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The Minnesota Timberwolves have been involved in nearly every NBA trade rumor floated over the course of the past week, mostly involving the offering team denying that it was ever a possibility. The roles changed Wednesday, however.
Odom is not a better fit than Derrick Williams in the Wolves offense, and he might not even offer better abilities than the likely No. 2 pick, but it was nice of the Lakers to counter after previously turning the Wolves down in their attempts to pick up either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol.
If Kahn does make a trade before Thursday night, hopefully it’s moving down just a couple of spots so that they’re still able to get Enes Kanter (whom they’ve reportedly grown fond of), not completely out of the first round.
The 2011 NBA Draft is just over 24 hours away and, as might have been predicted, David Kahn and the Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to make things interesting.
The Wolves are said to be telling other NBA teams that they will take Enes Kanter with the No. 2 pick, according to the latest rumor being floated by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. Kanter is probably a better fit for Minnesota, but Arizona's Derrick Williams is widely regarded as the better overall prospect.
If Kanter was picking himself, however, he believes he's even better than projected first overall pick Kyrie Irving.
"I believe if I could have played [at Kentucky], I would go with the No. 1 pick," Kanter said during the annual draft media day on Wednesday. "I believe I am the best player in this draft."
It would probably be ideal if the Wolves were able to trade down a few picks while picking up a young veteran and Kanter, but either way it will be interesting to see what happens on draft night.
The NBA trade rumors continue to swirl around the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it seems as soon as one is brought up, it's shot down just a few hours later. The latest casualty has to do with the rumored offer of Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers for the Wolves No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
The young center with a decent amount of NBA experience probably would have been a good complement to Kevin Love, but alas, it won't happen as Marc Spears reports that the Lakers have no interest in trading either Bynum or Pau Gasol.
Essentially, this isn't surprising. However, it's just the latest in a laundry list of debunked rumors regarding Timberwolves trade rumors along with the Roy Hibbert deal, the Andrew Bogut deal as well as their interest in the aforementioned Gasol and JaVale McGee.
There are still options left for David Kahn if he'd like to trade out of the top spot, however, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Among them are Marcin Gortat and the thirteenth pick from the Phoenix Suns, Andris Biedrins and the eleventh pick from the Golden State Warriors and maybe even Greg Oden and the 21st overall pick from the Portland Trail Blazers.
None of those selections are all that tempting, but if Oden's ever able to get healthy, it is intriguing to think about.
Early Tuesday, a report surfaced saying that the Indiana Pacers had offered to trade center Roy Hibbert and their 15th overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the right to select Derrick Williams. That report, apparently, was wrong.
"We're not doing that, nah," Larry Bird said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. "I'm not interested in that trade. Roy is one of our core group guys, the draft is a good draft -- not a great draft -- and if there was somebody at No. 2 that we were really targeting that I think would make us a lot better? Yeah, you have to do it."
I believe in Roy, I think he's one of our hardest workers and while you never say you won't trade anybody because you never know what's going to happen in the next couple of days, but no, we will not trade Roy today."
This seemingly means that every trade rumor that has been brought to the media's attention involving the Timberwolves has now been denied by the team supposedly doing the offering. Maybe things will change by Thursday, but maybe David Kahn will just have to select Williams and deal with the mess it potentially creates with having all of the team's best players playing the same position.
To watch the entire Bird conference from Tuesday, it's available at Pacers.com.
Much speculation has centered around what the Minnesota Timberwolves may or may not do with the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. However, there's another rumor that has surfaced regarding the Timberwolves as well.
. . .sources said Monday the Timberwolves have offered point guard Jonny Flynn in a package deal for swingman Andre Iguodala. Philadelphia officials, however, have let it be known that they are not interested in a salary-dump deal for Iguodala and want an impact veteran in return.
Sadly, if the Sixers want an "impact veteran" for Iguodala, it doesn't look like a deal with the Timberwolves is in the offing, because. . .well, the Wolves really don't have a heck of a lot of players that fall under the "impact veteran" category, save for Kevin Love, and I'm pretty sure that guy isn't going anywhere.
Keep your browser tuned right here, and feel free to wear out the F5 button on your keyboard as we keep you updated with all the buzz around the Minnesota Timberwolves this off-season. Also, be sure to check out Canis Hoopus for all things regarding Minnesota Timberwolves' basketball.
