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The Real Cost of Joe Smith

Not my first post but I haven't done a lot of them. Previously went by waldo11teen but everyone thought I was a 12 year old so I changed my account to a different name to honor my favorite T-Wolve of all time.

I took a look at the drafts we missed out on because of the infamous "Pay Joe Under the Table" scandal. I took into account that we might have improved based upon the player we drafted but the Wolves did that dramatically from here on out going from 13th best record in the NBA to the 2nd best in the 3 year span.

 

Keep in mind also that hindsight is always 20/20 and McHale was drafting these things and in 2003 we took Ndudi Ebi and the next 3 picks were Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, & Josh Howard. With that said maybe Joe Smith just saved us a lot of head scratching over the past decade. Could you imagine if we had taken 4 Ndudi Ebi's over 4 years?

 

2001 NBA Draft

 

Wolves record 47-35 (8th in West) 13th in NBA

 

Let's begin with the 2001 NBA Draft. This seemed to be our best chance to secure a very good player out of all of them. We would have picked higher and there were a lot of good choices from Gerald Wallace in the mid first round all the way to Nocioni who wasn't even drafted. We took Lored Woods in the 2nd who is 7'2" so maybe we wanted a long athletic center. My best guess and hope is they would have at least drafted Haywood.

81863158_medium 

(Kwame Brown need I say more?)

Next 5 picks

Jason Collins

Zach Randolph

Brendan Haywood

Joseph Forte

Jeryl Sasser

 

Notable Players on board

Gerald Wallace

Samuel Dalembert

Jamal Tinsley

Tony Parker

Gilbert Arenas

Mehmet Okur

Andres Nocioni

 

2nd Round Pick

Loren Woods

 

2002 NBA Draft

Wolves Record 50-32 (5th in West) 7th in NBA

 

The 2002 draft gets a lot thinner especially since we picked around 23rd (Tied with the Pistons at 50 wins). They took a flyer on Marcus Taylor in the 2nd round a 6'3" guard who left Michigan State after 2 years so I'm not sure what they were looking for position wise. You would have to think they would've taken Prince or Kristic. They had Wally and Sam Mitchel on the wing but I think they would have wanted to get a little more athletic here but who really knows.

 2002_nba_draft_lottery_medium

Next 5 Picks

Tayshaun Prince

Nenad Kristic

Frank Williams

John Salmons

Chris Jefferies

 

Notables Players on board

Carlos Boozer

Matt Barnes

Luis Scola

Udonis Haslem

 

2nd Round Pick

Marcus Taylor

 

2003 NBA Draft

2003_nba_draft_green_room_medium 

(One of the best drafts ever and guess which guy we ended up with)

No need to go into detail here. We had a pick and it wasn't good.

 

1st Round

Ndudi Ebi

 

2nd Round

Rick Rickert

 

2004 NBA Draft

Wolves Record (1st in West) 2nd in NBA

 Nba_class_of_2004_medium

(The extremely tall guy in the back was Pavel Podkolzin)

This draft was thin and we would've picked late. But hey we didn't care we took it to the Lakers with no PG and won our first 2 playoff series. I do remember signing Keith McLeod to a couple of 10 day contracts and playing him good minutes as well as having the round mound of Oliver Miller getting a lot of clock so I would guess we go PG or big man here. The next 4 picks were Centers and Chalmers was a PG so we probably don't do a lot here but maybe these guys learned some things from KG, who knows?

 

Next 5 Picks

David Harrison

Anderson Varejao

Jackson Vroman

Peter John Ramos

Lionel Chalmers

 

Notable Players on board

Chris Duhon

Trevor Ariza

 

2nd Round Pick

Blake Stepp

 

All in all I think the absolute best we could've done based on what we knew and more importantly what McHale thought would be

 

Brendan Haywood

Tayshaun Prince

David Harrison

 

Who knows what this really cost us in the end. KG? Rings? Still contending? It's all speculative but hey thats what sports blogs are for aren't they? Speculation. 

 

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