Alright my friends. It's time to put your Hoopus Points where your mouth is. The draft is two days away, workouts are done, and Flip has himself a board.
It's time to play: What's Gonna Happen?
I'll go first.
In a complete shocker, the Wolves trade Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andy Verejao and the first overall pick. They use the pick to take Alex Len. At the presser, Flip says that along with Derrick Williams, they now have two players who are like top three players in this draft, and now the pressure is off to re-sign Pekovic. The most shocking moment, however, is when he says: "Hey Canis Hoopus, I don't give a flying eff about steal rate. You can take that analytics crap and stuff it where the sun don't shine." Sid Hartman can be heard laughing from the front row.
OK, that isn't going to happen. At this point, I will be very surprised if the Wolves make a trade up in the draft. I just don't see it happening, though I'm fairly confident that they would move Derrick Williams (despite Flip's comments) to do so. I don't think there is a deal out there.
I think they use the 9th pick. Don't see them trading back or out either. I think there are three players they will consider with the pick: C.J. McCollum, Cody Zeller, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. I expect McCollum to be taken either 7th or 8th by the Kings or Pistons.
Ultimately, I expect them to take Caldwell-Pope to help shore up the shooting guard position, and give them a guy they can develop as a 3 and D player. Zeller might be the bigger talent, but in this case, I think need wins out.
The interesting question is: what happens if someone falls? I'm thinking specifically of Trey Burke. It wouldn't shock me if he's still there (though it would be tough for the Pistons to pass on him). Flip said in his presser yesterday that point guard is the one position he can't see drafting in the first round. At that point, hopefully the Wolves are flexible and prepared enough to entertain trade offers. They need to know now what they want from any team in the league that might want to jump up if one of the bigger names in the draft falls.
Still, I think it will be KCP at 9.
I expect them to trade 26. My best guess is they trade it for some future considerations--say a second rounder next year or something. Less likely but still possible is packaging it with a player for some other player. Hard to see what the deal would be, but maybe one of the backup point guards and 26 for,,,what? A backup big? Hard to say.
If they use the pick, I suspect they will hope for a player they can stash overseas,such as Nogeira or Gobert. It's possible though that all of the reasonable first round foreign players will already be gone. If they wind up using the pick, I'll guess they go with Jeff Withey from Kansas. He can block shots, anyway.
This might wind up being unpopular, as if the foreigners are gone, it probably means Mike Muscala is still there, but I think the Wolves pass. Either way, though: moar white guy.
I'm not going to get into their late 2nd rounders. It would be a shock if either guy taken there is on the roster in the next two seasons.
I'll close by predicting the lottery:
Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel (Think the Len stuff is bogus)
Magic: Ben McLemore
Wizards: Otto Porter
Bobcats: Alex Len
Suns: Victor Oladipo
Pelicans: Anthony Bennett
Kings: Trey Burke
Pistons: C.J. McCollum
Blazers: Cody Zeller
76ers: Steven Adams
Thunder: Rudy Gobert
Mavericks: Dennis Schroeder
Jazz: Michael Carter-Williams
I am absolutely sure I have this completely wrong.
So that's mine. What ya got? What's gonna happen Thursday night? Any big trades, Wolves related or not? Big draft surprises? Someone stuck in the green room for hours?
It's prediction time.