2011 NBA Draft Lottery: How the Minnesota Timberwolves Can Land Kyrie Irving

Camden PaschAnalyst IIMay 18, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for the ball against Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The 2011 NBA Draft Lottery took place last night, and once again, the Minnesota Timberwolves failed to win the No. 1 overall pick.

Over the course of 20 or more years, the Timberwolves have never been able to claim the top pick in the draft. Maybe it's a conspiracy, or maybe it's just bad luck, that's not for me to speak on.

All the speculation is Kyrie Irving, former freshman point guard out of Duke, will be the first name called in the NBA Draft this June and will be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

While that very well may be the case, people are forgetting that the Cavs have a huge hole to fill at the small forward position ever since the almighty "King" LeBron James bailed to take his talents to South Beach.

Not only do the Cavs have the first pick and a glaring need for a small forward, but they also hold the fourth overall pick in the draft. This is significant because the Cavs need to grab two impact players with those two picks, and passing on Arizona forward Derrick Williams to draft Irving with the first pick would leave the Cavs without the potential superstar at small forward. Dan Gilbert may decide to draft Williams with the first pick instead of Irving, then find their point guard in either Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight with the later pick.

Many believe that if there's a sure-thing point guard available, a team has to draft him regardless of need.

This is not so much true.

The Cavs still have Baron Davis on the roster, and Ramon Sessions has quietly gotten better since the 2009-2010 season. Their need at point guard isn't as crucial as people may believe.

Taking Williams with their first pick should and could be what Cleveland ends up doing, which would leave Irving available for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who happen to sit at pick No. 2 in the draft.

While it's still questionable whether or not Minnesota's GM David Kahn would select Irving if given the chance, Irving could still be available, even though the Wolves do not hold the top pick.

A lot of what Kahn will do this June depends on whether or not he can sign Ricky Rubio. If Rubio signs before the draft, the chances Kahn selects Irving are extremely slim, but that's a whole other topic for discussion.