The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to scour the trade market for impact players who can help the team immediately, perhaps better than the second overall pick, which they own, in Thursday's NBA Draft can. The latest player they've targeted, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, is Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum. Amick describes the Timberwolves as "incredibly active" in trade discussions, and it's clear they intend to shake up their roster before or during the Draft.
Bynum, who won't turn 24 until October, is among the NBA's best young centers, with career averages of 10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. He's struggled to stay healthy over the last four seasons, missing 114 games over that span, but he's proven productive when able to play. Last season, he shot 57.4 percent from the floor and averaged 11.3 poins, 9.4 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots in just 27.8 minutes per game. In an expanded role--he's the Lakers' third option at best right now, behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol--for a Wolves team in need of low-post offense, he could provide even more offense.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for all Wolves trade rumors and news leading up to the Draft. Also check out Canis Hoopus for everything Timberwolves basketball.
The 2011 NBA Draft is just a couple of days away, as most Minnesota Timberwolves fans are probably well aware. The fans are also well aware that David Kahn is in the proverbial catbird's seat as new trade rumors seem to be sent to him each day in an effort to lure away the second overall pick in Thursday night's draft.
The overture hasn't gained traction in Minnesota, according to Wojnarowski, but it would seem that the Wolves must be asking for upgrades at the center position. Maybe Darko Milicic isn't as good as we all thought?
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, putting them in position to field quite a few trade calls and be a part of a majority of the rumors swirling this week. The biggest -- or at least newest -- rumor has the Milwaukee Bucks offering Andrew Bogut.
Bogut, a third-team All-NBA player two seasons ago who missed a decent number of games due to injury this past season, is rumored to be packaged along with the Bucks No. 10 pick in a swap for the Wolves' top pick, according to ESPN 1500's Darren Wolfson.
Wolfson also mentions that the Wolves aren't making as many calls as they're receiving with the Houston Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns all expressing interest in the No. 2 pick to select Arizona forward Derrick Williams as well.
In all honestly, if Bogut is healthy, this seems to be the most alluring option for David Kahn to think about.
Ricky Rubio is coming to the NBA, finally, allowing the Minnesota Timberwolves to start shopping Jonny Flynn and Luke Ridnour as the trade rumors will almost assuredly begin swirling through the 2011 NBA Draft on Thursday. The first team up, apparently, is the New York Knicks.
The Knicks have apparently initiated discussions with the Wolves in a swap of Flynn for scoring guard Toney Douglas, according to the New York Daily News. If not Flynn, the Knicks are also reportedly interested in former Minnesota point guard Ramon Sessions.
It would seem like there has to be more pieces for the deal to make sense for either team, but if it was a straight one-for-one deal, the Wolves would save $2 million in salary next season while adding a player who is able to create his own shot off the dribble.
The one noticeable downside, as the Daily News reports, is that Douglas (like Flynn) might not be completely healthy.
Toney Douglas would likely be the player traded for Flynn. However, Douglas is coming off major shoulder surgery, which in theory would make him tough to deal. But Flynn is a similar medical risk. The 6-foot guard out of Syracuse had hip surgery last July and was limited to 53 games in his second year, not including a stint in the D-League.
Either way, it's pretty likely the Wolves are going to be shopping Flynn even if this deal with the Knicks doesn't go through. Hopefully Rubio adjusts quickly.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been rumored to be open to trading the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft ever since they landed it at last month's NBA Draft Lottery. The latest rumors indicate the players intriguing enough to give up the highest pick in Wolves history are a bit "intriguing" themselves, however.
Javale McGee of the Washington Wizards and Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors were the players mentioned by Chad Ford during the ESPN personality's weekly chat session when Marcus in Minneapolis asked Ford "Do you think the TWolves will keep the 2nd pick or trade it?"
"I think they trade. But they won't give the pick away," Ford replied. "I think they're another possible destination for Monta Ellis. I think they're also intrigued if they could swap No. 2 for JaVale McGee."
Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers has also been mentioned, but considering he's on the wrong side of 30 and is owed over $18 million per year through 2014, that seems like it would be a bad option. Better options in this writer's mind, provided they are made available, would be Memphis Grizzlies wing Rudy Gay or Indiana Pacers Danny Granger (which has been rumored for awhile).
It'll be interesting to see what happens over the course of the next two weeks.
The 2011 NBA mock drafts haven't been a hot topic at SB Nation Minnesota lately simply because things have been pretty stagnant at the top. That
all changes today remains the case this week, as well, as SB Nation's Tom Ziller released his latest NBA mock draft with the Minnesota Timberwolves again selecting Derrick Williams.
Ziller, a wordsmith like no other, decided that this week he would compare the draft prospects with players who've already played in the NBA to keep it interesting.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
DraftExpress (DX), bless them, have Williams' best case comparison as "Michael Beasley with perfect intangibles." So, basically "not Michael Beasley." I prefer to use the Danny Granger comparison, which means in about four years everyone will fall in love with Williams and in seven everyone will fall back out of love.
Honestly, I don't know if Beasley's intangibles are as bad as Ziller says they are, but it's doubtful anyone would complain about drafting the next Danny Granger.
With the Wolves other pick in the first round, at No. 20 overall, Ziller has the Wolves selecting Latvian small forward Davis Bertans. I don't know anything about him, but Ziller says he's the next Rick Fox so at least the Wolves might be drafting a bad actor!
The Minnesota Timberwolves are widely expected to select Arizona forward Derrick Williams with the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which may in turn prompt them to trade Michael Beasley, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress in his latest mock draft for Yahoo! Sports. Though trading the pick is an option--Givony reports the Wolves are shopping for a "veteran big man"--it nonetheless appears as though Beasley's days as a Timberwolf may be numbered:
It's likely that Williams will be the one taken since he is the consensus second-best talent in this draft, according to NBA decision makers. If Minnesota keeps the pick and indeed selects Williams, sources say the Timberwolves will look to move Michael Beasley(notes) as they try to improve the "culture of the team."
Beasley, taken second overall in the 2008 Draft, arrived via a trade last July from the Miami Heat, who needed to clear his salary in order to create the cap space, which in turn helped them sign Chris Bosh and LeBron James as free agents. He averaged 19.2 points and 5.6 boards with Minnesota, playing 32.3 minutes per game. His talent is undeniable, but his fit with a Wolves roster which already includes Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, and could potentially include Williams, is questionable at best.
The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Ricky Rubio on Wednesday, but they aren't done adding talent to their roster. According to our NBA Draft and D League blog Ridiculous Upside, the Wolves will work out a group of players on Thursday and Friday that you may remember from the not to distant past.
The biggest name on the list, according to RU's Scott Schroeder, is Quincy Douby. He was a high scoring guard at Rutgers, but couldn't do much other than shoot during his brief career in the NBA. The Wolves need shooting, but I'm not sure Douby is worth the roster spot he would take up.
A full list of the prospects that will be in attendance is run down at Ridiculous Upside.
Ridiculous Upside also wonders aloud where these players are going to fit into the Timberwolves rotation.
This doesn't make a lot of sense considering Rubio gives the Wolves to 14 guaranteed contracts entering the 2011-12 season. Even after the inevitable trade of Jonny Flynn (and whoever else is thrown in), the Wolves wouldn't seem to have much room in the rotation for a prospect considering the team has plenty of money already invested into higher profile prospects, but I'm not going to complain about players outside the NBA getting an opportunity.
The NBA trade rumors were swirling over the weekend, but the deal that would have netted the Minnesota Timberwolves the fourth and eighth picks in the 2011 NBA Draft in a three-team deal also involving the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers has apparently been nixed before it even began.
The Pistons were the only team to go public with the denial, via the Detroit News, which makes sense. In the trade rumored by ESPN's Chris Broussard, Detroit would have sent the eighth overall pick (which would have then been shipped to the Wolves) and Rip Hamilton to the Cavs in what basically would have amounted as a salary dump of Hamilton's $12.5 million contract.
Shortly after that report came out, Broussard made a correction of his own, Tweeting that "Detroit won't do 3-team deal as proposed. Would need to get players back in return for Rip and 8th pick...stay tuned."
I'm sure the Wolves would be willing to send Jonny Flynn or Nikola Pekovic if the Pistons were interested, but Detroit is probably looking for more than that if they're going to give up the eighth overall pick -- even if it is a weak draft class.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been saying quite a bit that they would rather have a veteran leader rather than young prospects, but the latest NBA trade rumors -- provided by ESPN's Chris Broussard -- have Wolves' president of basketball operation David Kahn talking to both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons discussing swapping picks in next month's NBA Draft.
The Wolves are apparently involved in a three-team trade discussion that would send their No. 2 overall pick to the Cavs while receiving Cleveland's No. 4 pick and the Pistons' No. 8 picks in return. The other part of the trade, which would conclude with the Cavs getting both the first and second picks in the Draft, would be the Cavs taking on Rip Hamilton and his $14.8 million salary in return for Detroit's first round pick (No. 8 overall).
According to Broussard, the Cavs would then select Duke's Kyrie Irivng with the first pick and Arizona's Derrick Williams with the second pick.
The trade doesn't make a lot of sense for the Wolves -- unless Kentucky's Enes Kanter is still there at four, perhaps -- but it is rather interesting to confirm that Kahn's in discussion to move the Wolves' top pick since owner Glen Taylor has already said he expects the team to keep that pick.
Chad Ford's newest mock draft, version 3.0, has Williams slotted in as the No. 2 pick, though ESPN's NBA Draft expert doesn't seem convinced that Glen Taylor was telling the truth earlier this week. With the 20th pick, Ford expects Minnesota to grab Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas. Motiejunas, a 7-footer, was considered to be a lottery pick if he would have entered last year's NBA Draft and would be a steal if the Wolves ended up with him in the bottom-half of the first round.
Williams is still projected to end up with the Timberwolves at the No. 2 pick according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, but Givony has now decided to move Chris Singleton into the Timberwolves slot with the 20th pick. Singleton, a 6-foot-9 small forward out of Florida State, is a force on defense and could see some time at the power forward slot as well.
Last -- but certainly not least -- SB Nation's Tom Ziller again has Tom Ziller as the Wolves No. 2 pick in his 2011 NBA mock draft, but brings Brazil's Lucas Nogueira to the table with David Kahn's 20th overall selection. Nogueira's a long, lanky 7-footer who, if nothing else, seems to be able to block some shots from the center spot.
In a way, it's nice that the top pick isn't changing, but the Wolves could definitely use some excitement so I wouldn't be averse to a couple of mock draft makers switching it up next week.
The Minnesota Timberwolves ended up with the second overall draft pick in the 2011 NBA Draft following last week's NBA Draft Lottery, and while the initial rumors indicated the Wolves might be interested in shopping it around, owner Glen Taylor disagrees.
"I think it's most likely we'll keep [the pick] ... but we're open to look at a trade," Taylor told the Star Tribune of the No. 2 pick. "But most likely we'll keep [the player who is drafted]. I just think when you get a pick that high, you would want to keep it for the future."
That probably won't quell the NBA trade rumors, particularly the one that mentioned the Wolves trading for Indiana Pacers wing Danny Granger, but it is something to keep in mind if David Kahn does end up shipping it out despite Taylor's thinking Minnesota should keep the pick.
Speaking of Kahn, Taylor didn't exactly give the Wolves president of basketball operations a ringing endorsement.
"I think we'll make a few changes this summer that will help, but at this stage we have a long ways to go," Taylor said, then added: "I'm OK with Kahn."
If only the Wolves fans were "OK with Kahn," eh?
For now this is probably best filed under 'NBA trade rumors,' but Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico is reporting that the Indiana Pacers are dangling Danny Granger in an effort to trade up and acquire the Minnesota Timberwolves second overall pick in next month's NBA Draft.
Amico also says that Ricky Rubio, who may or may not come over from Spain this season, and Michael Beasley are also being mentioned in the almost-assuredly preliminary trade talks. The Pacers have the 15th and 42nd picks in the June 23 draft, but by dangling Granger, there's no assurance that either pick would be included in this discussion.
Wolves president of basketball operations has been saying that he would prefer veteran experience rather than continuing to acquire youth, but the addition of Granger would mean even less playing time for Wesley Johnson, last year's lottery pick.
