Timberwolves still peeking at top-5

Benjamin Polk —  June 27, 2013 — 4 Comments

While most prognosticators (including our very own) still have the Wolves selecting ninth and drafting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, there is still talk that the Wolves are trying to move up. (That name, by the way is so epic. Its like a Downton Abbey heiress married a Roman gladiator.) Here’s Marc Stein on Truehoop:

The teams working hardest to move up higher in the lottery are the Jazz, the Wolves and the Thunder[...]The Wolves are also trying to get up very high in an attempt to land Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore. Their trade bait, as we’ve previously reported, is in the form of picks 9, 26 and Derrick Williams. 

We’ve discussed before that Oladipo is the Wolves’ dream pick in this draft and so its not surprising that they’re going fishing in the top five. A couple of things to think about here. The first is the problem of assessing the quality of the draft in general. We seem to know that the top of the draft is relatively weak: there are no LeBrons or Durants up here. But what does that mean about the middle of the draft, a place where many effective role players and even All-Stars have emerged in recent years. Are we really confident that there are no Kawhi Leonards or Ty Lawsons lingering in the middle of the first round? Is KCP more of a Paul George or a Wes Johnson? Oladipo seems to fit the Wolves’ needs perfectly, but should we be concerned about his age, his relative lack of size and the fact that he only shot well in one of his three college seasons? Cody Zeller, a player who could very well still be on the board when the Wolves draft at number nine, rates very well statistically. But he was a big man in college and will likely play a more outside-in game in the pros. Will these stats translate into a new role? Hard to know, right? But obviously important if you’re going to trade both of your first round picks and a young player to move up five places.

All of these issues are in play both in the Wolves’ decision to make a deal and in the likelihood that any team in the top five will take it. Another thing for those teams to consider: just how good is Derrick Williams? I’ve seen almost every game he’s played over the last two seasons and I basically have no idea–and neither, as far as I can tell, does anyone else. Should be an interesting night.

Benjamin Polk

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4 responses to Timberwolves still peeking at top-5

  1. shalabotnik13 June 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I really hope they somehow land Oladipo. I think that trading #9 and Williams (let alone adding #26) is too much to give away to move up to the top 5 in this draft. I like Williams and think he may be a really good player sometime in the next couple of years. Even though that’s a “maybe”, there aren’t a lot of guys who have that kind of potential. But he needs to be traded before the season starts because his value won’t get higher sitting on the bench behind Love and Kirilenko. So I hope it happens somehow that we trade Williams, land Oladipo, and hopefully get something else added in, too.

  2. Oladipo has Wes Johnson written all over him. Should we be concerned about his age? YES. Should we be concerned that he was a complete nobody until his junior year in college? YES. Should we trade the 9 pick and a player who is already better than Oladipo will ever be for Oladipo? NO.

  3. I agree Dave, although I think the better comparison to Oladipo is Corey Brewer. High motor good defender, can shoot but not well. Wes was not much of a defender.

  4. Benjamin Polk June 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I’m starting to agree that the trade isn’t worth it, for the reasons Dave mentions. Also: Pelton has KCP as the third best prospect in the draft. If you can get him at 9, why trade up? Move Williams for a veteran–either a shot-blocking big man or another shooter.

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