Final 2010 Draft Board

OK folks, it's time for the most exciting and unfortunate day of the year for us Wolves fans.  It's draft day.  Each and every year we get all worked up about what could happen to Our Beloved Puppies on draft day, and each and every year our favorite team finds new and amazing ways to dash our hopes, poke our eyes, jack our ride, and steal the ying away from our yang.

This year the stakes are higher than ever before for the guys at 600 First Avenue.  In the years that have passed since KG was sent packing, the front office brain trusts have been stashing assets: 1st rounders, 2nd rounders, Euros, and cap space.  This off season is the culmination of these rebuilding efforts.  After tomorrow night, the picks are gone and the horrifying remnants of the Marko Jaric deal come barreling into full view.  They can try to push off the issue of unused cap space until 2011 or even 2012, but they have spent the past 2 off seasons reminding the only remaining fans that this off season was where the cap space would really come into play.  There are not too many suckers left in the small crowd of die hards who will buy into the cap space pitch for that much longer.  

In other words, this is the last off season that any fan in his or her right mind owes Glen Taylor for him keeping the club in Minny.  All of Minny's chips are on the table.  If they flub this one up, it's probably time to find a new team to root for that actually cares more about the on-court product than they do about Blueprint 1.0 2.0 3.0 Run With the Wolves whatever bulls#$t nonsense ticket pitch we'll be subjected to if they make a bad pick and/or overpay Joe Johnson.  I can just see it now..."We have a solid group of young players who we will work to continue to develop along with a significant amount of cap space that we can use in [insert year here]"  They've played the Lucy to our Charlie Brown for so long that maybe it's just a natural reflex to pull the ball away and they can't help themselves.  Anywho...

This is the biggest off season in team history.  The Wolves have an enormous amount of assets and flexibility.  They have one of the top 4 picks in a 4 player draft.  They have 2 promising young Euros.  They have 2 serviceable point guards and 2 serviceable power forwards.  There is no shortage of moves they could accomplish.  Right now, it's all about execution. This is the off season that will make or break this franchise for a very long time.  This is the culmination of the KG trade and its aftermath.  This is the gateway to the end of the draft gravy train (which crashes abruptly into the aforementioned Jaric disaster).  Will they get it right?   We'll have to wait and see.  

Below the fold is our Hoopus Community Draft Board, our final Hoopus Score Draft Board, and a few random notes about the draft.  We'll put up some open threads before, during, and after the draft.  

Hoopus Community Draft Board (along with percentage of votes received and a link to the original vote):

  1. John Wall (54%)
  2. Evan Turner (81%)
  3. Derrick Favors (50.8%) 
  4. DeMarcus Cousins (64.3%) 
  5. Wes Johnson (85.9%) 
  6. Al Faroq Aminu (38%) 
  7. Greg Monroe (30.4%) 
  8. Paul George (37.1%) 
  9. Xavier Henry (61.7%) 
  10. Cole Aldrich (35.1%) 
  11. Gordon Hayward (28%)
  12. Luke Babbitt (33.6%)
  13. Ed Davis (26.9%
  14. Hassan Whiteside (29.4%)
  15. Ekpe Udoh (41.4%)
  16. James Anderson (51.4%)
  17. Patrick Patterson (21.4%)
  18. Avery Bradley (26.5%)
  19. Damien James (23.8%)
  20. Kevin Seraphin (26.1%)
Here is my personal final draft board with tiered Hoopus Scores in parentheses (with some of the notes taken from our first draft board of the year):

