NBA Draft Lottery: Rapid Reaction Force Edition

Shabazz Muhammed - Future Timberwolf?

Shabazz Muhammad – Future Timberwolf?

Andy G: That was my immediate reaction. Now that I’ve *poured that bourbon* and *stepped outside for that air* we should probably take a couple steps back and digest what it means that the Timberwolves will be picking 9th in the upcoming draft and not 1st, 2nd or 3rd like we had hoped — however irrationally, given the 94 percent chance that they would — you know — NOT pick 1st, 2nd or 3rd. I guess I’ll start: Nerlens Noel isn’t walkin’ through that door, Ben McLemore isn’t walkin’ through that door, and Victor Oladipo isn’t walkin’ through that door, fans.

Your thoughts?

Patrick J: So, who wants #9? Not me, really. And probably not Rick Adelman either. Who knows about Flip Saunders. We’re in win-now mode, and unless Rick Adelman leaves or takes a new shining to rookies, it doesn’t make much sense to keep this pick. You probably want to trade it, and then target a shooter with your pick at #26. He could end up as good as KCP anyway.

You dig?

Andy G: I think the odds that the pick is traded increase significantly at 9, as compared to 1-2-3 where they’d have a crack at the names listed above.

Jonathan Givony INSTANT MOCKED after the order was released and had us taking SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD. Shabazz invites Kahntroversy; maybe more than a new President of Bball Ops like Flip Saunders wants. He’s like equal parts Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers and Danny Almonte. He’s a PED scandal away from hitting for the RED FLAGS CYCLE! But he can shoot, he can score and he can definitely match up physically with NBA wings. He’s almost nothing like the runts Ricky has been backcourt-paired with the last two years who are often times just Too $hort to catch and convert a kick-out pass. Shabazz is also left-handed which will invite outlandish comparisons to James Harden and Manu Ginobili. There are worse ideas.

Back to trading the pick — that’s where my money is. I think they’ll move Derrick Williams and the 9th Pick for a legitimate starting shooting guard. I wrote as much in our season wrap post. It’ll free up salary to retain Pekovic and Budinger and send a message to Love and Rubio that the team is doing what it can to position itself for a playoff run.

But let’s say we keep the pick — what’s the best-case scenario for a talented player slipping past 8 teams?

Patrick J: Best case? Anthony Bennett (appearing at the Lottery with your arm in a sling isn’t known to raise your stock). But Bennett’s gonna be legit. So that’s the best case. More realistically? Someone like Alex Len. The Wolves don’t need him if they match any Pek deal, yet his consensus mock position would suggest he’d be a value get at #9. All I can say is, stay away. This guy is no good. Remember when Brook Lopez went at nine? So do I. I (feel like) I know Brook Lopez–I once brushed shoulders with him for a minute at California Pizza Kitchen in Palo Alto, and that’s about the most real access a blogger can hope for–and I can tell you, Alex Len is no Brook Lopez. Sign Pek. Don’t draft Len. Break the pattern.

Andy G: Well, we pretty much knew this was coming. Six percent odds and all. So I guess we wait and see what happens. The super optimists will hope for a Williams & 9 for trade up. I don’t see it, but who knows? In any case, I think the dream of the FLAT TOP is dead.

So it goes.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “NBA Draft Lottery: Rapid Reaction Force Edition

  1. If there’s one thing Shabazz isn’t, it’s too short – but he’s definitely got the potential to be Money In the Ghetto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng7P0pbPkxo

  2. Grim Reaper

    I would take the best player available at a position of need or requiring depth and start building a strong organization through consistent sound decision-making. I would take advantage of the desperate, not continue being one of the desperate. We are not close enough to a championship to throw away good picks to just make and maybe win one series in the playoffs this year. I like Adelman, but he is not the only good coach in the world. Coaches will want to coach and players will want to play for the Timberwolves if we continue to build our talent pool and start showing maturity as an organization.
    I’m not opposed to trading the likes of Williams, but we need good value in exchange — unless you believe he’s a total lost cause and want to cut our loses while he still has some value. Oladipo is nice, but there’s no guarantee that he’d pan out any more than Williams after the same number of years in the league. Appreciate what you have, develop it, and improve upon it.

    • GR–
      I do tend to think of Williams as a lost cause, because he isn’t quite good enough to be a primary scorer and he isn’t nearly reliable enough in other areas to be a high-value role player. As a starter, he’s light years behind Kevin Love. As a bench reserve, he’s more expensive and not as helpful in short minutes as Dante Cunningham. I’d like to see him moved if they have a chance to do it. They need the cap relief more than what Williams provides on the floor.

      I agree Oladipo is no sure thing. I’m not sure anyone in the draft is this year — or most years — but there are parts of his game, as well as the games of Noel, McLemore, Bennett and Porter that suggest they might become good-to-very-good pro players. With Oladipo the question is whether he can knock down enough shots. It’s a legitimate question and if he can’t, he’s Corey Brewer (which, as it turns out, isn’t terrible.) With McLemore the question is whether he floats around and allows himself to be taken out of games (the Wes Johnson problem.) He’s a jump-shooter, so you’re not getting some type of Kobe Bryant slasher. Of course, playing with Ricky Rubio, being a jump shooter isn’t so bad. Bennett’s questions are similar to those Derrick Williams had — he’s a “tweener” forward. If he pans out, he can be a combo forward like LeBron James is, Kevin Durant is, and Carmelo Anthony is. That’s not so say he’ll be that great, but just that there are examples of 3/4 hybrids that work out pretty nicely. It isn’t an inherently bad position even if some struggle with it for one reason or another.

  3. Dave A.

    Watch the Spurs and you will see a team that holds down turnovers and makes shots. Both Rubio and Williams would improve quickly under the Spurs’ coach. Less fancy and more finish. At this level, making open shots (Rubio) and finishing at the rim (Williams) isn’t an unreasonable expectation. It will come. Wolves have talent.

  4. Brian J.

    Where does PDWolves stand on trading up with the Williams + #9 combo, if it’s possible? Not sure how feasible it is, but I’m all for it if it gets us the 4 slot (or maybe even 5). Assuming Noel gets taken 1 or 2, and Wiz go with Porter or Bennett, that means Oladipo or McLemore is available at 4. And if somebody decides they really like Trey Burke that high, Oladipo or McLemore might be on the board at 5 too.

    Seems like a good time to move D-Thrill if the right deal is there. His stock is probably about as high as it’ll go, and there’s not really a great spot for him on the Wolves roster next year. Charlotte seems like they might consider it – they don’t really have a PF locked down, and could still get another decent big with the 9th pick (Len, Zeller). Their backcourt is somewhat clogged with Kemba, Henderson and MKG (not good, necessarily, but clogged), so they might not care about passing on Oladipo/McLemore at 4. Unfortunately Bennett seems like he’d be a pretty great pick for Charlotte, so maybe they keep it.

    Not sold on McCollum (another undersized two) or Kentavious, but who knows. Sounds like a couple shooters could be available at 26, so maybe we have some room to operate with the 9th pick. Not really interested in Bennett (not that he won’t be good, but just don’t think he gets enough run behind K-Love), but I guess if he really drops to 9 you have to look at him. Otherwise don’t really like what’s projected to be there at 9. Trading down is so boring though. Maybe we just grab Shabazz and hope for the best?

    • I think Williams is a negative asset, due to his salary ($5 Million next year, $6.3 Million the following year) and mediocre play. So, if a team wants to give the Wolves a better draft pick in exchange for taking on D-Thrill, that’d be great! The question is what else we’d take back in the deal. I really doubt that the Wolves get that done without taking back a contract; maybe even a Kahntract.

      I stand by my earlier take that they’d have to send #9 and Williams for a veteran shooting guard (no high draft pick walkin’ through that door). Maybe I’m wrong, but I sense some major overvaluing of Williams being done by Wolves fans.

      To move up to #3 (a Washington writer suggested the Wolves as a possible trade partner) I would think we’d have to do better than Williams. Unfortunately I don’t know what that would be. Certainly not Ricky, Love or Pek. Not AK, I don’t think. Does Barea have positive trade value? (Perhaps I just posed that to the wrong person…)

  5. Brian J.

    Don’t understand why anyone would consider trading JJ. How quickly we forget:http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=400278097 (JJ 14 points in the 4th, D’s up Durant and draws key charge, Wolves break OKC 12-game win streak, send message with JJ leading the way).

    But yeah, I don’t have a good sense for how likely it is that we can package D-Thrill either. Givony seems to think Charlotte might move its pick, so maybe the Wolves have a chance there with the Thrill+9 package. That does seem to be all we really have to offer though. Hopefully Thrill+9 can get us to McLemore or Oladipo. I don’t know that there are too many realistic veteran shooting guard options out there that I’d be excited about. Maybe that’s PDWolves’ next post – the T-Wolves perennial search for that elusive veteran shooting guard.