On Monday the Wolves will bring in a few wing players for a workout at the Target Center:
First on Monday, the Wolves welcome French forward Nicolas Batum, Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, Oregon guard Bryce Taylor and Virginia Tech forward Deron Washington. Minnesota's public relations staff provided information on each prospect:
Batum (Ht. 6-8, Wt. 190) averaged 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds for LeMans this season in the French ProA League. Batum captured the attention of NBA scouts at the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit, where he led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting against a U.S. team featuring potential lottery picks Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose.
Douglas-Roberts (Ht. 6-7, Wt. 200) averaged 18.1 points per game while shooting 54.1 percent from the field this season while leading the Tigers to the NCAA Championship Game. He was a consensus First Team All-American this season and a finalist for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.
Taylor (Ht. 6-4, Wt, 210) finished his four-year career at Oregon as the 12th-leading scorer in school history. A career 37.0 percent shooter from behind the arc, Taylor averaged 12.8 points per game as a senior. He was also a member of Team USA in the 2004 Global Games in Dallas.
Washington (Ht. 6-7, Wt. 202) was a four-year starter at Virginia Tech, averaging 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a senior. He hit the game-winning shot in overtime at Virginia on Jan. 16 to give the Hokies their first road win against their in-state rivals in over 40 years.
I can't tell you that I know the first thing about Washington and Batum, but I have seen CDR and Taylor enough to know that they would be solid additions to the Wolves if selected...especially CDR.
Taylor is a 4 year senior who was a highly regarded member of the highly regarded 2004 HS Senior class that included Corey Brewer, Rudy Gay, Dwight Howard, Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, JR Smith, Josh Smith, Shaun Livingston, Demarcus Nelson, Marvin Williams, Sebastian Telfair, DJ White, Lamarcus Aldridge, Aaron Afflalo, Glen Davis, and Jordan Farmar. He never turned into the stud player like most of these guys did, but he did carve out a Nelson/White-esque career with the Ducks; turning himself into an efficient player at both ends of the court with a nice combination of skill and athleticism.
I had the opportunity to see him play in person during the 1st round of this year's NCAA tourney and he, along with 2 members of Mississippi State, were the only guys on the court you could look at and think that they had an NBA future.
Taylor would be a nice backup guard who could be trusted with ball handling and defensive duties. His 2007/08 college stats can be found here. You can view Draft Express' stats page (with Washington, CDR, and Taylor) here. Washington's KenPom stats can be found here.
For several months, fellow Hoopus member Wyn and I have been calling for the Wolves to find a way to move another pick into the first round to grab CDR. As has been stated time and time again on this site, the Wolves need a sizable and efficient perimeter-proficient player who can defend and get to the line. CDR fits the bill unlike any other college player.
First, CDR was one of the most efficient players in the country last year. He carried an ORtg of 117.5 which was good for 130th in the nation. He also had a %Poss rate of 26.6, which was good for 206th in the nation. If you combine these numbers, out of all the players who compiled a Poss rate of at least 24%, he was the 21st most efficient player in the country. He took 27.4% of Memphis' shots while netting a very respectable eFG of 58.8%. This number is even more impressive when you consider that 41% of his shots were from beyond the arc. He got to the line with a FTRate of 47.2%, which was the highest ranking on his team. He doesn't turn the ball over a ton; he lead Memphis with a TORate of only 15.4, which was good for 322nd in the nation.
He does have some notable weaknesses. His rebound rates are not really close to where you'd want a 6'7" wingman's numbers to be. In fact, this number is somewhat of a red flag. His assist rate is also fairly low, but this can partially be attributed to the Dribble Drive Motion offense that Memphis runs. However, CDR also carries a -3.15 PPR, which is simply not what you want to see from a perimeter player. His official measurements are also unknown. With Memphis, this may be a problem. So far, both Joey Dorsey and Derrick Rose have come in 2 or more inches below their listed height with the Tigers. According to MSU, CDR is 6'7", 200lbs. It will be interesting to see if his measurements are made public. I have no idea why they would not at this point as any team that would like to draft him surely owns a tape measure.
Speaking of measurements, here's how Taylor, CDR, and Washington break down:
As you can see, Taylor is long and athletically legit. Washington leaves a bit to be desired strength-wise (seriously, how can these guys not put up 185 lbs 10 times?) but he has decent length, jumping ability, and quickness. CDR...well, we'll just have to wait and see on that one.
More later. In the mean time, learn a bit about the crossover dribble from CDR: