Winning the Lottery: Early Questions

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As you’re certainly aware by now, the Timberwolves won the draft lottery on Tuesday night. While they can still complain that they’ve never “moved up” above their odds slotting — that was not technically possible this year, given their league-worst standing — this was the first time they’ve ever been so lucky to win the lotto: They had just a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick and that’s exactly what happened.

On Tuesday afternoon we discussed the two basic scenarios that they would face after the ping-pong balls did their thing: they’d either land a Top-2 Pick and select a big man, or they wouldn’t, and their choice would be more complicated and involve a much longer list of names and positions.

Barring something very surprising, the Wolves will draft either Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky or Jahlil Okafor of Duke. Both will be centers in the NBA, which is a position of need for this team, but not the reason for the choice; along with filling a roster void, Towns and Okafor also project as the best all-around impact players in this draft.

It took all of a few minutes for the social-media celebration to shift gears to a “Towns versus Okafor” discussion. It’s clear to me that most fans of the team want the Wolves to draft Towns, but much less clear that Flip Saunders — the team’s president of basketball operations, coach, and minority owner — will heed that collective, outsider input. For a long time it has been rumored that Flip is enamored with Okafor, and his comments on KFAN radio this afternoon did little to dispel that notion.

Whatever Flip and the Wolves ultimately decide on June 25, “Towns or Okafor” is sure to dominate Timberwolves discourse from now until then. I read somewhere recently that “to know something entails two things: for there to be no doubt, and for it to be true.” This definition of knowledge is problematic for discussing the draft because certainty levels (for the self-aware, anyway) are so low, and the truth will not be adequately tested for years to come. With full recognition that most people already understand this reality, it sometimes feels like it bears repeating.

For the Timberwolves decision maker(s), the obvious question is whether Towns or Okafor will become the better all-around player. Duh. If they could know the answer to that broad question, that would be the end of it. But they can’t know the answer right now, and given how good each player projects to be in the NBA, the decision draws a host of other sub-issues into the analysis. Some are data driven, some are conceptual, some are philosophical, and some are based on imagination.

From what I have seen of, and read about these two players, I lean slightly toward drafting Okafor. At this point anyway. I’ll spend plenty more time watching the available videos of each, and reading as much as I can. ESPN and Draft Express always do a great job covering the upcoming drafts, and Canis Hoopus (led by increasingly-well-known Layne Vashro) have had cutting-edge stats projections for years. If somehow you’re reading here and not there, I highly recommend checking it out.

My basic reasoning for preferring Okafor is that almost every time I watched Duke play, he stood out as an imposing, primary offensive option who had an unusual command of the halfcourt offense from the post. He has a great feel for positioning himself where he can make a play for either himself or teammates, and once he gets the ball in reasonable position, it seems like close to a foregone conclusion that something good will happen. For a player so big, he has incredible ball-handling ability and footwork. Duncan is the most frequent style comparison, and that’s fair, but Okafor is more advanced at this stage than Duncan was. In my opinion, his offensive skills from the low and extended post positions are at such a high level that any comparison will be faulty. I tweeted last night that comparing Okafor’s post play to others is akin to comparing Steph Curry’s shooting to others, and I stand by that. There are things that Okafor can do that nobody else would be allowed to try, and it makes comparison mostly worthless. He’s going to do things on offense in the NBA that nobody else does, with the possible exception of DeMarcus Cousins who is a superstar offensive player.

Towns is a very, very good prospect, too. He is a better defender than Okafor, even if his athleticism might be overrated by some accounts. His upside and appeal has less to do with mobility than it does with his combination of size (he has pure center size, and a frame that looks like it might broaden out into Derrick Favors-territory) and shooting ability. Towns has no obvious weakness and he figures to be a “net positive” no matter his role or situation. Such a high level of certainty that he’ll succeed in some fashion is rare, and he is a safer pick than Okafor for this reason. (Okafor struggled more on defense than Towns, and does not rebound as well.) I lean slightly in Okafor’s favor because I think he has a better chance of being a special, high-impact player who plays offense so well that he can be relied on to create plays not only for himself but others. Basically, I think Okafor has a higher chance of being a superstar in the traditional sense of the term which might’ve been overrated at one time, but is still the most important factor in building a championship-caliber roster.

