The Wolves came into the 2013 NBA Draft with four picks (two in each round). They finished the night with four selections (two in each round).
Here's how the first eight picks played out
1.) Anthony Bennett to Cleveland
- The entire NBA fanbase let out a collective WHAT?! when this selection was made. It wasn't Nerlens or Oladipo or Len or Porter or McLemore...the Cavaliers selected combo forward Anthony Bennett of UNLV. I honestly don't know what to make of it and I'll be very curious to see how it all plays out.
2.) Victor Oladipo to Orlando
- I was a little surprised the Magic didn't go with Noel, but if it wasn't Nerlens it had to be Victor.
3.) Otto Porter to Washington
- If he didn't go #1 he was a lock to go #3--especially after Bennett came off the board at #1. The Georgetown alum doesn't even have to move! Will step right in as the starting three.
4.) Cody Zeller to Charlotte
- Surprised that Nerlens & Len weren't off the board yet and pretty shocked the Bobcats went with Cody here. Had heard they were interested and they obviously got there guy (they probably could've traded down to #9 with the Wolves and still got him though--giving Minnesota a chance to nab McLemore).
5.) Alex Len to Phoenix
- And the Suns will rebuild their franchise around a 7'1" center who was in the conversation at #1. Will be interested to see how the Marcin Gortat situation plays out. Hopefully they ship him off to Portland and then the Blazers cool off on making an offer to our Nikola!!
6.) Nerlens Noel to New Orleans then traded to Philadelphia
- Nerlens dropped to 6!??! The Pelicans then traded him along with a Top-5 protected 2014 first rounder in exchange for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday?! I'm sure Vasquez isn't thrilled, but the only thing I can think is: this sucks--as the Pelicans will be a fringe playoff team competing with Minnesota for the final playoff spots--them trading for Holiday makes them substantially better.
7.) Ben McLemore to Sacramento
- I tried to convince myself that the Kings would pass on him and he'd somehow, miraculously fall to Minnesota at #9, but I knew right away he wasn't getting past the Kings. Very unfortunate for McLemore as he goes to one of the worst franchises in the NBA--though things are likely to be QUITE different now with the ownership, front office & coaching changes made this offseason.
8.) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Detroit
- You've got to be kidding me... When I saw the Pistons were taking KCP on Twitter a few minutes before it was solidified on ESPN by D. Stern I felt quite queasy and I'm sure Flip Saunders shared that feeling with me. I don't understand the pick for Detroit as they've already got Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey at the two-guard. Where's KCP gonna find playing time?
Then came the Wolves pick at #9 and suddenly their top three prospects were off the board (Oladipo, McLemore & Caldwell-Pope), so it seemed as though it was down to Lehigh's C.J. McCollum. I knew if it was anyone but him the Wolves would be involved in some type of trade. That was the case as Minnesota selected Michigan's Trey Burke at #9 and a few minutes later traded him to the division rival Utah Jazz for the 14th & 21st picks.
So, now armed with 14, 21, 26, 52 & 59 the Wolves had Sergey Karasev & Shabazz Muhammad as their likely targets with #14. I was honestly hoping for Karasev, but the Wolves went with Muhammad at #14.
Honestly, I'm not mad, I think he's a bit misunderstood and I think the culture in Minnesota won't allow him to be a knucklehead. The Wolves will keep/get him in line with the help of vets like Rubio, Love, Ridnour/Barea (assuming they're not traded) and of couse future Hall-of-Fame coach Rick Adelman. The Wolves are in desperate need of scoring from their two-guard and that's certainly the strongest point of Shabazz's game. If he doesn't play like Adelman wants him to, he simply won't--there will be other options: Alexey Shved, Luke/J.J. and potentially some players the Wolves trade for/sign in free agency. Unlike a lot of Wolves fans, I'm not furious with Shabazz in a TWolves uni.
With the 21st pick the Wolves take Gorgui Dieng. I REALLY like this pick. The first reason being it's almost a certainty that Greg Stiemsma won't be back with the Wolves in 2013-14. In Dieng the Wolves have some a bit more physical--the same height, a good shot-blocker and a big man who will actually fight for rebounds. Gorgui's offensive game is limited, but it's already an improvement on Gregs (which doesn't say much). It's not a sure thing that the Wolves let Stiemer go, but I'd be very surprised if he's on the team in 2013-14.
With two first-round selections (and therefore guaranteed money) it seemed very evident that the Wolves would now trade their final first-round pick (#26) and they did just that. They sent the 26th pick along with guard Malcolm Lee to the Golden State Warriors and received a future second-round pick and cash. The Wolves dump some guaranteed money in Lee, get a bit of cash and a future pick in the second round at some point down the road (uncertain when exactly, as of now).
With the 52nd pick the Wolves nabbed 6'5" point guard Lorenzo Brown and with the 59th pick took power forward Bojan Dubljevic of Montenegro. Brown is considered a first-round talent that slipped, while Bojan is a player that they'll stash overseas for a year or longer (or forever) in hopes he'll continue to develop.
In summary, this is the final tally on the night for Minnesota...
#14 pick: Shabazz Muhammad, F-G
#21 pick: Gorgui Dieng, C
#52 pick: Lorenzo Brown, G
#59 pick: Bojan Dubljevic, F-C
and the Wolves traded guard Malcolm Lee to the Golden State Warriors.
That's all for now, we'll have more analysis and individual breakdowns of the above four players over the next few days so stay tuned for those! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!