As a Minnesota Timberwolves fan, I hate rumors around draft time, especially because 99 percent of them turn out to be complete garbage.
NBA draft time is supposed to be bliss: Yay, the Timberwolves are drafting a franchise player! Yay, this guy is going to lead them to the playoffs! Yay, they absolutely can’t miss!
That means I absolutely hate to hear that they are moving up to grab one of my favorite college players, only to realize it would never happen, or that they are trading away a clubhouse cancer…only to find that they are adding another one.
Or worst of all, and everyone in Timberwolves land is familiar with this one, they used their top draft pick on a player that is a huge bust.
Okay, that’s really cynical, but as a person that has grown increasingly bitter around draft time—a time when I’m supposed to be blissfully happy—I’m going to help you sort through all the big rumors and try to keep you from being a grump when the actual draft rolls around.
Rumor 1: The Timberwolves are going to trade Kevin Love in a package for the first pick.
Original Source: Andy Katz, ESPN
I’m willing to bet anyone $100 that this year’s No. 1 draft pick will not be as good as Kevin Love. I’m dead serious. I don’t care if you choose Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore or whoever the hell is chosen first. None of those guys will be as good as Kevin Love. None.
So when I heard that that the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted Love in exchange for Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and the No. 1 pick, I laughed out loud.
That’s a joke. It’s gotta be.
I don’t care how good you think Thompson, Waiters and Noel/Len/McLemore are. They are not worth Kevin Love. End of story.
Rumor 2: The Timberwolves are willing to trade J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour for MarShon Brooks of the Brooklyn Nets.
Original Source: New York Daily News
When I first heard this, I thought Brooks was the guy on the Nets that called out LeBron James, and the King basically went “Who the eff are you?” Everybody likes to take a crack at LeBron, but that fool is just plain stupid.
Turns out that was Reggie Evans, not MarShon Brooks, and the more I looked into Brooks, the more I like the guy.
The book on him is that he is a shameless outside shooter. The problem is he’s not a great shooter (44 percent for his career) and has absolute tunnel vision—he just kind of neglects everyone else on the court.
You know what, though? I’m cool with that.
It sounds nuts, but he's basically Bill Simmons’ Irrational Confidence Guy and, hey, it wouldn’t hurt to have a guy like that on the floor.
Here’s how you coach Brooks: “If Ricky Rubio tosses you the ball, shoot it. Don’t think. Just shoot.”
Last I checked, Love is a damn good rebounder and the Wolves need a guy to spread the floor. Yes, there are going to be times when you hate the guy because he’s tossing up so many bricks, he’s building a house the Big Bad Wolf can’t blow down. But then there are going to be games when the Target Center will erupt with the excitement of seeing somebody catch fire.
I like this deal. There is no reason to keep both Barea and Ridnour around, and Brooks could be a fit in Minneapolis.
Rumor 3: The Timberwolves are willing to trade Derrick Williams and their two first-round picks to move up and grab Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore.
Original source: Chad Ford and Marc Stein, ESPN
Just to be clear, Ben McLemore is not the “Thrift Shop” guy. I know you all know that, but I just find it funny that Macklemore’s real name is Ben Haggerty and there is an NBA prospect named Ben McLemore.
Anyways, back to basketball.
McLemore is a Kansas guard who has drawn comparisons to Ray Allen. Oladipo is a 2-guard that has an incredible work ethic and developed astronomically at Indiana.
I personally like Oladipo better because I feel he still has room to grow. He has enough talent to play in the NBA and the drive of a D-League player. It’s a rare combination that should serve him well in the future.
Having said that, I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Wolves add the next Ray Allen to their roster. Hell, they had a chance to get the real Ray Allen and put him on a team with Kevin Garnett (which, last I checked, worked out pretty damn well) when they drafted him back in 1996, but they instead traded him for Stephon “Justin.tv” Marbury.
This might be a chance to correct that mistake.
Unfortunately, Minnesota will probably have to trade Derrick Williams along with its two first-round picks (No. 9 and No. 26) to get him. While the jury is still out on whether Williams will develop into a superstar, it seems like the 'Wolves would be addressing one need while creating another one.
Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reports that Andrei Kirilenko may not pick up his $10 million option. Without Kirilenko and Williams, they literally do not have a 3.
It might be a risk worth taking, make no doubt about it, but it is not as easy of a decision as people might initially think.
If I were the 'Wolves, I’d hang on to Williams and try to get either J.J. Redick or O.J. Mayo in free agency.
Tom Schreier covers Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and is a contributor to Yahoo! Sports.