But like I said, my certainty about Towns vs Okafor is low, and yours should be too.

Having digested the lottery news for 24 hours, here are some questions that I have thought of and/or encountered on Twitter, with my own short responses.  Feel free to chime in with your own in the comments:

1) Should the Wolves decision be affected by the makeup of their current roster?

Only the presence of Andrew Wiggins should guide this draft decision. Wiggins grew more assertive as the season went on (putting it mildly) but the offense Flip ran is unsustainably inefficient. It was geared around wing isolations, which no successful teams do anymore.

That unsustainability, in my view, sort of calls into question what type of offensive player Wiggins is going to become in the next few years. He’s become a vicious dunker of the ball in traffic, and his shooting mechanics make that seem like a likely skill as time goes on. But will his offense come more like Kobe’s or Melo’s, or more like Kawhi Leonard’s or other players in motion-type systems? Basically: if the Wolves are beginning from scratch plus Wiggins, would they stand to benefit more from a primary offensive player (Okafor) or a secondary one who better complements a playmaker (Towns)?

While I was and am very encouraged by the season Wiggins had, I still tend to think of him as more of a second offensive option with the potential to be great on defense. In that respect, I like the idea of him playing off of Okafor a bit more than I like the idea of Towns playing off of Wiggins.

2) Should the Wolves performance in the 2014-15 season guide their decision?

No.

You’ll see it mentioned a lot between now and the draft that the Wolves had the league’s worst defense, and all sorts of details fleshing the ugliness out. They couldn’t defend the paint AT ALL, and Towns would better plug those huge gaps than Okafor would.

But here’s the thing: that Wolves team was not their real one. They were tanking, and holding out their veteran players. And the young players that they do have and rely on most — Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins — have higher upsides on defense than anywhere else.  The Wolves were almost as bad on offense as they were on defense last year.  Again, tanking.  None of it matters when deciding who to spend this top overall pick on.  They’re building from the ground up.

3) What to make of the big free throw shooting disparity?

As college freshman, Towns made 81 percent of his free throws, while Okafor made just 51 percent of his. It’s a big deal, and one of the biggest causes of my uncertainty that Okafor’s the better prospect.  He has enormous hands (which helps his ball handling and playmaking) which might play a factor in his poor shooting. I’m encouraged that he shoots the ball high, rather than line-driving it like Shaq. But he certainly needs to improve here. On the other hand, Towns making such a high percentage as a young post signals high skill-level that might extend into other areas.

4) Flip has emphasized that he wants to rebuild this team around “two-way” players. Does this matter?

Eh, not really. First, who cares what Flip said after he traded away Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins? He was probably airing a little bit of frustration that Love didn’t wanna be here, and taking a passive-aggressive shot at the newly departed star. If the Wolves think Okafor is better than Towns, they shouldn’t let a buzz phrase like this two-way player thing stop them. Plus, it’s plenty possible that Okafor will become as much a two-way player (superstar offensive player, competent defender) as Towns, in the event KAT is a non-star on offense in the NBA.

5) Why does Towns seem like a more “modern” style big man, and should this matter?

Well, I guess the answer to the first part is that he can step out and hit jumpers, while Okafor needs to be closer to the hoop like centers used to play. Even though Towns has yet to show even college three-point range (he attempted 8 all season) his form and his play in high school suggest that he might develop long range.

