Even though the Wolves aren't scheduled to make a pick till #58, there are moments tonight where they could come into play. Below the fold I'll point out some of those areas and forecast the chance of hearing a howl from Target Center.
Pick # 2 - Charlotte Bobcats are openly shopping this pick, and an offer of Derrick Williams makes some sense to the Bobcats, but unless Jordan loves D-Will, I think they'll field much better offers or just take Thomas Robinson. If the Wolves move up they'll likely take Brad Beal, but my hope is they'd take MKG. Howlin' chance - 1%
Pick #5 - Sacramento looked screwed a week ago. Most mocks had them choosing between Harrison Barnes (it's all about the brand), Andre Drummond (head case project), and Brad Beal (starting a 4 way salary cap and talent death match between Beal, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Jimmer!). The only rational thing for them to do was trade down. Today it looks like Beal will be gone and Thomas Robinson or MKG will fall in their laps. However, in the unlikely event that the four teams ahead of Sac-town are rational (taking Davis, Beal, MKG, and Robinson), they'll be stuck with the Drummond/Barnes dilemna. A trade for Derrick Williams might make alot of sense for the Kings. Assuming the Wolves have exhausted their DWill trade options for good vets such as Iggy, I would roll with a chance on developing Drummond. Howlin' chance - 5%
Pick #10 - Finally, we will have Marko Jaric/Clippergeddon closure.
Pick #11 - This is Portland's 2nd of 4 picks. They will likely move one or more. One possibility if they grab a center at 6 and Lilliard goes before 11 - is trading this pick to the Wolves for Oregon product Luke Ridnour. If Dion Waiters is on the board, I'd love to grab him. More likely Kahn would take Austin Rivers, with a chance at John Henson. Howlin' chance - 10%
Pick #12, #16 and #18 (and #19?) - The Wolves used to own #18 and it now belongs to a far more dramatic team. Will Houston be able to use its 3-teen picks to move up or trade for Dwight? If Orlando ends up with all 3-teen houston picks, will they use all of them and their own pick #19 to challenge the NBA truism of "you never want too many rookies?" So many options, so much Drama!
But not for the Wolves - we have Chase Buddinger. And I'm ok with that. 18 was an awkward place to pick. Too soon for Canis favorites Barton, Crowder and sometimes Miller. Too later for personal favorite Dion Waiters. Just about right for two guys I do not trust in Rivers and Terrence Ross. Also about right for Fab Melo, who I like more than most, but back up 4/5 is a tertiary goal to wing 1 and wing 2. Chase is wing 1 or wing 2, so I'm down with the trade.
Pick #15 - I'd love to get Iggy, and the best trade I can come up with is a 3 way with the Lakers:
Lakers get: Derrick Williams and Elton Brand
Philly gets - Pau Gasol, MN Kahntract (Martel or others), one more <$3M to make it work (ie Ellington)
MN gets - Iggy
Various draft picks may also change hands to balance things out. Howlin' Chance - 5%
Picks 20-30 - Half of the teams in this range have already been rumored to want out of their picks. MN has a few more assets in this value range that could be used to move in (Ridnour, 2013 Memphis Pick/2013MN pick, maybe JJ Berea, expiring Martel or Brad Miller, and I'm praying someone will take Wes for any pick 20-60 to 2016).
This is also my favorite part of the draft considering the value of players that should be available. Behold, my guys who will go late in the 1st Round player rankings:
1 - Will Barton, SG (see CH groupthink for details)
2 - Jae Crowder SF (more CH groupthink)
3 - Fab Melo C - he's not a favorite on this site, and he's committed the unforgivable sin of going to Syracuse, but I believe in him as one of prospects who will become a starting level defensive oriented center.
4 - Doron Lamb SG - he makes ALOT of 3pts... and nothing else. But that's a huge need.
5 - Orlando Johnson SG - I think the guy will be a decent NBA rotation player at a position of dire need
6 - Royce White PF - I think he's more talented than the 3 I have ahead of him, but where would the Wolves play him? He makes no sense unless DWill is moved, and then he's still stuck behind Love for minimal minutes. Royce needs to go elsewhere to reach his potential and I'm rooting for him. He's just a bad fit in MN.
7 - Quincy Miller SF - He's an interesting gamble.
8 - Jeff Taylor SF - I think his ceiling is NBA rotation player, but I think he gets their quickly and he plays a position of need for the Wolves.
Howlin' Chance of moving into the 20's of the draft - 40%
2nd Round - As of today, half minus 1 of the 2nd round picks do not belong to the team they were issued to. These picks get moved like crazy and a number of teams simply have too many other picks and subscribe to the truism "you don't want too many rookies on the roster" and will thus move these picks for discounts or draft people with funny names who never materialize. Speaking of which, the Wolves have 3-4 of those guys whose rights they could trade for a 2nd rounder, plus moving Ellington or Wes. I also believe the 2nd round will contain some real gems this year. For instance, I'll bet at least 2 of my late 20's guys fall into the 2nd round and I'm intrigued by these fellows:
1 - Kyle O'Quinn C - great wingspan and does stuff with an emphasis on defense. I really want this guy.
2 - Jared Cunningham SG - does stuff and has a reputation as a great defender
3 - Marcus Denmon PG/SG - nice 3rd PG if they move Ridnour or Berea and seems like an offensive microwave in the making.
4 - Bernard James C - old at 27, but I like his defense
Howlin' Chance of getting a 2nd round pick - 40%
Finally, pick 58. I believe the Wolves can get a guy who can make the roster, which is all you can ask. Besides any of the above, I want them to look at:
1 - Tyshawn Taylor PG - probably gone by now and I'm a KU guy, so I'm biased, but the kid can play and if Ridnour or JJ is moved, Ty would be a nice 3rd PG at pick 58.
2 - Quincy Acy PF - I love his motor, I think he can be a solid rotation big as Wolves 2nd or 3rd PF.
3 - Alex Young SF - Raw talent who does stuff, has good size and good getting and making FT's
4 - Scott Machado PG - a very active PG for a small school. Probably goes higher than 58.
5 - Henry Sims C - Like O'Quinn in many ways, but lacks his rebounding and scoring.
Finally - the Bust List
I will laugh at the teams who draft: