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.
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.
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.