There's no doubt the Wolves could use a 6-foot-8 wing who shoots near 40 percent from beyond the arc, but Granger's due $12, $13 and $14 million dollars over the next three seasons, which would make him the highest paid player on the Wolves roster.
Most 2011 NBA mock drafts have sent Arizona forward Derrick Williams to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but ESPN's Doug Gottlieb changed things up by projecting Kentucky center Enes Kanter during a television segment on Wednesday.
Gottlieb's top five mock draft had Kyrie Irving going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kanter to the Wolves, Williams to the Utah Jazz, Jan Vesely to the Cavs for their second pick and Tristan Thompson to the Toronto Raptors with the fifth pick.
"I see David Kahn probably having this pick in play, but based on my big board and most scouts I've talked to's big board, I think Kanter goes two," Gottlieb said while breaking down the top five picks. "Minnesota already has some combos, some 3/4s, and that's what Derrick Williams is."
It makes sense that Kanter, a 6-foot-10 center that sat out this past season due to eligibility issues with the Kentucky Wildcats, is projected to the Wolves considering Darko Milicic isn't the answer. However, it isn't easy to take a player that sat out all of last season with the second overall pick, especially when tihs year's NBA Draft has long been considered to contain two good players and a cloud of dust.
Derrick Williams is now the unanimous selection by 2011 NBA mock draft makers to the Minnesota Timberwolves following David Aldridge putting the Arizona Wildcats forward in the No. 2 slot over at NBA.com.
It's pretty difficult to say anything that hasn't already been said when analyzing the rest of the Timberwolves mock drafts that have been released since the conclusion of the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday, but Aldridge did a fine job of summing up the reasons the Wolves should take the Wildcats' sophomore.
"Team president David Kahn can't take another chance on a maybe, a Euro or someone else's castoffs," Aldridge wrote. "Williams is the closest thing to a sure thing."
As far the Wolves other first-round pick, 20th overall, Aldridge isn't convinced that the Wolves will hang on to it. If they do, however, he thinks the Wolves will go with UCLA Bruins small forward Tyler Honeycutt.
The league's worst defensive team takes the Pac-10's leading shotblocker and a potential perimeter stopper, like Corey Brewer was supposed to be. I'll be shocked if the Wolves still have this pick to use on Draft night, though.
There seems to be quite a bit of speculation related to the Wolves second pick, but it's likely they'll still be in possession of it right up until June 23 while trying to get the best available offer.
There have already been quite a few Minnesota Timberwolves 2011 NBA mock drafts posted in this Storystream, but one that most haven't happened upon yet is probably Tom Ziller's creation over at the SB Nation mothership.
In Ziller's post-Lottery mock draft, the basketball savant projects David Kahn and the Wolves to select Arizona Wildcats forward Derrick Williams with the second overall pick (as has been the case by everyone else). He then throws a bit of a curveball, however, with Minnesota selecting Texas Longhorns wingman Jordan Hamilton with their second pick (20th overall) in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The Williams' selection isn't too tricky to reason, though Ziller does allude to the fact that the Wolves might be better off with the second pick (as written about here Tuesday night) rather than winning the Lottery.
The Wolves would have been in a nearly impossible position with the No. 1 pick, given the team's continued lust for Ricky Rubio. There's a small issue here, too: Michael Beasley is the incumbent small forward, and All-Star power forward Kevin Love isn't going anywhere. Williams could serve as the third forward, or Minnesota could offload Beasley. Or David Kahn could take a point guard, like Kemba Walker.
As far as the selection of Hamilton is concerned, the 6-foot-7 shooter makes quite a bit of sense for Minnesota's offense even if his shot selection currently does not.
This selection is made with a big ol' wink to my friend David Kahn. You think the draft lottery being fixed is a problem? Wait until Hamilton is shooting from midcourt five times a game.
This wouldn't be a disappointing way for everything to go down when the NBA draft date of June 23 rolls around as the Wolves desperately need shooting and can't pass up drafting a talent like Williams with the No. 2 pick.
The final 2011 NBA mock draft coming out before any of the writers went to sleep following Tuesday night's NBA Draft lottery came from Yahoo! Sports by way of Jonathan Givony from Draft Express.
