Actually it was Chris Wallace, but I experienced five minutes of fist pumping joy in 2009 when Memphis burned their second pick on Thabeet. It meant players I liked (Rubio, Curry, Harden) were one step closer and a player I hated (not as a person, I'm sure he's lovely, but as a D-league talent) would not be taken by the Wolves due to some draft voodoo consensus that made it OK for him to go 2nd overall and thus 'foolish' not to take him 5th. We dodged a bullet.
This joy lead me to develop my "Hasheem Thabeet Approach to the Draft" or HTAD. The main twist in this approach is combining your own draft board with a list of HTAD players you hope to see taken by other teams ahead of you in order to burn picks or prevent your own club from making that mistake.
So of course last year the Wolves take the 1st guy on my HTAD list - Wes Johnson. I believed then that Wes was no more or less a prospect than several other wings (Xavier Henry, Paul George, Aminu, Hayward, etc) but the draft voodoo gods had given him their blessing to be taken top 5 rather than top 10-20 where I thought he belonged with the other wings.
This year picking second, there's not much room for HTAD, but there is some prospect of the Wolves moving down. So just in case I present the top 5 HTAD picks of 2011 (Players that are projected at the top of the draft but I PRAY are taken before the Wolves pick):
HTAD 1 - Enes Kantor: I don't believe he will be good enough to displace Darko for minutes, so not good. Scares the hell out of me because we might take him.
HTAD 2 - Brandon Knight: Might be a good player, but who cares, Wolves don't need him and I don't buy the hype that he'll be better than Kyrie Irving some day.
HTAD 3 - Kawhi Leonard: long and athletic but lacking BBIQ and BB skills.
HTAD 4 - The three other Euro's before the 10th pick - no to jonas, jan or Donatas this early.
HTAD 5 - Derrick Williams: I think he'll pan out as a decent player, but I can't see him and Love co-existing. I only like him as trade bait, not as a roster mate.
I'm really hoping we walk away with Irving or Bismack.
20th Pick HTAD
I'm convinced somebody I really like will fall this far, much like Lawson fell to 18 in 2009. My hope is that one of Alec Burks, Jimmer, Jordan Hamilton or Bismack fall this far... but that's unlikely. I also like Josh Selby or one Euro 3 - they aren't HTAD at 20. I'm also ok with Marshon Brooks at this spot.
If you make my HTAD list at 20, I either think you'll clog the roster and get zero minutes, are a complete fraud, or would only consider the player with a 2nd round (non-guaranteed contract) pick.
HTAD PF - Faried, the Morris Twins, Tobias Harris, Tristan Thompson, Chris Singleton, Trey Thompkins, Nikola Mirotic. I actually like some of these guys - such as the Morris twins, but I don't seen any of them getting any play on the MN roster. Every time another team takes one of these guys, the Wolves will get closer to getting someone they need.
HTAD Frauds - Klay Thompson, Imam Shumpert, Tyler Honeycut, Kyle Singler. I wouldn't spend a 2nd rounder on these guys, but they all make various 1st round mocks.
Who is your #1 HTAD Player?
Kyrie Irving (3 votes)
Derrick Williams (2 votes)
Enes Kantor (21 votes)
Brandon Knight (4 votes)
The Euro bigs - Jan, Jonas, or Donatas (11 votes)
41 total votes