I think the answer to the second part is dependent on a couple of things: first, do the Wolves plan on implementing a spread pick-and-roll system? If not, then who cares if Towns has that skillset? If so, then perhaps it’s worth considering. Second, do the Wolves want to spend a first overall pick on a player who they plan to spot up for jumpers? This is tied to the “ideal Wiggins role” question. Maybe they do. Maybe Wiggins and Rubio can handle the playmaking on a contending team in a few years. But if they can’t, then the idea of Towns being a spot-up shooter has less appeal, even if he’s good on defense and on the boards.

Okafor won’t be spotting up for threes. He’ll be inside, generating his own points and drawing double teams to hopefully generate open jumpers for other, less talented players. To the extent the modern game is shifting away from this style, it seems to me that zigging with an unusually talented post might be as likely to succeed as zagging with everyone else, trying to copy schemes with a coach who doesn’t embrace them and personnel that may not be sufficiently skilled (at this point).

Anyway, there’s a lot of time to keep this discussion moving. These are some of my initial questions and thoughts.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “Winning the Lottery: Early Questions

  1. reaper

    I have been in the okafor camp, but the ft % scares me. I’m sure he’d still be a big upgrade for us regardless if that improves.

  2. ckrown21

    You basically wrote this article in a certain way to argue for Okafor. The points you make are not really convincing at all, though. You attempt to shrug off or downplay all of the skills that make Towns the clear pick for both fit and potential in this draft.

    First off, finding a player to fit with Wiggins isn’t about finding a guy who will be the go-to scorer. If anything, it’s about finding an efficient scorer who will help space the floor for Wiggins’ drives. Yes, Okafor commanding double teams and his decent passing skills (he actually was a less efficient passer than Towns) is intriguing, but you are basically putting all of your chips in the fact that Okafor will we a generational, Shaq-type presence in the paint. A guy who will draw an extra player to stop him every time he touches the ball. Yes, this would be nice, but is far from a sure thing against NBA bigs. Towns, on the other hand, has a ton of potential to expand his range and had essentially the same true shooting percentage as Okafor last year. He is efficient and has an unbelievable potential on offense if he develops into a shooter and efficient scorer down low.

    I don’t even know what you are arguing with 2. The Wolves were bad, but they shouldn’t draft a good player because they were tanking? They were tanking so they weren’t trying to defend the paint? The fact that (I think) you suggested that because Wiggins and Rubio are defensive-minded players, they don’t need a rim protector makes me question your understanding of the modern NBA. The Wolves were atrocious at defending the paint last year. Towns has a chance to make a huge difference there, and you shrug that off because we have two players who are good wing defenders?

    I agree that Towns is a much better shooter. Mentioned that above, and we’ve all seen how detrimental having a horrible free throw shooter be one of your key players. Maybe Okafor improves, but maybe not.

    With 4, you are saying that the Wolves shouldn’t draft Towns because Okafor is “better” on the offensive side of the ball? There is not just a small gap on defense/ rim protection between this two. Towns was noticeably better defending the pick and roll last year, and his pace-adjusted block numbers blow Okafor’s away. His block% was over 12%, while Okafor’s was around 4.5%. Towns looks to be a stopper and force on the defensive side.

    Are you suggesting that Towns will be only a “spot up shooter” in the NBA? Did you watch him last year? The dude was a force in the paint and, as you said, took all of 8 3’s last year. To suggest his upside is a spot up shooter is ridiculous. He shot nearly 60% from 2 point range and has a larger frame to bully down low than Okafor.

    This is all not event mentioning that Towns is a much better defensive rebounder (22.8% vs. 18.2%,) something the team also desperately needs.

    I am surprised, I usually agree with what you guys write here. You praise Canis, who are basically in “Towns-or-bust” mode. Hopefully Flip doesn’t see this article.

    • ckrown21:

      First, thanks for the detailed argument for Towns over Okafor. As I mentioned in the post, my preference for Okafor is slight, and not set in stone. I’m aware that advanced stats project a better career for Towns, which is one of the reasons that it’s a close call for me. Watching both players in lots of games last year left me with a stronger conviction that Okafor is the better prospect. His skills were more evident in most games because he was surrounded by less talent, carried a bigger offensive workload, and also because the ways that Towns adds value are more subtle, like defensive rebounding. Also, Towns’s lack of weaknesses doesn’t pop off the screen the way that a key strength does. There were countless times that I watched Kentucky play, and did not notice Towns on the floor. I know I’m not alone because I read this opinion over and over throughout most of the college season from other people. I praised Canis because they consistently help fill in the gaps that sometimes get missed off of just watching games. But I have never been nor ever will be a person who accepts a number crunch as a definitive answer to a basketball question, and I don’t think that the vast majority of Canis contributers (meaning the writers and commenters) are either.

      You mentioned that I basically wrote this article to argue for Okafor, but you need to consider that I’m acknowledging that a big majority of Wolves fans want Towns, and I (right now) prefer Okafor. After reading that intro, did you expect the rest of the piece to lean toward Towns as my favorite prospect? I think the arguments for Towns make sense. I’m just more optimistic about the type of player Okafor can become in the NBA than you and many others seem to be.

      I’ll try to address your specific arguments now:

      Regarding a fit with Wiggins: you have the opposite answer to the question I posed. You might be right. I’m high on Wiggins, but am still trying to figure out what his future as an offensive player looks like. Nobody, I don’t think, expects it to be the force-feeding on the block stuff that we saw for most of his rookie year. I’m hoping that he and the team will find cleaner pathways to those dunks, and blend in a prolific three-point shooting game. Since I don’t envision him becoming a LeBron-type of creator from the top of the key, I think having a double-team magnet like Okafor would open up space for both three-point shots, and dive cuts to the rim when the 3-on-4 defenders mix up assignments. It’s just one thing to consider. If Wiggins becomes a Tier-1 offensive force of a James Harden variety, then I think Towns would make more sense than Okafor for this team, as we understand their potential right now.

      We strongly disagree on #2, and I’ll ignore your trolly insult you included. What am I saying is that last year’s Wolves team was holding out its veteran players to intentionally lose games, and they lost more games than any other team in the league. They should not use the results of that season as any sort of basis when selecting the number one overall pick in the draft. The Wolves don’t have to tinker a little bit here, or a little bit there, to build a contending team. They still have to do literally all of the building, other than perhaps Wiggins being cemented in as the long-term small forward. If Rubio improves his shooting and can stay healthy, he’ll be in the long-term nucleus as well. The Wolves defense was terrible, yes. League worst in fact. But their offense was ranked 26th, too. Both sides of the ball are starting from essentially a worst-case position, if you go off of last year’s performance, which was purposefully bad. The Wolves shouldn’t choose offense over defense, nor should they choose defense over offense. They should choose whichever player they like most as an all-around impact player. For what it’s worth, when Rubio was on the floor the Wolves had a 103.4 defensive rating. In league rankings that would be tied with the Suns for 17th in the league. Not good, but almost smack in the middle.

      On #4, I’m just saying Flip shouldn’t feel the need to stick to his “2-way player” thing. He should draft the player that he thinks will be the best one. I’m not as convinced as you are that Towns will be a special offensive player in the NBA. If the Wolves draft him, I hope that he is.

      My comments about Towns and spot-up shooting are in response to the notion that he’s such a modern NBA big man and Towns is not. Usually when people elaborate on that characterization they mention how he can space the floor with shooting. Unless you envision him as a do-it-all type of player, like Anthony Davis, I’m just curious what type of role he would have as a floor-spacing big man on the offensive side of the floor. Just as people oversimplify what an Okafor offense would look like (“just pound it inside and everyone else stands”) it would be an oversimplification to say that Towns would be only spotting up. But it does seem like his shooting is a big thing that excites people. If that’s the case, I imagine he’ll be doing that, to spread the floor for people like Wiggins to drive, and so I’m just trying to paint a picture of what he’ll be doing in games. It doesn’t take away from the ways he’ll impact games on defense and in rebounding, where I personally feel he will be most valuable.

