If you head on over to Draft Express you will see that they currently have Austin Rivers going with the 16th pick, right where the Wolves could end up should Utah sneak its way into the playoffs.
The possibility of the Wolves getting the Utah pick and using it on Austin Rivers has gained mention on everything from In the Zone to Paul Allen to Real GM and pretty much every Wolves-mentioning entity in between. In an entirely unscientific canvasing of these mentions, it appears that this possibility is viewed as something of a positive.
Below the fold I'll tell you why that's insane.
First, let's talk about who Austin Rivers is and why the thought of a player like Rivers is enough to give some Wolves fans the vapors.
Austin Rivers is a highly-hyped (Naismith Player of the Year) high school player who can get wherever he wants to with the ball. He attended Duke University and made the (likely?) college shot of the year against hated rival North Carolina. He is frequently mentioned on ESPN and he led a 2nd seeded NCAA tourney team in scoring.
Better yet, he plays a position of need for the Wolves: shooting guard.
This is a conventional-wisdom marriage made in heaven.
It is also horribly misguided.
Austin Rivers is very good at looking good at basketball. He has a nice handle, he can drive to the lane from anywhere on the court, he likes the "big shot". He's also not very good at putting the ball in the bucket and he does next to nothing off of the ball.
(All stats per Kenpom.)
In the last 3 draft classes there have been roughly 22 players that fit the basic Rivers player profile. Among these players, here is how Rivers ranks:
- %Poss: 11
- TS: 19
- Blk/Stl/Oreb: 21
- FT%: 20
- TO: 9
- 2p%: 16
- 3p%: 12