Tier One

  1. DeMarcus Cousins (135.387)- Holy crap did this guy have a great year.  He does everything you could possibly want from a big.  He shoots a high rate from 2, he draws a huge number of fouls (8.4/40), he blocks shots (7.9%), he owns the offensive glass (2nd in the nation with a 20%), and he carries a massive usage rate without turning the ball over a ton.  This guy deserves consideration for the #1 pick.  There have been all sorts of rumors about his character but I honestly have no idea what the real deal is.  Here's hoping the Wolves are putting in a ton of leg work on this kid because he's clearly one of the top 2 or 3 prospects in the draft, especially if his whispered red flags are really nothing more than adjustable attitude problems.  If he measures out as having legit NBA center height and length, he'll be a tough prospect to pass over...no matter where the Wolves end up drafting.  Last year Blake Griffin put up a modified Hoopus Score of 136.727.  He was the highest ranked big (and player) in the past 5 years.  Cousins nearly matches him. It's really hard to overstate just how well Cousins performed this year.  His offensive rebounding (20% vs 14.1%) and shot blocking (7.9% vs 3.6%) were well above and beyond what Griffin put up, which are things you like to see in a young big. Cousins also got to the line at a better clip (73.1% vs 70.6%) and turned it over less (14.8% vs 18.1%).  Impressive stat: 19.2 OReb%, which is good for 2nd in the nation. Unimpressive stat: He doesn't have any.  
  2. Evan Turner (129.271)- He is a solid prospect at the 2 or 3.  He boasts the 6th highest usage rate in the country with the 9th highest assist rate.  He draws 5.6 fouls per 40 minutes with a FT rate of 39.3.  He turns the ball over a tad too much (21.5%) but he also boasts a combined 5.9% block/steal rate.  He can also rebound the hell out of the ball, which is never a bad thing.  His big draw back is that he doesn't possess the upper-level athleticism you'd like to see on the wing.  The big unknown about Turner is how well he can play off the ball in the NBA.  He's not going to post a 34.4 usage rate (or its equivalent) in the pros.  How much of his effectiveness is tied to the fact that he always had the ball in his hands?  Whatever the case, for those of you who have seen Ohio State play this season, you know full well that Turner was the entire team.  He had to carry that big of a load and it is amazing that a single player was able to carry his team as far as Turner did with the Buckeyes.  Also, in terms of the Wolves, Turner is the type of player that can play well off the pick and roll (the guy is a threat to shoot, pass, and drive when he comes off a pick) and in the Triangle.  He's also the closest thing in this draft to the type of player you can throw the ball to during a bad stretch of play and say "end this".  Impressive stat: He carried the 8th highest ARate in the country while taking nearly a 3rd of his team's shots while he was on the court while carrying an insane 34.7 usage rate.  He is a fantastic defensive rebounder for his position.  He also carries a TS% of 58.1%.  Lots of possessions + lots of assists + lots of rebounds + good shooting = you can't pass this kid up.  Unimpressive stat: 21.5 TO%.    
  3. Derrick Favors (123.267)- Favors gets the bump because of the "what could be" factor.  He played on a team with some seriously rec-league guards that really did him no favors in getting him the damn ball.  He carries a nice TS% with some solid signs of being a guy who can block shots and play good defense.  I don't think he's quite the uber-athlete that many people seem to believe he is for his position, but he's definitely one of the better prospects in this top-heavy draft class.  He certainly compares well to recent big prospects in their freshman year and he rates well in eFG, TS%, OR%, and free throw proficiency while making more than 60% of his shots from 2.  If he measures out with decent length, he'll be worth an even bigger look.  Impressive stat: Did I mention the .613 shooting from 2?  This guy also clears the boards (12.3/20.5 o/d reb%).  It will forever remain a mystery as to why Georgia Tech didn't get this guy more shots.  Unimpressive stat: 23.3 TORate.  
  4. John Wall (122.268)- For a quick comparison, Derrick Rose posted a modified Hoopus Score of 121.971 in his only year in college under John Calipari.  Check out some of these comparisons between the two players (Wall/Rose): TS%: (56.9/56), OR% (2.5/5), FTr (54.4/47), steal% (2.8/2.3), assist% (34.5/30.4), turnover rate (24/19.1).  Both players feature mind-bending athleticism and NBA level length for their position.  Rose played on a better team than Wall so he carries a better ORtg and he had more back court help with CDR so there was always someone with more experience there in the back court to help him with the ball handling duties.  Both players carried an almost identical load: 27.3 usage rate for Wall and 27.2 for Rose.  The bottom line for this draft is this: Would you take Derrick Rose with the top pick if he were in this draft in place of John Wall?  Would you be even more inclined to take a player nearly identical to Rose plus the chance to be better on defense, better at getting to the line, better from inside the arc, and who may even really be 6'4" and with longer arms?  Impressive stat: 34.8 Assist%, good for 26th in the country.  Unimpressive stat: .325 from beyond the arc.  Strike against him: highly questionable shooting from outside and a mid-range game that is not nearly as developed as Derrick Rose's.  He also did not display the type of take-it-all-over ability that Rose started to flash (and is currently flashing) during his freshman season.  I think he will end up being a more complete player than Rose, but not as gifted as a scorer.  

Tier Two

  1. James Anderson: (129.178)- This year's James Harden is the first pick on the board should the Wolves lose out on the four most talented players in the draft.  He is a fantastically talented scorer who may be a bit of a disappointment on the defensive end of the court.  He carries a TS of almost 60% while getting to the line at a fair clip and not turning the ball over.  In a relatively weak draft from here on out, Anderson is the best non-Turner wing prospect on the board.  Impressive stat: He carried a 59.6 TS% on a 30.9 usage rate while only turning it over to the tune of 13 times for every 100 possessions.  Yes please. Unimpressive stat: nothing really stands out on the stat sheet but this guy simply did not show any signs of being able to defend.  That quality probably makes him an ideal candidate for the Wolves. 
  2. Luke Babbitt: (128.76)- .917, .521, and .416.  That is what Mr. Babbitt put up from the line, from 2, and from beyond the arc.  He did so with good size and athleticism for his position while not turning the ball over at a high clip (only 13.9% of his used possessions) with a good oRtg, high usage rate on his team, and while being a serviceable rebounder. I know that Paul George is the sexy swing pick in this draft with his amazing length and athleticism, but Babbitt not only has better numbers, he does best what the Wolves need the most: shoot the ball.  If he is available with the 16th pick, the team should jump at the opportunity to nab him.  
  3. Cole Aldrich: (128.14)- Aldrich didn't quite put up the numbers a lot of people expected during his junior season and Kansas made an early exit from the tourney, but the fact remains that Aldrich does two things very well that will never go away: Blocking shots and getting rebounds.  Yes, there are some other bigs who are more athletic and flashy, and he needs some work on the offensive end of the court, but the guy has legit size, can defend, and gets rebounds.  He will make Oklahoma City a very happy ball club.  Impressive stat: 13.0 block% (5th in the nation) with a 25.7 DR%.  Again, this guy will defend and rebound with huge size.  Unimpressive stat: .562 shooting from 2.  When you're that big, and you're that close to the basket...
  4. Elliot Williams: (124.385)- This is where things start to get iffy.  The Duke transfer put up some excellent offensive numbers at Memphis but if you have watched him in action (especially near the end of the year) you know that he has some very Foye-esque flaws in his game.  He's kind of an in-between guard with finishing issues.  Randy FoyeRashad McCants...the Wolves know this type of player and even though he is rated high during a weak draft class, they should stay as far away as possible.  Impressive stat: Gets to the line with a 66% free throw rate.  Unimpressive stat: many kamikaze drives end with him being unable to finish.  If he doesn't get the calls in the NBA, his game will go to pieces.  This guy is a 3rd guard in the NBA.  
  5. Brian Zoubek (124.236)- It pains me to put a Dookie this high, but the guy has legit size and he led the country in offensive rebounding % (21.4%) while shooting over 60% from 2.  He turns it over a bit much but he's one of the more solid big men in this draft and I think he will end up having a much better career than guys like Larry Sanders, Solomon Alabi, Hassan Whiteside, or Jarvis Varnado. 
  6. Ed Davis: (124.051)-  Davis was unable to make it through the season and I'm not really sure what type of player he really is, but 6'10 with 57% shooting from 2 while getting to the line and cleaning the boards is pretty hard to overlook.  Impressive stat: 28th in the nation in block%, 45th in the nation in DR%, and he shoots .578 from 2.  Unimpressive stat: 6.7 assist rate.  
  7. Paul George: (121.771)- Athleticism plus size plus shooting plus....a weak conference and an ability to disappear bring him down a notch. A very high risk pick. 
  8. Gordon Hayward: (121.65)- .294.  That's what he shot from 3 last year.  The year before he went for .448. He shared an equal usage rate with two teammates and he was more efficient than both while rebounding nicely, blocking shots, and getting to the line.  Definitely in play for the 16th selection. 
  9. Greg Monroe: (120.743)- Here is where the red flags really start to come into play.  He can really pass the ball but he can also really turn it over and not rebound as well as you would like to see a guy rebound from that position.  Monroe is one of those guys you hope is available with the Charlotte pick because there is no way he should be considered in the top 10.  
  10. Wes Johnson: (120.5)-  Wes Johnson is going to get a lot of mentions with Wolves fans but he has some fairly significant red flags.  If he were drafted by the Wolves, he would start the season as a 23 year old swing man from Syracuse (hello zone!) who needs work on his handle.  Midway through the season he went through a dry spell that reminded everyone of the player he was at Iowa State: a nice player but not someone to consider with a top 5 pick.     
  11. Willie Warren: (118.02)- Warren is probably one guy who should be used as a case study for those players who need to leave after a single year of college.  The kid had everything going for him next to Blake Griffin.  He waited a year and regressed.  That being said, he's still a guy who put up nice numbers as a freshman and has shown enough talent to play at the next level. 
  12. Al Faroq Aminu: (117.757)-  I honestly have no idea how to classify this guy.  He's a tweener forward and his athleticism and length will serve him well in the pros, but is he the type of guy the Wolves could use on the wing and with their current core? 
  13. Patrick Patterson: (117.335)- Which player had the highest ORtg and TS% on Kentucky?  This guy.  He is the CDR of Calipari-coached power forwards who will be able to contribute to his team on day one. Impressive stat: 128.7 ORtg (5th in the country) with a 10.5 TO% (44th in the country).  This guy is going to be a very solid mid-to-late 1st round pick.  Strike against him: His defensive rebounding should be better.  
  14. Jon Scheyer: (116.171)- Another Dookie...I know.  The guy will make a good backup in the NBA.  Mark my words. 
  15. Xavier Henry: (115.285)-  He had a big in-season slump with some nice play down the stretch.  He has nice size and a good outside shot.  I do not get what people like about his game.  
  16. Solomon Alabi: (114.631)- Fantastic defensive presence but the shooting and so-so turnover numbers do him in to this part of the draft.  
  17. Da'Sean Butler: (113.691)-  How bad is the injury?  Not a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination but a nice pick late in the 1st/early 2nd.  
  18. Eric Bledsoe: (106.657)- He got to star next to John Wall and he started to show signs of being able to shoot the 3 near the end of the year.  Impressive stat: nothing jumps out.  Unimpressive stat: 27.5 TO%.  Run away.  
Tier 2 1/2:

Avery Bradley, Lance Stephenson, and Jordan Crawford.  

These three players are indistinguishable to me in terms of how effective I think they will be at the next level.  All three are worth a look once the 23rd pick rolls around.  My gut tells me that they should be picked in the order I presented them.  

Tier Three

  1. Hassan Whiteside: 130.19- Red flags from here to the coast.  Old for his class, academic problems, didn't dominate Jerome James, and so on and so forth.  Avoid.  
  2. Jarvis Varnado: 129.721- I really thought about bumping him up to tier two but at the end of the day his size will be too much of an issue in the pros.  He could end up being a good backup at the 4, something the Wolves do not need at this point.  
  3. Larry Sanders: 128.81- He has excellent length and could be worth a flier late in the draft.  
  4. AJ Ogilvy: 127.52- May be worth a peak in the 2nd round.  
  5. Artisom Parakhoski: 125.96- This draft definitely has its share of backup bigs and Parakhoski is another big body that could likely be had late in the first round or early 2nd. 
  6. W. Witherspoon: 122.15- I'm not really sure why he doesn't get more mention...for a late first/early second type of selection.  
  7. Charles Garcia: 119.9- Started the season out like gangbusters and ended it busted.  
  8. Epke Udoh: 118.3- Have you seen his shooting numbers? He is a big with an eFG below 50%.  WARNING, WARNING, WARNING!!! 
  9. Gani Lawal: 116.351- Not much to say about the guy.  
  10. Sherron Collins: 109.91- Avoid at all costs. 
  11. Stanley Robinson: 109.05- There are quite a few wing prospects in the draft that would be much better than Mr. Robinson.  
  12. Devin Ebanks: (108.471)- Another guy who gets a pass because of his defensive potential at the next level as a role player.  

I think that about does it for our tiered list.  If the status quo remains in place (and I think it will not), I think the best draft the Wolves could hope for is as follows:

4- DeMarcus Cousins
16- James Anderson/Luke Babbitt/Gordon Hayward
23- Elliot Williams/Willie Warren/one of the tier 2 1/2 guys

We'll have to play their 2nd round picks on the fly in the open thread, but we will be keeping an eye on guys like Brian Zoubek, Jon Scheyer, Jarvis Varnado, or some more stashed European players.  

Here is what I wrote back on June 17th about the draft:

The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the 4th pick in a 4 player draft.  They also have two point guards (Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions), two power forwards (Kevin Love and Al Jefferson), two additional first round picks, two second round picks, and two stashed Euros (Ricky Rubioand Nikola Pekovic) to move in any number of combinations to get additional serviceable starting-level players, additional picks, whatever.  

The bottom line for the team is that if they are unable to use their assets to get the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd best player in this draft, they take the BPA and use their assets to adjust the roster accordingly.  At this stage of the game, it should be Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins or bust.  I cannot tell you how big of a gap there is between these 3 players (and John Wall) and Wes Johnson.  It's the Grand Canyon of the 2010 NBA Draft.  This isn't to say that Wes Johnson isn't a nice player (he should be a very nice 3rd or 4th option and a terror in transition); rather, it's to say that for the first time in a long time, the Wolves have not found themselves as the one-pick-too-late player in a sparsely populated draft.  For once, they aren't on the Laettner outside looking in at the beautiful O'Neal/Mourning interior.  They're on the inside.  They get to pick one of the big boys no matter what happens.  

Keeping this in mind, there is nothing a 15-win team should worry about in terms of fit, roster cohesiveness, or locker room dynamics that should prevent them from taking one of the best 4 players in a 4 player draft with the 4th pick.  It's that f'ing simple.  If it's Derrick Favors, fine.  If it's DeMarcus Cousins, even better.  If it's Evan Turner, go nuts.  If Derrick Favors is ranked higher on their board than DeMarcus Cousins, then they should try to do whatever they can to get him.  If Evan Turner is ranked higher than that, the same thing holds true.  

What should not happen is for this team to trade out of the plush O'Neal/Mourning surroundings into Laettner-ville.  That's insane.  Unless the team is able to move the 4th pick for an honest-to-Pete NBA All Star level performer, there is no reason to pull a Hello Kitty and get all cute.  None. Zilch. Zip.  

Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, or DeMarcus Cousins.  They absolutely need to walk away with one of these three players.  There is no reason for a 15 win team to walk itself out of the top tier of the draft.  It's lunacy and if they are unable to make the investment needed to shepherd a once-in-a-decade-big endorsed by John Thompson through the NBA wildlife, then they really aren't serious about player development or getting the most bang for their buck.  Players like DMC are exactly the reason why you brag and boast about player development.  Players like DMC are exactly the reason why you hire a coach to mentor promising young talent.  If Rambis doesn't want the headache then he is the wrong man for the job.  

That being said, if for some strange reason both Favors and DMC are available at 4, there isn't a whole lot wrong with the team deciding to roll the dice with a talent like Favors, especially if they are all-in with Ricky Rubio (and they are).  They'd be picking the lesser player, but Favors still has upper-tier talent.  Here's how the two bigs stack up (hooray kenpom!):

 

%poss TS% OR%/DR% TORate Blk% FD/40 FTR 2p% pts/poss PPR
DMC 31.3 57.9 19.6/25.1 15.8 7.5 8.3 72.6 .565 .1.14 --5.93
DF 22.1 62.1 12.3/20.5 23.2 7.9 4.7 48.8 .613 .1.11 -6.63


The kicker with Favors is that the team will have to wait a few years for him to become anything more than an athletic rebounder.  Another kicker is that DMC will probably be the better pick and roll player in a 1/2 court setting.  

Random thoughts: 
  • Wesley Johnson will be a nice pro and make a decent impact in his first year in the league.  He's also not worth the 4th pick.  Forget all of the mindless speculation, obfuscation, and smokescreens you have heard over the past month or so about the guy.  2 years ago he was doing this and that's exactly why you never heard of him before the season began. He had 2 very good months at Syracuse followed by some ups and downs. That's not worth the 4th pick, no matter how much Doug Collins blabbers on about the kid.  If the Wolves take Johnson at 4, they've lost some value on their selection.  
  • Evan Turner is not worth selling the farm for.  If I had to pull the lever in the draft, I'd side with the take that part of what made Turner so special was the fact that he was huge for his position and he had a massive usage rate.  If you take away the size advantage and the usage rate, I'm not sure he has the tools to distinguish himself to the extent that you should go all Reggie Williams on the draft and walk away with one guy.  He is definitely in the top tier of players. However, he's not better than something like DMC + Luke Babbitt + name your 3rd player.  Again, the Wolves are guaranteed one of the top tier players in this draft and they should use their remaining assets to obtain the top guy on their board or the best 2nd tier wing player they can get their hands on.  
  • Official drinking game for the night (via Rasho Revolution): Drink every time an analyst says that Minnesota drafted 3 point guards last year, including Ty Lawson.
  • Over/under for Chad Ford rumors and backtracks between now and when the draft begins: 3. 
  • Number of words Bill Simmons writes in his live draft blog before making a crack about David Kahn and the Wolves: 14. 
  • Approximate cosmic mass of the grudge Billy Simmons holds against David Kahn for getting a job that Simmons believes himself to be more qualified for: 785.3 cubic feet.  
  • I'm not sure what else Kahn has done to deserve some of the vitriol dolled out by the likes of Simmons and Adrian Wojnarowski.  In Simmons' latest chat wrap and in Woj's latest screed, their beefs seem to be either complete fabrications (Kahn said Favors was out of shape), weird emotional conclusions (he's mean to everybody), or flat-out misinterpretations of fact (Simmons does it best when he says that Ricky went back to Europe because the Wolves drafted a PG...right before he hammers Kahn for drafting the wrong PG while ignoring what Curry said at the time as well as the sticky buyout issue).  This isn't to say that I think Kahn will do a good job (I have no idea what the team is going to do) or that I have a lot of confidence (I don't).  Rather, it is to claim that Kahn has been a lightening rod who has brought out the very worst in national sports media coverage: over-the-top speculation, anonymous sources, writers inserting their own voice into the record in order to prove a point, and on and on and on. It's almost as if David Kahn has been cast as the villain in the play version of Simmons' Pyramid of Basketball Success. You know, his self-made system of ranking players in an imaginary hall of fame that he amends according to the voices in his own head and from which no usable data could be obtained or, you know, transfered to the day-to-day duties of a f'ing NBA GM.  I like Simmons.  He is an entertaining writer.  Unfortunately, he's also a piss poor grudge holder and, to continue the play analogy, he's one of those guys who wants to be billed above the actors.  In my imaginary ranking system of historical artists, he's the Andrew Lloyd Weber of professional basketball writing.  
  • I can't shake the feeling that the Wolves will end up with Lance Stephenson.  