      It sounds like you are in “Towns or bust” mode. I’m not, but I certainly won’t be upset if they take him. Like I said in the piece, I think he’s a little bit safer than Okafor, but lacks the superstar potential. If I’m wrong, it certainly won’t be the first time.

      • ckrown21

        Thank you for the response, this is fun. I hear you- one thing brought up on Canis recently was that Towns brings a lot more versatility to the table. When you say “we shouldn’t choose just offense or just defense,” I would think you would argue for Towns, who projects to be above average at both with certainly a higher ceiling on defense.

        Rubio certainly helps on both sides of the ball- we both know that. He’s a difference maker. But whether or not most of the roster was injured last year, you have to acknowledge that there isn’t a decent rim protector on the team. If everyone is healthy, we have a number of options in the paint/ post, but what we truly lack are elite rebounders, rim protectors and shooters. There is a very good chance that Towns can do all of these things above-average level for his position, while Okafor will likely struggle at all of them (at least defensive rebounding, though I do think he will be better there than his college numbers show.)

        I am, as of right now, in Towns-over-Okafor mode. Okafor scares me. You mention the eye-test, but I saw a number of games where he struggled against bigger, stronger and faster bigs. I don’t like the Pek comparisons, but I can’t help but think of games where a shorter and unathletic Pek struggled against taller, shot-blocking centers he faced. Late in the tournament, it was Winslow who looked like the better player and prospect against top teams, while Okafor largely disappeared. He bullied college players and flourished with the shooting and spacing of Duke, but he won’t have those advantages on the Wolves.

        You say Towns seemed to disappears, but if you look at his eye-popping advanced statistics it’s impossible to say he wasn’t making an impact. Again, he was responsible for .311 WS/40 (I realize now I was looking at their conference stats before, my fault.) It is impossible to put up those numbers and disappear, unless you are doing everything in between. Again, I think those numbers speak to his versatility. If Okafor isn’t the post monster everyone says, he is a bust. Even if Towns isn’t an elite defender and doesn’t develop much on offense, he still will offer a lot.

  3. ckrown21

    Figured I should provide some numbers I argued:

    While Okafor shot 64% from the field to Towns’ 59%, Towns closes the gap with his free throw shooting to give him a 64.3% TS% to Okafor’s 64.1%.

    Okafor had an assist% of 9.4% and a Turnover% of 15.6%. Towns was at 13% and 12.2%, respectively.

    Towns absolutely crushes Okafor in WS/40- .199 vs. a whopping .315 (Anthony Davis territory). He actually had more win shares (a cumulative stat) in way less minutes- 2.7 for Okafor vs. 3.1 for Towns.

    How any knowledgeable sports writer can argue that Okafor is a better fit for the Wolves is truly beyond me. I’d like to see your reply now that I’ve spent so much time writing this out.

  4. Rodman99

    I wonder if Okafor is kind of like a better Pek (not in style but in substance). Great in the low block, no range, limited D, no shot blocking. Will he too get challenged/occasionally shut down by the modern super athletic centers?

    Now here’s the heart of that issue. Hasn’t our time with Pek shown that style to be more of a weakness than an asset? Will that be successful come playoff time? Is there any successful team with a center as their #1 offensive option? Why should we build a team that way?

    Personally I think we’d be better served with a defense oriented approach. I’m in the Towns camp. And it’s not like he can’t provide offense. He can. But I’d hope that Wiggins can be the #1 guy, and if he can’t we look for a SG who can be. Meanwhile we’d have an amazing foundation.

    • First, healthy Pekovic is a good player. He isn’t a perfect player, but he’s a better than average starting center in my opinion.

      Second, I think Okafor is quite a bit more versatile than Pek, in the ways that he can be involved in an offense. He doesn’t require deep post position to be effective. (Pek’s struggling righty-hook was never as good as his deep post seals that he turned into drop steps.) Okafor can basically play the role that Wiggins did last year (when posting up) only do it much, much better.