The initial picks are the same as highlighted earlier, but now Givony gives reasons as to why he projects the Minnesota Timberwolves will take Arizona Wildcats forward Derrick Williams with the No. 2 overall pick and BYU Cougars sharpshooter -- and apparent Ricky Rubio insurance -- Jimmer Fredette with 20th overall pick.
As far as Williams is concerned, Givony is basically taking on the same thought-process as Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn has in the past by taking the best available player regardless of position. Givony eschews Kahn's reasoning, however, by actually taking the best player available.
Williams plays the same position as Minnesota's two best players -- Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. But the worst team in the NBA record-wise at 17-65 must continue to gather all the talent it can, regardless of position. The T'wolves' front office indicates that it'll be very active in trade discussions, which surely will include this pick. It will be a busy summer in Minnesota for embattled GM David Kahn.
When the Yahoo! mock gets down to Fredette, who would surely be a hit in Minnesota, Givony is assuming that pick actually gets traded for a veteran player. If it doesn't though, that wouldn't be such a bad thing.
This would be a disappointing fall for the darling of college basketball, and will ultimately depend heavily on his performance in private workouts, particularly in his ability to defend one-on-one. Minnesota was the second-youngest team in the NBA, so another rookie is probably the last thing the T'wolves need. Look for this pick to be shopped. If it's not moved, Fredette is one of the most experienced players in the draft and would give the team a solid backup plan if Ricky Rubio stays in Europe.
So, if this is how everything goes down, the Wolves will at least fill their need for a point guard (if they keep him) while creating quite a logjam at the forward positions by taking the best available player. Is that what everyone else would do if they were Kahn?
ESPN's Chad Ford has posted his updated 2011 NBA mock draft, aptly named 'Chad Ford's Mock Draft, Version 2.0' after readjusting the NBA draft order following Tuesday night's NBA Draft lottery.
Like Draft Express's Jonathan Givony, who's mock draft SB Nation Minnesota posted on earlier, Ford has the Minnesota Timberwolves selecting Derrick Williams with the second overall pick in his mock (ESPN Insider subscription required). With the Wolves second pick, the 20th overall pick in the first round, Ford believes the Wolves will go with Marshon Brooks of the Providence Friars.
The reasoning that Ford believes that the Wolves will go with Williams, a 6-foot-8 forward who starred as a sophomore on the Arizona Wildcats this season, is because -- as we posted earlier -- David Kahn won't be forced to put up with the ridicule that might have come with 'winning' the top overall pick.
Minnesota GM David Kahn can breathe a sigh of relief -- we think. With Irving likely off the board, Kahn won't have to put up all those point guard jokes. Unless, that is, he reaches for Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker here.
I think this pick will be a three-way race between Williams, Enes Kanter and Bismack Biyombo. Of the three, Williams has the strongest pedigree and ultimately should be an upgrade over Michael Beasley. But don't be surprised if Kahn trades the pick.
Trading the pick would be interesting, especially if the Wolves are able to find some veteran help, but odds are keeping the pick is going to make the biggest splash for a fanbase that needs all the excitement available.
As far as Ford's reasoning for taking Brooks, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard scheduled to attend the Minneapolis NBA Draft workout on May 23-24, it comes down to ESPN's draft expert believing the Wolves need a shooting guard more than they need to replace the Jonny Flynn and Luke Ridnour duo at the point guard position.
While the Wolves are stacked with young talent at multiple positions, 2-guard has been an ongoing need for the past two years. The Wesley Johnson at the 2 experiment didn't really go well this past season -- he's been a forward his whole life and will likely stay that way.
Enter Brooks, the second-best scorer in college basketball. Brooks' dynamic ability to create his own shot off the dribble, combined with solid shooting numbers, should be a big help to Minnesota.
Things will definitely change by next month's actual NBA Draft, but the mock drafts will continue to provide good fodder until that point.
Williams, a 6-foot-8 player who could play both forward positions in the NBA, averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 38 games during his sophomore season in Tuscon, Ariz., is projected to be taking his talents to Minnesota according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
With the Wolves second pick in the first round (20th overall), Jimmer Fredette from the BYU Cougars is the option according to Givony. Earlier it seemed that pick wouldn't seem to be the smart choice, but now taking the best point guard available -- especially if he can shoot -- is probably the best option for Kahn and Co. with their second pick.
