We are 23 days away from the NBA Draft and we’ve already seen the Wolves invite 26 different players into Minneapolis to have a gander at what they can possibly add to this organization.
For the most part, we’ve seen players that probably aren’t good enough to be taken with the 18th pick in the draft and yet too good to fall to the 58th pick in the draft. This makes it a bit hard to construct our draft board. However, I’m going to attempt to do just that.
A lot of times, you’ll see a draft board for a team that includes anybody you’d like to see on the roster. You’re picking out names that you hope fall to the Wolves or any given team and hopeful that they’ll take a look at these prospects. Our draft board at AWAW will be a bit different. We’re only going to rank those that have come through for workouts and try to figure it out from there.
It’s too early to have a good idea of the actual options that will be there three weeks from now, especially considering we haven’t even had the Draft Combine yet (June 6-10, and on ESPNU at 9am on 6/7). In both of the Mock Drafts since the lottery unfolded, Chad Ford has the Wolves taking Austin Rivers at 18. But we won’t really know how likely that is until much closer to the draft and if the Wolves end up working him out.
So here is the AWAW Draft Board for 2012 considering only the players that have been brought in so far and it will be updated as more workouts happen for our beloved T’Pups:
A few notes about the players that made the board and the guys that didn’t:
- First of all, just want to reiterate this is not who I think is absolutely going to be taken by the Wolves at 18 and 58. Just based on who they brought in here, these seem like the most likely based on fit, workout and general scouting discussions. As more top prospects come through for workouts, we probably won’t see anybody in that Top 6 for the 18th pick even be left on the board.
- The reason Kevin Murphy and Orlando Johnson made it over Jae Crowder is because of the injury that kept Crowder from actually working out last Thursday. Murphy had a pretty good workout, showing a nice scoring touch and filling a need on the wing that the Wolves could definitely use. The same goes for Orlando Johnson. Johnson worked extremely hard in his workout and even though he went to a small program, his scoring ability could would be a nice fit. Crowder probably would have stolen the show during the first day. He’s a weird fit because he’s one of those 3/4 tweeners that may be really awkward on the wing defensively. However, his ability to shoot the ball and make plays happen will help him shoot up the draft boards as his ankle heals and he shines in workouts.
- Yes, there are point guards on this draft board. No, that isn’t because Kahn has an affinity for point guards. Yes, the jokes are played out. Yes, they would be more accurate if we were talking about small forwards. No, I don’t think people will ever understand that Ty Lawson was Denver’s pick. No, they will never stop making point guard jokes.
- Robbie Hummel has a lot of questions about his knee but from what I saw and from what others have said, he looked like he was in fantastic shape. He moved extremely will with and without the ball and wasn’t wearing a brace at all for his workout. He even answered questions quite candidly about his knee and the process of convincing people that it’s strong and no longer a concern. It’s possible that the knee history will keep him falling down the draft boards on June 28th. If by some chance he ends up available at 58, I think the Wolves would be foolish to pass him up. This guy would probably be in consideration for a Top 20 pick if he never blew out his knee (twice). If he is indeed healthy, he could be the second round steal this year that Isaiah Thomas was last year.
- Tomas Satoransky didn’t end up joining the Wolves’ workouts on Thursday like he was supposed to but I still like him as a prospect. If the Wolves end up trading down to the later first round, I wouldn’t mind a selection and stashing him in Europe for a couple of years. He’s a fun, athletic, tall point guard with great length and a flair for making plays. That sounds a lot like a guy I’ve heard of before.
- Scoop Jardine took Tomas’ place Thursday at the workout, arriving at 2am that morning. He wasn’t expected to be there but found out from his agent they needed a player and he got on a late flight to make it in. He didn’t disappoint either. He was one of the few guards on the floor that day that is an actual point guard. Scoop’s ability to control the action when he had the ball showed through, even in the few minutes of action available to the media.
- Drew Gordon most likely will be gone well before the 58th pick but he’s another guy that impressed me during the workout. He’s really athletic and moves like a small forward on offense. He also was able to hold defensive and offensive position, especially on screens, a lot better than we saw at New Mexico. I think his ability to shoot the ball in workouts will have scouts fall in love with his possibilities as an early second round pick.
- Scott Machado probably isn’t for us, since we have our point guard core locked up, but he’s a true point guard in every sense. He’s very patient and doesn’t just force things to make it look like he can make plays. He’s measured and reminds me a little bit of how Andre Miller uses his body and his vision to make things happen for himself and his teammates. I think he’ll be a really nice backup for someone at the end of the first round or early in the second round.
- Everybody seemed to be in love with the athleticism Miles Plumlee showed. The combination of his size and jumping ability could be an asset off the bench in the NBA. He’s not an NBA starter by any means but he could be a guy you trust with 10 minutes off the bench to defend and bang for boards. He can also get out and run a little bit and showed a pretty good jumper in his workout. If he fell to the Wolves at 58, I wouldn’t be disappointed. It’s minutes you’re not giving to Darko, after all.
- Darius Johnson-Odom looks like a guy that isn’t quite comfortable being a point guard. He has a great personality and does act like a leader on the court. He’s also very intense defensively. But he was forcing way too much. It was night-and-day seeing Machado run the point and seeing DJO run the point in the 3-on-3 games.
- Kim English is someone I’d love for the Wolves to get at 58, but it’s probably not going to happen. Not only does he shoot the ball about as well as anybody in this draft class, he has one of the best personalities of a player I’ve ever encountered. He was joking with the media, knew the Wolves’ recent history, and even knew the exact date of when Ricky Rubio went down. A guy that can stretch the floor and entertain everybody around him both on and off the court would be a nice addition to the Wolves.
- He’s not as big and strong as Reggie Evans but seeing Quincy Acy fly around the rim is like watching an athletic version of Reggie that has some actual skill with the ball. He’s fun to watch.