      If Okafor is something less than a superstar post presence, then Towns will almost certainly be the better pro. I just think he looks good enough to make the gamble.

      • ckrown21

        That gamble doesn’t seem crazy to you? I mean, read that sentence. “If Okafor is something less than a superstar post presence….” Towns projects to be a great defender and was certainly in the same tier as Okafor offensively, when you factor in his passing and shooting abilities. Okafor faced smaller, weaker defenders in college. He showed great footwork, which should translate, but he is not Shaq-big or Pek-big. He won’t dominate the NBA with his size, so he will rely on that footwork to basically be the best ever to be a superstar and make up for his defensive deficiencies. Towns has just got to be the safer pick, and arguably also has more upside.

        • Snoekenbijter

          This^

          When scouting college players, Scoring tends to be one of the least translating skills to the NBA. I’m sure Okafor will get his fair share of points but there is really no guarantee that he will become an absolute superstar.
          The thing that bothers me too is that it seems like he just doesn’t care about anything other than offense; and even on offense he is not always fighting for deep post-position. But on defense it is a really glaring weakness; he doesn’t rebound defensively, he doesn’t block shots, he gets scored on in the post, he can’t play pick-and-roll defense, and he gets scored on by little guys too often.

          You take on all this for the gamble that he might be a clear-cut elite post player. When you also take into account that he can’t space the floor and that his presence might clutter the lanes for a driving Wiggins, it becomes a pretty big no-go for me.

  5. Rodman99

    That’s a fair take. I’m sure we’re getting a good player either way.

    On an related side note… Calipari told a bunch of boosters (think yesterday) that his goal this past year wasn’t to win all those games or even win a national championship. He said his goal was to get 8 players drafted.

    I wonder how depressed Towns numbers are because of this (limited minutes, role, etc.). Is pretty interesting to think about.

    (as usual, great stuff guys)

  6. Gabe

    I enjoyed this article and am currently pro-Okafor. One argument I don’t totally get is that everyone seems to assume Okafor is only an offensive player. I understand that he basically was that in college, but I like the potential of a 280 lb 7’0” 19 year old with impressive footwork to become a plus defender. A lot of what makes a quality big is his ability to communicate. I think Okafor learning under KG can learn all the little things it takes to be a good defender and pair that with his natural skill set and I think he’ll be a good defender even if he’s never a great one.

    • Srp06605

      Well then I totally don’t get the argument that Towns won’t become a plus offensive player. He’s more athletic, shot a similar percentage from the field, better range, better passer, fewer TOs. I think the chances are better Towns becomes a better offensive player than Okafor a defender. But honestly, who knows. It’s pretty cool that we can have this conversation in the first place, though.

      • Gabe

        I wouldn’t make the argument that Towns won’t become a plus offensive player. I think he will. I will be happy with whoever we select right now my preference is Okafor. Part of that reason being that I am going to watch 50+ wolves game every year and Okafor was my favorite college basketball player to watch in the last 5 years. There seems to be a swell of people arguing that the choice is Towns and it’s a no brainer. I just don’t think that’s true.

        • ckrown21

          “Okafor was my favorite college basketball player to watch” is not something that should be considered when drafting a future fixture of the franchise with an incredibly important first overall pick in the draft.

  7. Dave T

    I can’t help remembering KG’s first game back, when the Wolves beat the Wizards. KG was the stopper in the paint, but more importantly he was the QB who organized the defense. Let KG mentor Towns for a year, and Towns will become the front-court defender the Wolves have needed for a long time.

  8. Roger

    Hi Andy,

    Love the blog and the open mind. Can you comment on this, because… I think wolves fans are so down on themselves, things like this never occur to them.

    1. Trade down and get Russell and a future 1st.
    2. Trade that future 1st and whatever else for Boogie Cousins.
    3. Hire Malone.
    4. Roll into battle with Rubio, Russell, Wiggins, Cousins, and somebody else.

