Minnesota Timberwolves: What to Do If Rivers or Ross Are Unavailable at No. 18
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Either player would fill a massive void the franchise has at the shooting guard position.
But there’s a problem with this plan. It’s very possible that neither player will be available when it’s Minnesota’s pick on June 28.
Rivers’ stock is currently soaring. He appeared ready to fall to Minnesota early in the draft process but now is the first name mentioned when discussing what Phoenix will do at No. 13.
Depending on who you talk to, Ross could go in the early teens or slide right into Minnesota’s lap at No. 18.
Here are five other players Minnesota could look at with the 18th pick should Rivers or Ross be unavailable.
Meyers Leonard, Illinois center
Beyond the massive void at shooting guard, the Timberwolves need more help defending the rim. Kevin Love (6’10”) is an improving defender but won’t ever be mistaken for Serge Ibaka.
Darko Milicic is a strong shot blocker but he continues to concede playing time to Nikola Pekovic—who isn’t known for his defensive prowess.
Derrick Williams (6’8”) is a strong shot blocker but could use work yet on his overall defense.
Meyers Leonard (7’0”, 240 pounds) projects as the type of player who can defend and fill up space around the rim. He has a frame that should support a bulkier man down the road, but as of now it’s something he needs to work on.
He should enter the league as a shot-blocking presence with the ability to run the floor and create some offense in the post.
During the 2011-2012 season at Illinois, Leonard averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a sophomore.
With Pekovic, Love and Williams, Leonard wouldn’t have to worry about his offense and focus on what he does best: defense.
Moe Harkless, St. John's forward
Minnesota drafted Wes Johnson in 2010 with the hopes that he could provide a scoring punch from the wing. So far he hasn’t lived up to his billing.
The 6’7” Johnson has shown glimpses of it but nothing that’s ever consistent. Last season he averaged 6.0 points, shot 31.4 percent on three-pointers and 39.8 percent from the field.
Those numbers are unacceptable and should not be produced by a starter in the NBA.
Enter Moe Harkless.
Harkless is a very long 6’9” and loves to get up and down the floor, which fits in perfectly with the team’s move to an up-tempo offense with Ricky Rubio.
He needs to demonstrate more consistency on his jumper but plays strong defense to go with his leaping abilities.
Who from this list would you most like to see Minnesota select?
In one season at St. John’s, Harkless averaged 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He drained 44.5 percent of his field goals but only 20.2 percent from deep.
Royce White, Iowa State forward
This would be a feel-good pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Royce White is a former Minnesota Golden Gopher who graduated from Hopkins high school. He never played for the Gophers because of off-the-court troubles.
He transferred to Iowa State where he averaged 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and .9 blocks per game. He shot 53.4 percent from the floor and made 33.3 percent of his shots from deep.
White is a 6’8” forward who could play inside or outside. He is a very versatile and athletic forward who has strong ball handling skills for a player his size.
The biggest knock on White is his off-the-court demons. He has a fear of flying and suffers from severe anxiety. If not for those concerns, he could be a lottery pick (still could be).
If Minnesota selects him, it’s because the franchise believes he’s the best player available.
Quincy Miller, Baylor forward
Quincy Miller is one of those players who leave you wanting more because it’s clear the talent is in there but his performances don’t match his talent level.
Miller is a 6’9” forward who has the frame to potentially play either forward spot in the NBA.
Which shooting guard would you rather Minnesota select?
At Baylor, he averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 34.8 percent from deep.
He’s a great athlete and an intelligent basketball player. Miller could help solidify Minnesota’s small forward position, currently manned by Wes Johnson, if he lives up to his potential.
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure forward
Andrew Nicholson, much like Meyers Leonard, would help solidify Minnesota’s interior play. Kevin Love and Derrick Williams (Minnesota’s two primary power forwards) love to play around the perimeter.
Centers Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic like to play inside. Pekovic’s defense is suspect and Milicic’s offense is suspect—if only they could fuse together for Minnesota’s sake.
Nicholson is known as a player who loves to play around the rim and dunk any basketball he can on the offensive end. He’s a talented shot-blocker—exactly what Minnesota needs around the rim—and is a solid rebounder.
At St. Bonaventure, Nicholson averaged 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He shot 57.1 percent from the floor and 43.4 percent from deep.
He’s a good shooter for a 6’10” post player who would add physicality and length to a team lacking in both departments.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?