If ever there were a moment that neatly summed up the Wolves' approach and experience with the NBA draft/lotto, it was watching Fred Hoiberg's face the moment he realized that the Wolves would not move into position to draft one of the top two players in a two-player draft. It wasn't just the look of a man who had once again run into the hard wall of history; his was the face of someone who prepared for the big moment by carrying a stuffed animal into a room filled with owners, NBA legends, rap moguls, and current super-stars as a good luck talisman only to realize in front of a national audience that it was just a child's toy given to a sick little boy to make him feel better during the pain and trauma of surgery. If I were the little boy, I'd consider asking mom and dad for a new surgery trinket.
Here's hoping that the actual draft preparation is going a tad smoother.
Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the draft is having to watch 2 major market teams select ahead of the Wolves. One of the teams (Chicago) is not even 1 year removed from being at or near the top of many experts' list of teams that would make the Eastern Conference Finals. The other featured a lumbering, over the hill big man who suddenly found the will to play (a little) when shipped out of town by a coach who literally took games off to watch college ball. I guess Pat has never heard of DVR. I can live with Chicago, but there is no way in god's green earth that the Heat should be rewarded for the mess they put on the court this past season. Tanking doesn't even begin to describe what went on down in South Beach.
And so goes my frustration with last night's events. It's more historical than anything else. Despite my allusion to Christian Laettner in a post below, I think that the Wolves have the opportunity to grab a fairly useful player in a draft that will turn out to be a bit more even than a two-man affair. If anything, the lotto has provided us fans with a bit more to work with as far as speculation goes.
Who should they choose? If they stay at 3, I think the choice is obvious: they take their highest rated 3 or OJ Mayo (if they were prepared to take Rose). As has been stated here at length, I don't think that the gap between Mayo and Rose is as large as everyone seems to believe (if it exists at all). If anything, Mayo would give the Wovles better perimeter d and shooting than Rose. Plus, think of all the cheesy things I could write about the Mayo Clinic when he has a good game.
It's pretty hard for the Wolves to screw up this pick. I think the closest they could come to doing so would be to take either Jerryd Bayless or Eric Gordon. Despite having numerous red flags, even Brook Lopez would fill a need by allowing Big Al and Ryan Gomes to move back into their natural positions.
There's always the possibility of a trade. The Wolves hold the Heat's current 2nd rounder and a future 1st. Are these 2 picks plus a player worth movinig up into Beasley/Rose territory? Should the Wolves attempt to make a move with the Clippers to regain their future #1? We have over a month to break down picks and players....and to take a cheap shot or two at the NBA in the process.
Oh, perhaps the best part of the night was the fact that I didn't have to pre-order one of these...yet: