Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Preview: 10 Scenarios Straight From the Fans
Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Preview: 10 Scenarios Straight From the Fans
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a multitude of scenarios for the upcoming NBA Draft. New president Flip Saunders figures to be very busy while attempting to work out the ideal situation for his team as they have four picks.
I’d like to focus specifically on the first round for Minnesota. With the top three wing players likely to be gone by the number nine spot – Minnesota’s first selection – the Timberwolves will have a lot of thinking to do.
With all of the analysis and buzz available regarding the scenarios for Minnesota, I have taken to the reason the NBA is what it is today – the fans. A few dedicated, die-hard, blue and green bleeding Timberwolves fans have shed some light on their hopes for Minnesota’s draft outcome.
They understand what their team’s biggest needs are at the moment, having lived without a playoff appearance for several years now. Having the privilege of watching point guard Ricky Rubio and forward Kevin Love for a couple years has been nothing short of riveting at times.
The problem is, Rubio and Love cannot win a championship alone. With two first round picks, the Timberwolves have the ability to greatly strengthen their roster heading into the 2013-14 campaign.
There could be a handful of players available at number nine that may or may not be worth a top-10 pick. At the same time, if Minnesota waits until the 26th pick to attempt at getting somebody they’ve had their eye on, he may be gone.
The next ten topics will be heavily discussed right up until the time of the draft, and I believe have great merit to what the Wolves are going after. Enjoy reading the perspectives straight from the individuals who – outside of the experts – believe to know their franchise the best!
Alex Len: Potential Backup for Nikola Pekovic?
Nick Gorman, Minneapolis, MN: I would like them to get Alex Len at nine if he is there because he's a big upside center who can step right in and help in rebounding and protecting the rim. His defense and rebounding will allow him to be on the floor while his offensive game develops.
My take: It depends on who is still available at that point. If the Wolves are able to grab Dario Saric or even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Len won't be a lock at this position.
Glen Rice Jr: Role Player With Much Potential
Nick Gorman, Minneapolis, MN: At 26, I'd like them to go with a guy like Glen Rice Jr. who could add some much needed scoring off the bench. Rice and Len could end up being starters in our lineup depending on what we do with Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko.
My take: Rice has potential, but if a guy like Tim Hardaway Jr. is there, Minnesota will have a tough decision to make.
Cody Zeller: Worth the 9th Overall Pick?
Justin Trangsrud, New Prague, MN: If they decide not to package their picks in a trade, grabbing Cody Zeller might be a good move. They definitely need a backup for Nikola Pekovic. Greg Stiemsma is not good enough to warrant significant minutes, especially if Pekovic ends up elsewhere.
Jaren Grenell, Lakeville, MN: Simply put: I’d be happy with Zeller. He’s a stud.
My take: Zeller has the ability to be a good player in this league, but again, is he worth passing over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dario Saric or C.J. McCollum if they are available?
Are C.J. McCollum’s Downsides a Concern?
Mitch McGuire, Burnsville, MN: C.J. McCollum can really fill it up and shoot, but he has injury concerns and is only 6-foot-3 at the most, so I think he will struggle to defend other bigger SG’s like Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Paul George, etc.
Justin Trangsrud, New Prague, MN: McCollum would be a nice fit in my opinion. If he can overcome the height discrepancy and injuries, he could be a guy to come off the bench and produce a healthy average. Having McCollum and Alexey Shved as our bench back court would be great.
My take: I don't know if the Wolves could really warrant taking another small guard with so many already on their roster. McCollum is a talent, yes, but unless Minnesota does something with J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour, I don't see the need here.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is an Intriguing Option
Justine Sharkey, Burnsville, MN: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the most intriguing because he has good size, athleticism and can shoot the ball. I think he has the most potential of any of the available wing players at number nine to be a star.
My take: Caldwell-Pope does have great size and would absolutely be worth taking a long, close look at with the ninth overall pick. I would not be disappointed with this pick.
