The Minnesota Timberwolves 2011 Draft Recap


Entering the 2011 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves had arguably more speculation and rumors than any other team in the league.

Would they trade the second pick? Would they keep the second pick? And if so would they take Arizona’s Derrick Williams, or reach on Kentucky (via Turkey) center Enes Kanter?

With the number two pick, it appears that the Wolves took the simplistic route. But as for their number 20 pick, simple was not in the vocabulary.

Lets take a look at what took place on Thursday night:

— Amid rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers would pass on Duke point guard Kyrie Irving at number one, they didn’t, and took the freshman guard who played in roughly one third of Duke’s games this past season.

— Up next was the Timberwolves. On Tuesday rumblings were heard that theWolves were interested in Kentucky/Turkey center Enes Kanter. On Wednesday those rumors continued to grow. But on Thursday those rumors turned out to be a transparent cloud of smoke, and the Wolves wisely selected Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The question became, would they keep him?

— That answer appears to be a thorough “no.” Kahn told media at last night’s press conference that, “We have no plans to trade Derrick Williams.”

— According to Minneapois Star-Tribune Timberwolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda, President of Basketball Operations, David Kahn, traveled to Los Angeles earlier this month to meet with forwards Michael Beasley and Kevin Love. According to Kahn:

“The kids wanted to make this work, and they thought they all could play together. We could put some pretty interesting, creative lineups out there next year. I think we will be very fun to watch.”

— Kahn also had this to say about the potential cluster at the forward position for the Wolves this upcoming season:

“They all have enough versatility in their games to fit, but I acknowledge it may not fit perfectly. In fact, I can assure you it won’t. I think it will require some creativity in how we play.”

— If you’re in the group of people that believe the words that come out of Kahn’s mouth, it appears no more moves will be made. If you’re in the group ignores every word that Kahn mutters– or any General Manger–  then a combination of Wes Johnson, Beasley, or Williams may still be shopped. I’m somewhere in the middle.

— Keep in mind Golden State has been rumored to be shopping combo guard Monta Ellis this off-season. I have been a big proponent of bringing in Ellis to Minnesota so he can play alongside pass first point guard Ricky Rubio. Lets also not forget that Golden State used the number eleven pick on shooting guard Klay Thompson. A direct indication that Ellis is on the trading block, if not already one foot out the door.

— Ellis continued… Could the Wolves say no to this offer: Ellis to Minnesota for Johnson and Beasley? I say they do it, and I think it’d be a good trade for both parties involved. The Wolves get the scoring guard that they need, and the Warriors bring in stability at the forward position alongside Stephen Curry, David Lee, and Thompson.

— The draft this year may have been the most awkward that I’ve ever watched. And not because this was the weakest draft class since 2000. It was because of Twitter. For those– like myself– who are avid Tweeters or Twitter users, you found out that within 30 minutes of the draft, Twitter was five to ten minutes ahead of ESPN’s draft coverage. Oh how far we’ve come in 2011. Now if we can only we shoot and re-air the final episode of AMC’s The Killing.

On to the Wolves number 20 selection

— (Strap your seat belt in. I’m going to explain the moves the Wolves made in one minute.)

  1. The Wolves traded the rights to the number 20 pick and Jonny Flynn to Houston for Brad Miller (presumably will be bought out), the rights to the number 23 in this year’s draft, the rights to the number 38 this year, and a future first. (Which turns out to be the Memphis pick acquired in the Shane Battier deadline deal. The details: 2013 first round pick, which is lottery protected from 2013-2016. Translation: Not much value.)
  2. The Wolves then flipped the rights to Houston’s 23rd pick to Chicago for the rights to picks 28, 43, and cash considerations.
  3. The Wolves then flipped the rights to Chicago’s 28th pick to Miami for the rights to the 31st pick (The Pick acquired in the Michael Beasley deal from the Timberwolves.) and a future second round pick.
  4. They then traded the 31st pick to New Jersey for cash considerations.
  5. The rights to Houston’s number 38 pick was then traded for cash considerations to… Houston.
  6. At 43 the Wolves finally picked and selected UCLA guard Malcom Lee. (Lee should add depth at the point guard position, while also being able to play shooting guard; a major need for the Wolves.)
  7. The Wolves finally traded cash considerations for the rights to the number 57th pick. They then drafted Targuy Ngombo from Qatar.

— (Take a deep breath. Continue reading.)

— The logic behind all the random trade madness. It started as a half joke, and turned into logical reasoning. It now becomes apparent as to why Kahn waited so long to fire Rambis, and then it was leaked that he was going to wait until after the draft. The assumption is that owner Glen Taylor told Kahn something along these lines, “Ok fine, fire Rambis, but you need to find the money for it.” Hence the moving out of guaranteed money of the first round, and accumulating cash considerations from a variety of teams. Makes sense to me, but probably not Michelle Bachmann.

— Finally. While the trade frenzy was taking place, the Wolves names were tied to the following foreign players at one point or another Thursday night. Dontas Motiejunas (Lithuania),  Nikola Mirotic (Montenegro), Bojan Bogdanovic (Bosnia), and Targuy Ngombo (Qatar). This led to the following hilarious tweet from @THEWIRK:

Who’s the international scout for the #Twolves? Carmen SanDiego?

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank as beat writer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. You can follow Brett on Twitter @brettcloutier


  1. Your article is inaccurate. The 57th pick went to Portland.
    Get your facts straight before you right your articles.

  2. davidkay says

    Get YOUR facts straight BRUH…

    T-Wolves acquired Targuy Ngombo from Portland… hey, thanks for coming though…

  3. paulmbanks says

    oh boy, we have commenters wearing tin foil hats again

  4. @Richard- write*

  5. Jonah Puls says

    Hey Richard, you should get your grammar write (sp.) before you post!

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