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.