Just thought I'd start up a conversation about how some the better bigs in college are looking and how some of them could fit on the wolves next year. The big thing right now with drafting is production vs. potential. In this era it seems that potential is outweighing college production, and by a wide margin. I haven't seen all the bigs listed on the draftexpress.com and nbadraft.net play, but I have seen a pretty good number. I will focus on Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, Marcus Morris, Tristan Thompson, and JuJuan Johnson. Starting with Jones, I like him as much as the next guy, but I think he's so highly rated because of his athleticism. I guess I could see his game to be a better fit in the NBA than in college, but why is he rated SO much higher than Tristan Thompson, another fab freshmen? Their stats are very similar. Very similar size. Very athletic. And what about JuJuan Johnson? All he does is score 20 ppg, pull down 8 boards a game, and blocks almost 3 a game. Talk about a well rounded offensive game. Can do damage inside and out. He is very similar in size to Jones and Thompson, yet doesn't get the PR because he didn't get all the McDonald's All American high school hype. I think his production has a good chance of carrying over to the pros because of his style. Ya he needs to get stronger, but that isn't his game. There is a place in the NBA for finesse 4's who can score in a diverse fashion (can't believe he could be there early round 2 for our pick, he would be the SOD at that point). Another big producer is Sullinger. Some nights when I watch him I think he's going to be the next Barkley. Then some nights I watch guards block his shot and the doubts start to creep in. At this point I do think he will be a very good pro with similar limitations that Love has (getting off the floor). He has a better offensive game than Love, but doesn't have Love's outside shot. I think Sully is potentially better on D than Love. And finally there is Marcus Morris. Up until this year he was a solid producer and didn't do things with flash. Now his production is up and he is looking flashy doing it. He is a prototypical 4 and has a good chance to be a very good pro.
I am in the camp right now that if some of these guys are available and they are the best available player at our draft spot, that we don't hesitate to take them. I know none of them are centers and we have Kevin Love as our anchor 4, but would you rather reach for a SG or Euro C at #3 having passed on Sullinger just to watch him become an all-star on another team? I wouldn't. There are a glut of 4's this year and that's just the way it is. In the last several years, there has never been a glut of the position player that we have needed. It's just not our luck, never will be. So you draft best player available, even if it's redundant. As long as you think that player will pan out to be a very good pro. Then assuming the player is legit, you contemplate moving one of your redundant players for a position of need.
Ultimately, we get the top pick and take Irving and call it a day. But I suspect we'll draft around pick #4. I don't think Barnes will come out, but even if he did, he'd be a reach at 4, and I don't think he's a prototypical 2 guard. I like Burks and Selby, but that could be too high for those SG's as well. So you take a Sullinger, Derek Williams (AU), Perry Jones. Can't miss guys who are redundant. Now if we end up getting a crap pick like #7, then you might consider Burks, Selby (probably not, I'm not as high on him as I was a couple weeks ago), maybe even a Kemba Walker. The ultimate value picks in round 2 if it went something similar to the draft sites, would be JuJuan Johnson, Demitri McCamey, who is another guy who looks the part, produces, but doesn't have the jet quickness of some of the other more highly rated PG. Still think he could be a good starting PG in the league though. Pretty random post I know, was more or less wondering about everyone's thoughts on taking sure fire but redundant players over players who might be more of a need. That and the skewed (possible) rankings of the current bigs in college.
What say you?