It's still very early in the process as the NBA Draft date isn't until June 23, but the projections will start coming fast and furious over the course of the next month.
The 2011 NBA Draft order will be finalized following Tuesday evening's lottery, but there's still a bit of time to speculate because Draft Express released their first mock draft earlier Tuesday.
In Jonathan Givony's creation, the Minnesota Timberwolves are projected to take point guards with both of their picks. That isn't such a bad thing as neither Jonny Flynn or Luke Ridnour are the answer, but critics would surely love to see the Wolves take point guards with both of their picks following the epic 2009
With the 20th overall pick, obtained from the Memphis Grizzlies in the swap of O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love, Givony believes that the selection would be Jimmer Fredette of Brigham Young University. Minnesota could definitely use a shooter, but there are probably more pressing needs than a back-up point guard for a team that finished with the NBA's worst record.
Either way, following this evening's lottery, things could turn out totally different.
Kyrie Irving is projected as the top pick -- currently in possession of the Minnesota Timberwolves -- according to most NBA mock drafts, but ESPN's Fran Fraschilla warns that Wolves fans probably shouldn't set their sights too high.
The article is for ESPN Insider subscribers only, but essentially Fraschilla says that after watching Irving since high school and breaking him down using Synergy Sports technology, NBA fans should temper their expectations for the 6-foot-2 freshman that averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists as a freshman for the Duke Blue Devils last season.
The bottom line for me is that Irving is a high-lottery selection to his left hand and a late-first-rounder to his right. But he's young and possesses great intangibles to go along with his talent. I don't see him as an elite NBA point guard in the Paul or Williams mode, but so what? The way this draft shapes up, if Irving matches the production of a Stephen Curry or Mike Conley, I'd be ecstatic.
Ultimately this speaks more to the quality of the 2011 NBA Draft class, but if the lottery goes as planned and the Wolves end up with the first pick, drafting the next Mike Conley probably isn't going to make the fan base anything close to ecstatic.
2011 NBA mock draft season is in full swing now, and with the Minnesota Timberwolves currently slated to have the first pick, ESPN’s Chad Ford has decided that the right choice is still Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.
Yes, despite the possibility of Ricky Rubio coming over and the fact that the Wolves have acquired six point guards since David Kahn’s arrival, Ford thinks Minnesota still needs a point guard.
In all honesty, it seems to be almost too much of a no-brainer that the Wolves take Irving with the No. 1 if the NBA Draft Lottery on May 17 goes as planned (circle the date on your calendars!) and Ford sees things pretty much the same way.
Irving, on the other hand, makes perfect sense for the young Wolves. He has the most potential of any of the guards Kahn has recruited. He also has a high basketball IQ, can shoot (something the Wolves really need) and is a high-character player (another thing they could use).
The high-character bit seems a bit out of the blue as the Wolves all behaved themselves pretty well this season (though there are issues inthe past), but overall that analysis works just fine for this writer.
Wait! The Wolves also have a second first round pick, from the Memphis Grizzlies, and Ford projects it will be a fellow named Nikola Mirotic.
Mirotic is a serious talent -- a versatile forward playing at a very high level in the Euroleague right now.
There are some serious questions about his buyout right now (not sure the Wolves want to revisit this again), but at this point in the draft, he's a great value. If his contract were clean and he could come right away, he'd be a lottery pick.
At this point, I'll take his word for it.
With the NFL Draft now complete, NBA mock draft season is now in full swing with Tom Ziller’s 2011 NBA mock draft being the best to come out so far this week.
Ziller, long one of the brightest minds in the basketball blogosphere, predicts that the Minnesota Timberwolves should take Kyrie Irving out of Duke — as SB Nation Minnesota decided at the end of the season — even though Ricky Rubio is said to be coming over for season (if you believe David Kahn, and hey, why wouldn’t you?).
Ziller’s reasoning goes like this:
The Wolves are, predictably, in a tough spot. They don’t have a good point guard on the roster — Jonny Flynn’s story has been written, but he’s been unproductive in two seasons. Luke Ridnour is aging and struggled with injury last season. But if David Kahn really thinks Ricky Rubio is coming stateside, can you pick another lottery point guard? Irving’s the best prospect on the board, but taking him would complicate the Ricky relationship, at least at the onset.
