While there's a chance the Wolves could look to trade that pick for a proven veteran or even a Top 5 pick, however today we're taking a look at some notable former 9th overall picks from 1997-Present...
1997: Tracy McGrady (Toronto)
1998: Dirk Nowitzki (Milwaukee)
1999: Shawn Marion (Phoenix)
2000: Joel Pryzbilla (Houston)
2001: Rodney White (Detroit)
2002: Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix)
2003: Mike Sweetney (New York)
2004: Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia)
2005: Ike Diogu (Golden State)
2006: Patrick O'Bryant (Golden State)
2007: Joakim Noah (Chicago)
2008: D.J. Augustin (Charlotte)
2009: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)
2010: Gordon Hayward (Utah)
2011: Kemba Walker (Charlotte)
2012: Andre Drummond (Detroit)
In 2004, the Sixers got it right with Andre Iguodala, who is now one of the NBA's premier defensive players. In 2007 the Bulls took a chance on Noah and these last few years that's certainly paid dividends. He's now one of the NBA's best defensive big men and an All-Star for a Rose-less Bulls team that always seems to overachieve (when without D-Rose).
These last four years, teams have got some very good talent with the ninth overall pick. In fact, in the last four drafts, the teams selecting ninth have taken a player that is now a big part of that team's future and a starter for their squad. DeMar DeRozan is teamed with Rudy Gay in Toronto to create a very lethal scoring punch for the Raps. Gordon Hayward & Kemba Walker have both had breakout seasons this past year for their respective squads. And lastly, Andre Drummond, despite a midseason back injury had a solid rookie campaign and is much better, much quicker than most expected. He now teams with Greg Monroe to form a very good Piston frontcourt and in another two or three years, the could be one of the best in the NBA.
For as many good picks in the last sixteen years as there have been, there's been plenty of 'bad' picks or simply players selected not 'up to snuff'. Joel Pryzbilla went ninth in 2000, but he's never been more than a role player in his career and the only reason he's stuck around the NBA is because of his size (7'1"). The Pistons took Rodney White in 2001 and the Knicks took Mike Sweetney in 2003. Both were role players in their careers, but with a Top 10 pick, you're likely looking for a bigger contributor. In successive years (2005 & 2006) the Warriors had the ninth overall picks and in two successive drafts they got it wrong...very wrong! Diogu & O'Bryant were both bench warmers in their very short careers. Diogu played in just 225 games and O'Bryant only 90!
The Wolves are in dire need of a shooting guard and there's a good chance there could be some players that fit that bill available at number nine: Shabazz Muhammad, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or combo guard C.J. McCollum.
Though chances are better the Wolves will look to fill the need of a shot-blocking big man, depending on how the first eight picks go, perhaps Alex Zen, Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk or Rudy Gobert.
I'm currently working on Part Two of our Mock Drafts 'Around the Net' and should have it posted by tomorrow night! Stay tuned for that, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!