Most teams don't typically root for a divisional rival to make the playoffs. It is okay, however, when you get that team's first round pick for making the playoffs. In a very disappointing end to the season, the lone bright spot is the fact that our Wolves get either the 16th or 17th overall pick in the draft. Coincidentally, we also have a young and athletic forward who doesn't seem to have a place on this team anymore. That guy would be Michael Beasley.
Although there have been rumors that he won't be given a qualifying offer, Beasley has said he wants to stay in Minnesota. If David Kahn somehow ends up reading this on the toilet one day, he should definitely heed my advice and package that pick with a 1-year tendered Beasley in order to move up in the draft.
Why do this he might ask? Doing so allows the team to get in good position to land Duke guard Austin Rivers. I'm pretty high on Rivers and his NBA potential, and despite the bumpy start at Duke he progressed well during the season and showed scouts what his game is all about. Here are just a few things we should know about Rivers:
20 years old.
Measures up at 6 feet 4 inches. A little small for a 2-guard, but he also has a 6 foot 7 inch wingspan.
Good ball handler. Despite the early turnovers he was able to successfully cut those down as the season progressed.
Unlike your average Timberwolf, Rivers can create his own offense. He had 356 pick-and-rolls and isolation plays last year.
Played average defense last year, and tended to gamble a lot.
Also weighs just 205 pounds, so he could stand to put on a little muscle.
Again, just 20 years old.
He fills a need for a dynamic ball handler who can score and pass. Not quite like Eric Gordon, but most sc
outs agree he could average 20ppg and 5 apg in the future. Most draft boards have him late lottery to mid-first, so if I were Kahn I would be pretty meticulous about how he goes about drafting Rivers. I have a feeling he won't be slipping down to 17. If this was pulled off, it would be the safest draft pick in team history, and I am totally fine if Kahn plays it safe. Then again we probably have different interpretations of that.