Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves will definitely have AT LEAST one rookie on the squad for 2013-14. As of June 22nd, the TWolves own the ninth, twenty-sixth, fifty-second & fifty-eighth picks in the 2013 NBA Draft--being held on June 27th.
There has been plenty of speculation of what the Wolves will be doing with those picks or what kind of package they'll put together to move up into the Top 5. Let's first take a look at a scenario in which they don't move up and they make their four selections.
Don't Move Up...
#9: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia), C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) or Sergey Karasev (Russia)
If the Wolves keep their ninth pick, there's no question that they need to address their glaring need at the two-guard. Former President of Basketball Operation David Kahn try to slap a band-aid over it year after year with the failed experiments of Wesley Johnson and even more so, Brandon Roy. Drafting a player like Kentavious or Sergey--two shooting guards with two-guard size and solid shooting strokes. C.J. McCollum is an excellent shooter, but he lacks NBA shooting guard size--something that Flip Saunders has made a priority this summer.
#26: Rudy Gobert (France), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga), Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), Jeff Withey (Kansas), Steven Adams (Pittsburgh), Lucas Nogueira (Brazil) or Mike Muscala (Bucknell). I think the gameplan here is pretty obvious: a big man to develop these next 2-3 years. It's likely that centers like Olynyk (more of a stretch four), Dieng & Adams will all be off the board at this point, however their inclusion here is an assumption that some players could slip slightly on the board. Any one of these big men would be solid options for the Wolves. A center like Gobert, Dieng, Withey or Adams may be the best options if they're looking for a reason to dump Greg Stiemsma (PLEASE do so!!). Olynyk, Nogueira & Muscala may be best suited as power forwards at the NBA level. All in all, the Wolves will almost definitely go with a shooting guard with their first pick and then a big man with their second first-round selection.
#52 & #58: I literally have absolutely no idea who the Wolves will take with these picks. Could they actually select collegiate players? Will they look internationally at some players to pick & stash? Last season the Wolves took Robbie Hummel with the 58th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Hummel played with the Wolves in the Summer League and that didn't lead to a contract offer with the Wolves. He instead took his talents to Spain for the season. Hummel is actually expected to join the Wolves in Summer League once again this summer (can always use three-point shooters, he's a long shot to make the opening day roster...but, you never know. Your guess on what the Wolves do with these two late second-round picks is probably better than mine!
Let's Make a Deal...
#1 or #2 or #3 or #4 or #5
The Wolves have been rumored to be talking to each team in the Top 5. As of today (6/22) the order stands at 1.) Cleveland; 2.) Orlando; 3.) Washington; 4.) Charlotte; 5.) Phoenix. The most likely trade partners include Cleveland, Orlando or Charlotte. If the Wolves did swing a deal it would be to land one of two players: either Indiana's Victor Oladipo (reportedly Flip's top target) or Kansas' Ben McLemore. Reports says Flip is very high on Oladipo, but I feel it's a bit overstated--how much Flip prefers Victor over McLemore. Some local Twin Cities media members debated this a couple weeks back, offering up the chance that this infatuation with Oladipo could be a bit of a smokescreen. I think Flip prefers Oladipo, but it's a bit closer between him & Ben than he's let on.
Let's Make a Different Deal...
Trade for a Veteran
There are a number of veteran shooting guards that Minnesota could target with a package that would include (at least) the #9 pick. Some targets could include Boston's Courtney Lee or Jason Terry, Brooklyn's MarShon Brooks, Detroit's Rodney Stuckey, Indiana's Lance Stephenson, New York's Iman Shumpert, Orlando's Arron Afflalo, Philadelphia's Jason Richardson, Phoenix's Jared Dudley or Shannon Brown, Portland's Wesley Matthews or Sacramento's Marcus Thornton (among others).
Let's Make a Slightly Different Deal...
Trade Your Top Pick(s) and Chase a Free Agent
In this scenario, the Wolves would package their top pick along with (maybe) one of their point guards to dump some salary so they could chase a free agent shooting guard like O.J. Mayo, Tony Allen, Tyreke Evans, Kevin Martin, J.J. Redick, etc. The Wolves could also choose to trade down from that #9 pick and select someone in the mid-first round that they could stash overseas for a few years and therefore would still allow them to dump some salary and snag one of these veteran two-guards. While this may be the unlikelier of these scenarios, you really can't rule anything out.
That's all I've got for now, the draft is just five days away so stay tuned for plenty more draft news, stories & updates. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.