Wolves host four days of workouts this week, draft pick trade rumors and more
Draft prospects arrive at Target Center Monday morning for four days of workouts that will attract scouts from many other NBA teams.
The prospects participating this week are deemed mid-to-late first round and possible second-round draft picks.
Prospects for the Wolves first of three first-round picks -- the fourth pick overall as it stands right now -- likely will work out for the team individually as the June 24 draft approaches. That list includes such players as Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, Syracuse small forward Wes Johnson, Wake Forest small forward Al-Farouq Aminu and possibly Georgai Tech forward Derrick Favors and Ohio State guard Evan Turner
Picking seventh, the Pistons hope to move up in the draft from the No. 7 spot to the 4-5 range (Minnesota, Sacramento) to get Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins. Despite maturity issues, Cousins has the kind of low-post skills that Joe Dumars is seeking.
Portland is looking to move from No. 22 into the top of the draft, possibly targeting Minnesota's No. 4 pick.
Kahn and Wolves coach Kurt Rambis have identified an athletic small forward/shooting guard as a key offseason priority for the club, and Johnson, a first-team All-American last season, appears to fill that role. ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale called Johnson the best small forward in the draft.
"Johnson would be a solid pick for Minnesota," Vitale said. "He's got the athleticism, quickness and explosiveness you want in a player at his position."
An interesting decision faces the Wolves if they stay at No. 4 and New Jersey passes on Cousins, regarded as the best big man in the draft. The question remains whether the 6-foot-11, 292-pound Cousins is a true center or power forward. Vitale and fellow ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas believe Cousins, who left Kentucky after his freshman year, can play center in the NBA.
One trade rumor that briefly circulated here involved the Sixers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves want Turner and would give the Sixers their No. 4 and No. 16 picks in exchange for the second pick.
"I won't comment on our trade talks or to the teams that we are talking to or to do our business in the newspaper," Stefanski said of the rumor. "What I will tell the fans is that we will listen to anything. But obviously, that will have to be a strong deal to give up the second pick in the draft."
From Sid Hartman:
At his pre-lottery press conference David Kahn, the Timberwolves' president of basketball, made it clear that the top players available were equal, and if the Wolves didn't win the lottery they would do well picking any one of the top three. Well, the Wolves finished fourth in the lottery. Does that mean that the Wolves won't get a good player in the draft?