  • My bust picks: Aminu, Udoh, Henry, James, Orton, and Paul George. 
  • Player combos I'd be willing to overlook passing on DMC for: Favors + Johnson, Favors + Babbitt, Turner + Aldrich.  Anything else would have to involve an established NBA player.  
  • My best guess as to what the Wolves want to do: Favors + Johnson and a crack at Paul George.  David Kahn is 150% in on Ricky Rubio and it influences every part of their roster. They want to go big, long, and athletic.  They want guys who can rebound and run.  They want guys who can go up and down the court and catch ally-oops.  If they could pull it off, a trio of Favors, Johnson, and George would be an insanely long and athletic grouping.  
  • Something in the back of my mind tells me that the team's stance towards DMC is an elaborate bluff to ensure he's available at 4.  
  • Don't be surprised if the Wolves take a player and wait a few days (even longer) to move him.   This will be a tough PR move if the trade involves the 4th pick but if it does, we'll have to wait for the outcome.  This off season is a long process.  I'm willing to give them that much and to have that much patience.  My deadline for OKC Thunderdom is the trade deadline.  That's where I say goodbye if they are still worried more about ticket pitches than actually putting together a winning team.  
  • How I think the Wolves will flub the draft in McHaleian fashion: Wes Johnson at 4 and then cashing out the remainder of their picks for Ekpe Udoh. 
  • FWIW, I liked the rumored Memphis/Minny deal.  I'd trade Al, 16, and 23 in a heartbeat for Z-Bo and 12.  Randolph would never step inside of Target Center and he'd trim 2 years off of Jefferson's increasingly ugly contract.  Also, it would move them up into Babbitt/Aldrich range with their 2nd pick wile removing the pick that is in no-man's land from the equation.   Z-Bo is crazy but that deal is not.  Not in the least.  It would be yet another fleecing of Memphis.  
  • Speaking of Big Al, I hope it is becoming more and more clear why I soured on the guy before the knee injury.  He's not a functional two way player.  He's not a legitimate offensive threat on 90% of the court.  He can't pass.  He doesn't defend.  He has a dinosaur offensive game.  This isn't to say he doesn't have worth.  It's just not on the Wolves nor for that salary.  Kahn was being charitable by saying he was a 2nd option on a championship team.  Maybe he was talking about the men's league at the local Y, but in the NBA, a guy like Jefferson (and Z-Bo) is a special kind of player.  He's almost like a big man version of an off-the-bench energy guy.  A situational scorer in the front court.  He's the Randy Foye of big men.  He can do one thing on offense pretty well and it doesn't involve anybody else on his team.  Randy had his kamikaze drives down the right side of the lane.  Big Al has his low left block.  My big worry with him right now is that the team has completely overvalued his worth and will end up on the outside looking in when it comes down to using him to make a trade for a wing or an additional draft pick.  I get that he's coming off an injury but he's also 25 years old entering his 7th NBA season with nearly 12,000 minutes on the tires.  It's time for the team to cut their losses on the guy and move on with whatever they can.  His value is going nowhere but down from here on out, especially when you consider the value that Kevin Love brings to the table at the same position for much, much, much fewer dollars and minutes played.  Yes, it sucks to come to the realization that once again Kevin McHale locked in a player to a contract well above his production level, but here we are and it's time to move on. 
  • Whatever happens, I'll be kind of upset if the team doesn't use one of their power forwards and one of their point guards in a trade for a higher pick and/or an established player.  Between Jefferson, Love, Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, Ricky Rubio, and Nikola Pekovic, the Wolves should be able to get a nice asset or two in return while maintaining solid proficiency at the 1 and 4.  
Welllllllll....on that note it's time to wrap this little ditty up.  Turner, Cousins, Favors or bust.  We'll have updates throughout the day tomorrow along with open threads throughout the draft.  Don't forget to follow us at Twitter.  Our twittag for the night will be #hoopusdraft and you can hit us up at @canishoopus 

Until later. 
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