pacers||Paul George||SF||Fresno St.|
|11||Hornets||Ed Davis||PF||North Carolina|
|15||Bucks||James Anderson||SG||Oklahoma State|
|24||Hawks||Solomon Alabi||C||Florida St.|
|25||Grizzlies||Devin Ebanks||SF||West Virginia|