Runners Standing Still
Its still unclear how good a General Manager we have in David Kahn, but if history is any guide, we seem to be able to take the man at his word. So, unless Kahn is being hugely and uncharacteristically coy, we should not expect the Wolves to move up from the fourth spot in Thursday’s draft. Kahn made it pretty clear today that the Wizards and Sixers are pretty much set at one and two. And as for New Jersey and the third spot? “The idea that we have to move up to three, that’s ridiculous,” Kahn said. So, not moving up to three, I guess.
As for the rumors that the Wolves were considering trading Jonny Flynn to Indiana for the tenth pick: “there’s no way we would do that. I still think that Jonny has a chance to be a very special player in this league.” So much for that one.
Kahn assured the assembled that the team was quite happy with whoever they find at the third spot. “Even I can’t screw this one up,” he assured us. That makes me feel much, much better.
On that note, its worth taking a look at John Hollinger’s most current Draft Rater over at Truehoop. Notice, in particular, that Wesley Johnson is much lower on this scale (11) than he is on the draft boards of most teams, the Wolves included (and that Demarcus Cousins, who may well still on the board when the Wolves’ pick comes around, is at the top). Before you complain that Hollinger’s scale, which uses similar metrics to his NBA Player Efficiency Rating, can’t possibly assess a college player with the same feel and accuracy as an NBA personnel department, consider that Hollinger more accurately predicts player success than does the draft itself. So there.
But also bear in mind that Hollinger’s Rater isn’t able to seriously account for defense, and that energetic athletic defense is thought to be one of Johnson’s greatest strengths. Still, this is something to keep in mind on Thursday when the Wolves are weighing the “safe” pick (Johnson) against the “riskier” ones (Cousins especially, but also Derrick Favors).