How a Few Draft Picks in '09 Can Make the Minnesota Timberwolves a Playoff Team

Tanner ThomsSenior Analyst IMarch 29, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 08:  Al Jefferson #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves  makes a shot over Hilton Armstrong #12 of the New Orleans Hornets on February 8, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

You probably laughed at the title of this. You probably said, "the Timberwolves? They suck!"

This year they have fallen on some hard times. Their top gun Al Jefferson went down with a season-ending knee injury mid-way through the season.

Many of you "so-called fans" probably stopped watching their games on TV. I, however, kept on cheering for them game in and game out.

Yes, I am sick of them losing all of the time. I have had thoughts of not caring about them ever again. For some reason I am stuck with this team.

The other day I got to thinking of what the T'Wolves will be like next year.

They have three first rounds picks, and five total. There is a chance that with the draft lottery in tact, Minnesota could have the first overall pick.

Minnesota has one of the younger teams in the NBA. Al Jefferson, Rodney Carney, Sebastian Telfair, Randy Foye, Kevin Love, Shelden Williams, Craig Smith, Corey Brewer, and Bobby Brown are all 25 years old or under. That is over half of the roster!

They have only two positions in the starting five that have sugnificant talent. Those two positions are held by Randy Foye and Al Jefferson.

Other than that, the rest of the starting five is not set confidently.

My gut tells me that the Timberwolves will ship Corey Brewer and a first round pick for an all-star caliber player looking to be traded.

Minnesota must get a veteran leader on the team. Al Jefferson will normally be the leader, but he can't carry the entire team on his shoulders.

The T'Wolves have a lot of young talent that isn't being utilized right now. Should they send them for draft picks or keep them to progress even further?

Rodney Carney has re-juvinated his career with the Timberwolves. He was a nobody ever since the 76'ers drafted him in 2006 from Memphis. I would like to see Minnesota keep him on the team to become an even better player.

First Round Focus:

The T'Wolves must focus on getting a shooting guard with the first pick. Randy Foye has spent most of the time there this season. He is more of a point guard type player.

If the Timberwolves have the fifth pick for example, they could draft either James Harden or Gerald Henderson.

First pick is...Gerald Henderson

With the second pick the Timberwolves must get a solid small forward. Ryan Gomes has been there for the majority of the year. He is very talented, and I can see him staying there next year.

Their second pick is from the Miami Heat. The Heat are likely to make the playoffs. If they lose in the first round, Minnesota will have from the 15th overall pick to about the 19th.

Say they have the 17th pick, they could a player like DeJuan Blair, Chase Budinger, or Earl Clark.

Second pick is...DeJuan Blair

With the third pick Minnesota needs depth at either power forward or center. Al Jefferson is the second tallest player on the team and he is only 6'10". Minnesota must get a tall, dominant player.

Their third pick is from the Boston Celtics. I think that the Celtics will lose to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. If they do they will have the 28th overall pick.

If they have the 28th pick, Minnesota should draft a player like Jerome Jordan, Craig Brackins, or B.J. Mullens.

Third pick is...Jerome Jordan

I won't go into the second round until my mock draft which I will be posting sometime in April or May.

Hopefully I gave you some in-sight at the potential team for the Timberwolves next year. Feel free to comment or ask any questions!