    • KC

      Your #1 won’t work. Philly has the 3 pick and they want Russell. Knicks would do the trade, but now you’re at #4 and Towns, Okafor, and Russell are all gone. That would be a disaster…..

  9. van

    I for now am in the Towns camp. I think he’s D and at least potential on O to catch lobs from Rubio and stretch the floor is too much to pass up. I think both Towns and Okafor will have solid to great careers but in my opinion Towns is our guy. Either way though it would be tough to complain.

    I am interested in what you think we might end up doing with the second rounders, and how much the first pick will impact those moves. If Okafor goes one, do we try and trade back into the first and go for a D minded center like Upshaw? Or if we go KAT one, do we go for a backup point guard (TYUS!!??)?

  10. Bayo Maurice

    It’s clear that you are a duke blue devil fanatic.
    How can we expect anything else. Other than you being a bit bias in your article. You just previously scouted duke players with articles on each one of them as a prospect from okafor, Winslow, Tyus Jones, I’m surprised that you didn’t devote scouting Sulaiman, and cook as well. Picking Okafor would be disastrous. I know he possess the advance post arsenal that most nba players don’t possess. But defense wins championship. Secondly I don’t trust most duke players in the nba. Name a duke player that has been constantly successful in the nba and has not been ridden with injuries. .. (waits for an answer) Grant Hill, Kyrie Irving, Jabari parker, Jay Williams, Elton Brand, christian Laettner, Mike Dunleavy , Danny ferry, Alaa abdelnaby, we’re all drafted top 3 picks. Grant Hill was the lebron of the 90s before injury got a hold of him. Bobby Hurley as well.
    Probably the best duke draft steal has been Carlos boozer, and sadly he was a 2nd round pick.
    Sheldon Williams was taken as the 5th pick, Cherokee Parks, Elliott Williams, William Avery, Nolan Smith, trajan Langdon, were rather pathetic, loul Deng and Shane Battier, we’re decent. Likewise J.J. Redick, if it wasn’t for his dad resurrecting his career a bit Austin rivers was headed same road. Best place to draft a duke is mid to end of first round, Gerald Henderson, plumlees, Rodney Hood, Corey maggett, dahntay Jones.
    what am trying to articulate in hindsight is coach K players either don’t translate to nba as much as Calipari ‘s. They once that do are the defensive minded players.

    Kentucky players that have been coach by Calipari.
    Have mostly blossom in the nba.
    Eric Bledsoe and Terrence Jones both 18th pick, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Enes Kanter, John Wall were all taken in the top 5.
    Michael Kidd Gilchrist hasn’t been much of an impact but was drafted 2nd. Brandon knight had a breakout year, Nerlen Noel was in fight for rookie of the year. Julius Randle hasn’t shown us anything yet, Patrick Patterson, archie Goodwin has made a few contributions. Jodie Meeks was a 2nd rounder, marquis Teague and Daniel Orton are finding it difficult to make it in the nba.
    Calipari coached Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans.
    If timberwolves love themselves the would go with a two way player with a greater upside than gamble on a duke player because his team were champion. Laettner was a champion did that translates to nba.
    I still think zach lavine will be an all star likewise Wiggins and shabazz can be
    I am hoping and praying that Bennett get some confidence in himself and play and stop thinking so much
    payne was a waste of a trade 1st round pick, Saunders just wanted a replica of Draymond Green and he is rather high on Tom izzo bandwagon.
    If Garnett can get into Wiggins, Bennett, especially and a little bit into Lavine and Muhammed t wolves would be okay. Rubio need to fight off the injury bug and I pray he does and pekovic gets off the injury bus Deng and Towns has the most to benefit from Garnett, if Deng can be a poor man’s ibaka then timberwolves can win the nba champion in 2017 or 2018.

  11. Trade the pick. I’m too old (75) to be watching kids play a man’s game.

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