But I’m not sure Minnesota could take Derrick Williams No. 1, given the presence of Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. Love-Williams could be a deadly combo, provided the Arizona product can guard small forward and Love can learn how to guard, period.
There will be much more debate about this in the future, but doesn’t it seem that the best option right now is to take the best player — at a position of need — just in case Rubio doesn’t come over as planned? If nothing else, Irving (or Rubio) can always be traded.
This news slipped by SB Nation Minnesota when it first came out late last week, but Minnesota Golden Gophers big man Ralph Sampson III was listed among 69 NCAA underclassmen that declared for early entry into the 2011 NBA Draft.
Sampson, the son of the Ralph Sampson that became the first overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft of the Houston Rockets, will have until May 8 to decide if he wants to return to the University of Minnesota or turn to professional basketball with a year of college eligibility remaining.
The fact that Sampson has NBA size is a bonus, but it looks like his best bet would be returning to Minnesota next season (and not to play for the Timberwolves) as the early synopsis from the experts that noticed it seem to think he won't be drafted.
ESPN's Andy Katz wrote that "Sampson III surprised the coaching staff by declaring for the NBA draft and that "the coaching staff at Minnesota has no idea what Sampson III will do between now and May 8," but notes that "If Sampson were to leave, it wouldn't be a crushing blow because the Gophers "are befuddled by Sampson and his inability to be demonstrative and assertive on a regular basis."
Chad Ford, also of ESPN, wrote that even though Sampson's a long shot to get drafted, his size is intriguing and at least one NBA General Manager thought he could go in the second round.
It's unlikely that Sampson decides to keep his name in the NBA draft through next weekend, but if he does, it would mark the end of his oft-disappointing Golden Gophers' basketball career.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are guaranteed a top four pick in the upcoming NBA Draft due to their league-worst record this season with the exact picked to be decided during the May 17 NBA lottery , so when a player that is ranked in that range in most NBA mock drafts decides to pull out — like Harrison Barnes did today — the Wolves suffer because of it.
Barnes, a 6-foot-8 freshman from North Carolina, probably wasn’t a likely option for the Wolves to choose with their first pick so most would assume this shouldn’t matter. It does mean, however, that the likelihood of getting quality from the first pick if the Wolves fall further than first in the draft is dwindling everyday.
Barnes joins Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones and UNC teammates John Henson and Tyler Zeller as players that would have likely received lottery grades if they had entered the 2011 NBA Draft. Since they’ve all decided to stay in school, however, players that were expected to be mid-to-late round picks are moved into the lottery, later lottery picks are becoming top five picks and a weak draft is slowly becoming even weaker.
As of today, it looks like the Wolves can get good value with either the first or second pick by selecting Duke point guard Kyrie Irving or Arizona forward Derrick Williams. If the lottery doesn’t go their way, however, watch out.
The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery is the next thing Minnesota Timberwolves fans should have on their radar since the Wolves clinched the best odds at drafting Duke's Kyrie Irving with last night's loss so those looking ahead may as well circle the date of May 17, 2011.
On that date, a representative from the 12 teams in this year's lottery (the Cleveland Cavaliers have both their own pick as well as the Los Angeles Clippers while the Utah Jazz own their own pick along with the New Jersey Nets' pick) will gather in Seacaucus, New Jersey, as a lottery machine decides their franchise's fate in the near future.
The NBA Lottery gives the best odds to the worst team (so in a way, the Wolves are winners!) to determine the first three picks of the Draft. The rest of the first-round goes in reverse order of the win-loss record for the remaining teams so, at worst, the Wolves could end up with the fourth pick in the NBA Draft.
The Timberwolves have a 25 percent chance to win the top pick, a 21.5 percent chance at the second pick and a 17.8 percent chance at picking third meaning that the odds are in there favor with a 64.3 percent chance that they return to Minneapolis with a top three pick (and, conversely, a 35.7 percent chance they bring back the fourth pick).
If everything goes according to plan, and why wouldn't it, ESPN's Chad Ford sees the lottery playing it out like this:
Let's hope it turns out that way next month. Rock, chalk, Timberwolves?
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