Minnesota Timberwolves’ Options at Number Two: They Keep It


While the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks lit up the scoreboard Thursday night in game five of the NBA Finals. This Timberwolves fan couldn’t help but analyze the Wolves options with the number two pick in the upcoming June 23rd draft.

President and general manager David Kahn will have plenty of options with the aforementioned pick come draft night. Kahn having options may be a worse idea than Representative Anthony Weiner having facebook sex chats with a Las Vegas 40-year old blackjack dealer. (Ok, it may have been forced, but I was due for a Weiner joke.)

With a variety of options present for Kahn and company, I decided to break down their options in two parts. So here is part one of the Wolves options with the number two overall pick: They hold onto it.

Wolves’ assistant general manager and international scout extraordinaire Tom Ronzone (disagree with that title? Just ask him) told the Associated Press that:

“I say right now we’re keeping two,”

“And we really like where we’re at at 2.”

While that could be a Twins bullpen ERA sized smoke screen, on June 9th I believe him.

With that being said, what are their options if in fact they do keep the pick?

According to ESPN’s Chad Ford’s Mock Draft 4.0 he believes that Duke point guard Kyrie Irving is still the play at number one for the Cavs. Unless they get cold feet with Irving (we’ll get there), and decide to go the Derrick Williams route at number one. Until then, Irving will be their guy.

Williams is a consensus number two talent in the draft, but he doesn’t necessarily fit the number one need of the Timberwolves. On paper he’s a younger, more A.C. Green version of current Timberwolves small forward Michael Beasley. So there in lies the issue.

Personally it’s a no brainer for the Wolves to draft Williams and entertain offers for the rejuvenated Beasley.

Williams and Beasley could co-exist with one another. As a result, it would mean power forward Kevin Love would at times need to move out of position and play center. Where the Williams-Beasley combo would hold down the forward positions.

If I was running the team—and I’m most certainly not—this is the route I would go. So what if Love plays ten minutes a game at the center position. The way the league is shaped, very rarely does a true center play the position down the stretch of a close game.

Since I’m not running the team, if the Wolves go the Williams route at two, I would expect to hear of a Beasley trade in the not so distant future.

What if the Wolves decide to reach on a less-than-sure talent?

This is an option that will gain steam as the draft nears. If for no other reason to field offers from teams looking to trade up and snatch up Williams.

We can rule out Kentucky guard Brandon Knight (Why? See Rubio, Ricky). On the same token one can assume that Kahn—much like myself—have put away their Kemboner in favor of the Ruboner. (Translation: Connecticut point guard Kemba Walker is out of contention.)

Which leaves the only logical play at two would be to reach on Turkish power forward/center Enes Kanter. Who, mind you, has played in one game—an all-star game—in the past 18 months.

So if they keep it, it’s Williams or Kanter.

But what if the Cavs do what I think they should do; draft Williams at one, and take their point guard of the future –either Knight or Walker—at four?

Seems irrational. Remember this is a very down draft. And also remember they play in the East. I could run the point for an Eastern Conference team and lead them to the seven seed.

In this scenario, what would the Wolves do?

They couldn’t draft Irving, right? Or could they? Wouldn’t they have to? Right? RIGHT? RIGHT?!!!!!!!!!

Keep in mind a new CBA will most likely not be reached by the time of the draft. Meaning the Wolves won’t have the option of moving Irving once they draft him. Only moving the pick before the clock stops ticking and they need to select.

Translation: If the Cavs do the right thing—and shock the league by taking Williams number one—the Wolves would have five to ten minutes to trade away the number two pick. If they don’t get a shot off before a shot clock violation, Rubio would be headed back to Spain quicker than an upcoming USA soccer player.

(Hold on, writing this during game five. Jason Terry just hit his three to give the Mavs a 108-101 lead with 33 seconds left. They panned out and showed Corey Brewer celebrating with Terry. Then someone popped out of my TV and threw a brick at me with a note saying, “Corey Brewer is about to win an NBA title.”….. OK, back to consciousness)

Their best bet would then be to contact the Clippers personal and ask them to flip the number two pick (Irving at this point) for their own 2012 unprotected pick. But the kicker… Everyone in the league knows the Wolves want nothing to do with another rookie point guard. Thus lowering the value of the number two pick since the Wolves will do anything to get it off their hands.

If the Timberwolves decide to keep the number two pick, they still will have a significant amount of ambiguity in their options.

If they do keep the pick, much of their faith will be in the hands of Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert. And if anyone in this league is due to screw someone over, it’s Gilbert.

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank as beat writer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also dabbles in covering college hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @brettcloutier







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