FanPost

Getting the #3 pick

There has been more and more talk fueled by Kahn's speculation that the #3 pick is 'gettable' that the Wolves are actually gunning for a Favors/Wes draft and not a Turner draft. While I find this intriguing, I'm not sure what we have that NJ would want, so here's my question:

is giving up Pekovic, the #16, and the #23 too much for acquiring the #3 and Kris Humphries?

Here's the breakdown as I see it (and this is just my opinion and speculation, as I don't follow the Nyets very closely at all). The Nyets have a new flashy owner and are moving within a couple years. The Eastern Conference is ripe for a new dominant team. Combine said flashy owner with the Nyets nucleus and cap space and you get a perfect recipe for the acquisition of at least one (and perhaps two) marquee players. This is the Prokhorov era, and as such I think he is the type of owner who is motivated to show to the league just what he can do. I think this summer is all about the marquee player(s) for NJ.

Now marquee players can come from one of two places - the draft or FA. Assuming the top of the draft goes Wall/Turner, the two best options for marquee players are Favors and DMC. I can see the Nyets taking Favors, but I don't see them as being all-in on absolutely having to have the guy either. Favors, despite all of his potential, is not going to be a rookie of the year candidate, and most likely won't be hitting any sort of dominance until at least his 2nd or 3rd season in the league. DMC, on the other hand, is primed to take over the league now but I'm not sure that he represents the basket into which Prokhorov wishes to place some of his golden eggs. To recap - I can see NJ happily taking Favors, and even Cousins, but I don't think they necessarily feel like they have to come out of this summer with one of those players because, quite frankly, there are far bigger and tastier fish in the sea that they're after.

This summer's free agent class must be manna to a guy like Prokhorov. He buys a team with a ton of cap space, some solid role players, and possessing arguably the hardest piece to find in the NBA today - a great, productive young center. He hires a well respected coach, one who should be able to resurrect the production of their (good) young PG. What better way to completely remake the team and begin winning the war of attrition with the Knicks than to scoop them in free agency (and don't fool yourself here - Prokhorov's career up to this point strongly suggests that over the next decade or more he is going to try and position the Nyets as the dominant basketball franchise in the NY area - both in terms of wins, cachet, and fan support)? What team is more interesting - one with a great, rich new owner known to splurge on his players, one with a new coach who's had a great amount of success but doesn't berate or alienate players, one who's moving into a beautiful new arena in Brooklyn; or an organization with suspect ownership, a coach who has lost an amazing amount of luster in addition to losing an amazing amount of trust from his players, and an organization still a year or two away from clearing out all the old baggage of the Isaiah Thomas era. All things being equal, I really do believe Prokhorov gives the Nyets the advantage right now.

So are the Nyets going to get LeBron? I don't know, and that's not really the point of this post. I think they are motivated to make a big splash and make the playoffs next year. Boston is aging, who knows what's going to happen in Atlanta. Cleveland all depends on one player, and Orlando is really the one big fish we can reasonably expect to be a big factor for the next few seasons. If Prokhorov gets LeBron then Cleveland is done and he's really only up against Orlando. If he can get one of Bosh/Amare and one of Gay/Joe Johnson, then his team should reasonably be penciled in as a top 4 team in the East, right (Orlando, Cleveland with Lebron, Chicago, maybe Boston for another year). To me this vision is far more compelling for the Nyets than Favors or Cousins.

 

If we accept that what I've suggested this far is within plausibility and that the Nyets are willing to part with #3 (for a variety of reasons, one also being they can rid themselves of Humphries and acquire to max guys), then how do we acquire the #3 pick while still holding onto #4?

The easiest answer is to trade them Pek, 16, and 23 for 3 and Humphries. It seems like a lot to me, but then I got to thinking - which roster looks better:

(Rubio)/Flynn/Sessions

Brewer/Ellington

Wes/Brewer/Wilkens

Favors (eventually)/Love

Darko/Love/Favors

 

or 

(Rubio)/Flynn/Sessions

(Fernandez)Brewer/Ellington

Brewer/Wilkins

Love/Al

DMC/Darko/Seraphin?

The second team is intriguing to me, no doubt, but I think I'd take the first team, as they've got a really high potential in 3-5 years time. The roles and talent/skill dispersal is just too good (it's like KG and Marbury good, well, before Marbury went all ego-blinded) - Rubio, Wes, Favors complimented by uber sixth man Love, a solid hold-it-all-together center in Darko, a sparkplug scorer in Flynn, a great manager in Sessions, a long athletic defender type in Brewer, and a cold blooded sniper off the bench in Ellington. Viewed this way a draft of Favors + Wes seems like a pretty good return for Pek, 16 and 23. 

Fernandez for 16 does sound pretty good, though, and if Seraphin develops as he might we might be able to get a very close approximation to Favors/Wes with Fernandez/Seraphin. I, for one, though don't think that having or not having Rudy is going to keep Rubio from coming here. It can only help, but I think it's got to be 5th or 6th on the list of meaningful reasons to come or not come to the NBA for Rubio. If Fernandez ends up not producing or fitting as well as Wes, then it might even be considered a slight detriment. I think winning trumps friendships.

So, after too many hundreds of words, I again pose my question:

is giving up Pekovic, the #16, and the #23 too much for acquiring the #3 and Kris Humphries?

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