HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS (NEW JERSEY BUREAU) – At this point, we’ve come to expect the worst from David Kahn and the Timberwolves. So how does that affect our evaluation of how the Wolves did on draft night?
One thing that we know is that they did a lot…
- Selected Derrick Williams with the No. 2 pick.
- Traded Jonny Flynn and the No. 20 pick to Houston for Brad Miller, the No. 23 pick, and the Grizzlies’ 2013 first-round pick (lottery protected).
- Traded the No. 23 pick to Chicago for the No. 28 pick and the No. 43 pick.
- Traded the No. 28 pick to Miami for the No. 31 pick and a future second-round pick.
- Traded the No. 31 pick to New Jersey for a future second-round pick and cash (not yet official).
- Selected Malcolm Lee with the No. 43 pick.
- Acquired the No. 57 pick from Dallas and used it to select Targuy Ngombo, who may or may not have been draft-eligible (not yet official).
Miller is recovering from microfracture surgery and probably won’t be available until at least January. So essentially, with all that movement, the Wolves are just adding Williams and Lee to their depth chart, with Ricky Rubio replacing Flynn…
PG: Rubio, Luke Ridnour, Lee
SG: Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington
SF: Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward
PF: Kevin Love, Williams, Anthony Randolph
C: Darko Milicic, Anthony Tolliver, Nikola Pekovic, Miller
With the additions of Rubio and Williams (and the removal of Flynn), the Wolves have five players on their roster who have been selected with a top-five pick in the last five years. Add Milicic and Webster and they have seven who have been selected in the top six in the last nine years.
So it’s probably time for the Wolves to move forward, but just how much they might improve next season is anyone’s guess. It will partially depend on who their coach will be and what they might get in exchange for Beasley if they think that Williams can play big minutes at the three.
Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune finds it all fascinating…
We don’t know whether Rubio can play effectively in the NBA. We don’t know whether Love is an accumulator of numbers, or a franchise cornerstone. We don’t know whether Johnson will prove the Wolves were right to choose him over DeMarcus Cousins, or whether that choice will hang over the franchise like all of their other draft-day black clouds.
A good coach might solve many of these problems, or at least provide sound advice as the franchise claws upward. Kahn needs to prove he can hire such a coach.
A good coach, with the implicit backing of a solid front office, could push this group of athletes to play defense and share the ball, could make the Wolves worth watching for the first time in a handful of years.
Stay tuned. This team might actually start moving in the right direction one of these days…