Tim's "Mock" Draft, Version 1: Lottery Picks #14-6
It's a privilege to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Our franchise is not like the Sacramentos or Golden States of the world, where any head case or D-Leaguer with a broken jump shot can suit up. We demand only the best, which is why so few free agents have ever been invited to come play with the team.
Last year, for instance, Rudy Gay and David Lee were under consideration and David Kahn took each to a Minnesota Twins baseball game for a final test. Unfortunately, when asked, "which pitcher is most deserved of inclusion in the baseball Hall of Fame?", neither one picked Bert Blyleven. No thanks.
With 44 games remaining in the 2010-2011 season, the Wolves are looking better than ever and it seems quite likely that they will not have a lottery pick this season. Just in case Love, Beasley and Webster suffer simultaneous ACL tears or the team decides to re-enact the Lakers' Iowa landing (but in typical Wolves-style, crash at the last minute), let's look at some of the bums that think they are good enough to play for our team.
Lottery Picks #14-6
14. Mason Plumlee, Duke, PF
I'm sorry, is this a basketball player or the guy playing "Lurch" in Duke University Theatre's Production of 'The Addams Family'? Excuse me if I don't get all excited about a guy whose dad's name is "Perky". All Plumlee does for Duke is make cuts and grab offensive rebounds. He has no post game. He lacks the physical toughness to compete down low and gives up position pretty easily. People blame his lack of minutes on Duke's depth. I blame it on Plumlee. I hope he likes Europe.
13. Derrick Williams, Arizona, SF
Originally, Derrick Williams wanted to go to the University of Southern California. I'm not sure of the details, but apparently, he was so bad that they kicked him out and he had to go to the University of Arizona instead. At Arizona, he's either an undersized power forward or a small forward without handles or athleticism. In the NBA, he'll probably be the same. I'd rather have Eric Williams. And I mean now. At least Eric and his wife are entertaining on Basketball Wives. Derrick's only entertaining if you like Tweeners.
On to the next one.
12. Donatas Moteijunas, Lithuania, PF
Let's see. Poor body language. Gets down on himself easily and shows signs of immaturity. Concerns that he may be a little fragile mentally. Scouts raving about his outstanding physical tools. Where have I heard this one before?
That's right. Why would we want to draft another Nemanja Bjelica? Enough of the Euro big men. Who else is available?
11. Jan Vesely, Czech Republic, SF
Jan Vesely could've been a Top 10 pick if he had come out last year. Instead, he went back to Partizan and decided to play there this season. He'll probably have a buyout fee this season and any team that takes him should be worried about Vesely staying in Europe for another season. Why? Scared of the competition? Not ready for the pros? Worried about how NBA fans will treat a guy named 'Jan'?
How about not declaring for the draft until you're ready to play here? When I applied for the drive-thru window at Arby's last week, did I tell them I wouldn't be joining them until 2012? Of course not. Those Jamocha shakes don't fill themselves.
10. John Henson, North Carolina, PF
Last year, as a freshman, Henson was included near the top of many draft boards. That was, of course, until they started to see him play. When it was clear that Henson was not ready for the NBA - due to a lanky frame, a lack of muscle and a lack of ability on the inside and on the perimeter - his name started to get removed from those boards. Fool me once, shame on you. If you fool me twice, well, then there are only fools left.
I'm no fool. I'd rather have the John Henson who hosts Wipeout. People falling off of platforms into muddy water? Now that's entertainment.
9. Kemba Walker, Connecticut, PG
Sure, Kemba Walker has looked good in college. So did Jonny Flynn. Another munchkin point guard who is lauded for his quickness and ball-handling, as well as his "creative passing"? Another Oopma Loompa who has an Ast/FGA ratio of only .20? Maybe we should pass on Stephen Curry for him and see what people around here think about Kemba Walker.
You're gonna love this kid.
8. Josh Selby, Kansas, PG
Talk about your strong character guys. The NCAA ruled that Selby had taken improper benefits in high school and forced him to sit for the first nine games of Kansas' season. Bill Self and Kansas, somehow, were able to get Selby eligible for this season. He's been described by some scouts as a less-talented DeMarcus Cousins, thanks to his poor decision-making on and off of the court, but an upside that doesn't come close to that of last year's Kentucky Wildcat.
Who wouldn't want a less-talented DeMarcus Cousins? Well, I sure wouldn't. Let's move along.
7. Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania, PF
When asked about his game, Valanciunas said, "I have very long arms. It helps a lot." He also said, "I don't have very good skills right now, many good moves, so I have to fight."
So we've got a Stretch Armstrong-guy who got torched by Enes Kanter on the national stage and admits that he doesn't have good offensive skills. Well, sign me up. At least, if he gets drafted, he'll be able to use that long wingspan to hand out Gatorade to the rest of the players on the bench. I'm not sure he's worth much else, especially on the court. If I wanted a project, I'd go down to the Home Depot.
6. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, PF
ESPN's scouting report of Sullinger lists this under Negatives:
"Has had conditioning issues."
Isn't that ironic? Jared has conditioning issues. He's also undersized at 6'9" and is not incredibly athletic, which means he'll have trouble scoring in the pros. Maybe he can grab some rebounds, but he's a poor defender and we already have an undersized power forward who grabs rebounds and doesn't play defense. Should a lottery pick really be wasted on a guy whose ceiling is DeJuan Blair?
Not in my mind.
We haven't found anyone worthy of the Wolves yet. Maybe we'll find someone in a different part of the draft.
1st Round Non-Lottery Picks
the Top 5 Prospects in the 2011 NBA Draft.