If you followed me back when I wrote for the Tumblr site you can find by clicking the link on our HOWL! homepage, you should be familiar with our "Mock Drafts Around the Net" posts. Since the chances are very slim that's the case, let me tell you a bit about them...
Since I watch mostly NBA basketball and rarely watch much college basketball, I created this format to play into my 'wheelhouse' (if you will). The idea is, I research 5-6 different big sites that have mock drafts and detailed information about the Top 30 (or, the first round). I bring you the updates of those sites (pertaining to the Minnesota Timberwolves) and talk a bit about the players they peg the TWolves taking (this year with the 18th & 58th picks overall). Then, we give you who I believe the Timberwolves should be drafting with those two picks (considering they keep those picks and don't trade them).
For our first segment, I'm brining you information from four different sites. Also, in this first segment, we'll just be focusing on the first round (just that 18th overall pick).
Chad Ford, ESPN
18th Overall: Dion Waiters, SG, 6'4"/215lbs., 20 years old, Syracuse
-Just what every TWolves fan wants to hear on draft night; the Minnesota Timberwolves taking another Syracuse player. After selecting Jonny Flynn in 2009 with the 6th overall pick and Wesley Johnson in 2010 with the 4th overall pick. On to what Waiters brings to the table, though. He's not the greatest shooter, Minnesota would prefer someone who's a bit more capable in that area, but he does have a knack for putting the ball on the floor and getting to the bucket, drawing fouls or finishing at the rim. With a few good pre-draft workouts, he could slid up into the lottery (top 14 pick).
18th Overall: Moe Harkless, SF, 6'8"/190lbs., 18 years old, St. John's
-The consensus on Moe seems to be that he would have benefited from another year at St. John's and with another year playing college ball, he could've been a top 10 pick in the 2013 Draft. That being said, Moe has drawn some comparisons to (New Orleans') Trevor Ariza. He's a talented scorer & defender with an "unsettled" jump shot. The TWolves are in dire need of wing players, Wes Johnson just didn't cut it this year (his defense kept him in the rotation, but his offense made him a liability).
18th Overall: Quincy Miller, SF, 6'9"/210lbs., 19 years old, Baylor
-Miller suffered an ACL injury during his collegiate career that has made one of his big weaknesses: explosiveness & quickness. However, he's still a great perimeter shot creator that uses his fairly impressive ball handling skills (especially for a 6'9" forward). His defensive awareness and instincts make him that much more valuable on BOTH sides of the ball.
18th Overall: Terrence Ross, SG, 6'6"/190lbs., 21 years old, Washington
-Ross is a very capable scorer and shooter, however he's seen as more of a role player in this League. He's got a good three-point shot and above-par on defense, but Minnesota needs someone capable of competing for a starting spot among the wings.
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With that final thought in mind, the Minnesota Timberwolves need a player of players that are capable of starting at the shooting guard and small forward positions on the squad next season. That's why (at this time) HOWL! is suggesting the TWolves package their 18th overall pick in a trade for a proven veteran. Either a shooting guard or small forward. Among the players the Wolves could target in trades: Houston's Kevin Martin, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, Detroit's Ben Gordon (I wouldn't like a trade that lands Minny Gordon) or Atlanta's Josh Smith.
Being this is a mid-late first round pick, you're not likely to 'strike gold' with any player you'd be able to draft. You also have to take into consideration that the TWolves are loaded with young talent with 'potential', I can guess most fans are tired of hearing about the potential of Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley or Anthony Randolph and understand the teams need for a consistent player who can contribute on a nightly basis at the wing position(s).
Remember, this is the first of many updates on "Mock Drafts Around the Net" we'll be bringing you at least four to five updates and likely many more before the 2012 NBA Draft in late-June.
Until then, in the 'essence' of looking at Minnesota's offseason, check out our newly-formed section: "FA Watch" where you can find a Full Free Agent List (listing every NBA free agent this offseason, organized by position) and then who Minnesota should be targeting in the free agent market as well as in potential trade scenarios. We're working on that daily and the full section should be completed by the end of May, but until then, check out what we've got!
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!