Timber-Wolf: Lottery Optimism For Timberwolves, and The 16th Pick

Timber WolfAnalyst IIMay 15, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 21:  Evan Turner #21 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on while taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradley Center on March 21, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

That same time of the year. Around this time, the Wolves look back on another losing season, and look towards the draft for optimism, yet historically, the Wolves have never won the lottery, or even drafted higher than three.

I fully expect the Wolves to be cursed with the No. 3 or No. 4 pick despite being the second worst team in the NBA.

However, the Wolves are in a good position no matter if they select 1-4. Why?

It appears that the GM of the Timberwolves David Kahn, put the Wolves to better themselves with a flurry of trades. How?

Well if the Wolves were to win the No. 1 pick, they would no doubt draft John Wall, an incredibly athletic point guard with superstar potential. This would enable the Wolves to trade Ricky Rubio's contract, and Ramon Sessions to fill a spot.

If the Wolves were to win the No. 2 pick, they would no doubt draft Evan Turner.

But if the Wolves win the No. 3 or No. 4, they would be forced into a position where they would have to draft either Demarcus Cousins, or Derrick Favors, a center and a power forward.

Demarcus Cousins is an incredible prospect in need of some schooling, probably in the same fashion that Kurt Rambis helped Andrew Bynum. Derrick Favors already acts like a veteran, playing with high intensity and using good fundamentals and athleticism to rebound and score.

NBA comparsions

  • Demarcus Cousins= taller Al Jefferson.
  • Derrick Favors= Antonio McDyess/better Micheal Beasly

If the Wolves are to build around Ricky Rubio, more than likely, Derrick Favors looks like a safe bet. Being that he's an athletic prospect, with a high ceiling, and is extremely young of age, it would provide the Wolves with a great core of talent.

This would no doubt, allow the Wolves to shop say, Kevin Love? or maybe Al Jefferson? Packaging one of their bigs, another asset of theirs (Nikola Pekovic, second-round pick, Wayne Ellington, Ramon Sessions, etc) with say their 23rd pick and move up to get the second overall pick.

David Kahn, GM of the Wolves has already hinted that more than likely, the lottery position will alter, and that they were looking for their own "Brandon Roy", that screams Evan Turner. If Wolves were to draft Demarcus Cousins, they could then shop Al Jefferson and fillers for another lottery pick.

I fully expect the Wolves to have two top five picks in this upcoming draft, so Wolves fans should have nothing to worry about. This draft is the Wolves future, and I have a feeling that they will get the player they want, whether it's luck, or it's David Kahn and his new assistant GM Tony Ronzone.

Ty Lawson trade

The Minnesota Timberwolves used their 18th overall pick last season and drafted Ty Lawson, and traded him directly to the Denver Nuggets. This enabled the Wolves to have the draft rights to the 16th overall pick in the upcoming draft.

As I study the prospects that could be drafted at 16, this includes the likes of Xavier Henry, Hassan Whiteside, James Anderson, Larry Sanders, Gordon Hayward, Solomon Alabi, Paul George, Eric Bledsoe, Luke Babbit and Elliot Williams, there are some extremely intriguing pieces here.

In fact, this pick if done right, could add 6-10 more wins for the Wolves by itself, as this draft is extremely deep.

Who do the Wolves take at No. 16?

Is it James Anderson? A sharpshooter who's very efficient and has a very high ceiling? If the Wolves draft Evan Turner, expect the Wolves to pass on him right here, if not, Wolves could take him.

Does Hassan Whiteside slip to No. 16? Doubtful, but if he does, I'm not sure the Wolves would take him. He's very very raw as a talent, and probably needs three to four years of development before he can contribute on a NBA level consistently.


Has to be Paul George. I look for the Minnesota Timberwolves to come out with at least three new players this offseason, and if I'm the GM, I have to take Paul George with the No. 16 pick, a combo forward with potential to create his own shot. He has tons of upside, extremely athletic and long, standing a lean 6'8''. He would tell you he's a two-guard, but his height and post up moves make him versatile.

Imagine taking Turner with No. 2, Favors or Cousins with No. 4, and George with No. 16, resigning Darko Milicic and getting better bench players. Wolves would have a very good young core for the future. Add Rubio to that, and that's possibly a playoff contender in it's second season.