Tim Hardaway Jr.: Sleeping Like Klay Thompson
Mario Reese, St. Paul, MN: I think Tim Hardaway Jr. has the potential to fill that two guard need for the Wolves. He is a great scorer with a ton of poise.
Mitch McGuire, Burnsville, MN: Some might say Hardaway Jr. is a reach at nine, but he’s got ideal size for a shooting guard (6-foot-6, 200-pounds) and can really shoot the ball. He also has underrated athleticism, big game experience and the pedigree. The way people are sleeping on him reminds me of the way they slept on Klay Thompson in the 2011 NBA Draft. He ended up going higher than expected, and I could see the same happening for Hardaway Jr.
Justine Sharkey, Burnsville, MN: In the case of Hardaway Jr., playing with such a great creator like Ricky Rubio will do wonders for his offensive efficiency.
Jaren Grenell, Lakeville, MN: At pick 26, it's always tough to tell who will be available. I believe most of the promising big men will be off the board. This is where you go shooting guard. I'm originally from Michigan, and you can call me a homer, but I'm going with Hardaway Jr. here.
He has been drastically underrated coming into this draft, and I think he has the tools necessary to be a breakout player. As he gains consistency in his jump shot, I have no doubt we will see a more complete and well-rounded Hardaway. His defense is solid. He works hard. He can fill up the basket with the best of them. He's my pick at 26, and I think he will be available.
My take: There is not much more to say as these are great opinions and takes on Hardaway Jr. He would make the Wolves a better team, no doubt about it.
Is Shabazz Muhammad the Next Michael Beasley?
Justin Trangsrud, New Prague, MN: I think Shabazz Muhammad has potential, but I also see a lot of Michael Beasley in him. In my opinion he has bust written all over him.
Mitch McGuire, Burnsville, MN: I don’t like Muhammad at all. He is one-dimensional and doesn’t even do that one dimension at a high level with consistency.
Mario Reese, St. Paul, MN: I think Shabazz Muhammad might be a good pick, but the key word there is "might." He has potential to be either a bust or a solid role player.
Brandon Ruble, Chicago, IL: Muhammad is getting a lot of criticism from his combine performance, but that doesn’t necessarily dictate how he will play in an NBA game. He should not be overlooked. He has good size for a shooting guard and has the ability to drive to the hoop and finish, something the Wolves need.
My take: He is definitely an exciting player in some respect, but I agree that he may be a little shaky going into the NBA. He is more likely to be a bust than a star.
Dario Saric: Will International Talent Translate to NBA?
Justin Trangsrud, New Prague, MN: I realize the Timberwolves have done well in drafting Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, but they are also the ones who have taken Hank Norel, Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Igor Rakočević, and Rasho Nesterovic in the past 15 years. I am not so sure I want to take a chance on Saric with our top pick.
Jaren Grenell, Lakeville, MN: I think Dario Saric is our pick at nine. He has the tools to be a great player in the league, and with some growth and time, he could turn into a Dirk Nowitzki-like talent. I’m not saying he will the second coming of the Germanator, but I think nine is a good place to go Saric. We need a nice wing threat who can shoot the ball. He can stroke it from outside.
My take: I like this possibility a lot. I think Saric could be the type of wing player Minnesota desperately needs and could flourish with some mentoring from a teammate like Andrei Kirilenko.
What to Do at Number 26?
Mitch McGuire, Burnsville, MN: With the 26th pick, I would probably stock up on a big man who can backup Nikola Pekovic or take the best player available aside from a point guard. Glen Rice Jr. would be a really nice fit; he has high potential.
Nick Gorman, Minneapolis, MN: If we go with a wing player at number nine, I think we definitely need a rim protector to come off the bench and spell Nikola Pekovic.
Mario Reese, St. Paul, MN: At the 26th pick, we must draft the best player available outside of going the route of a point guard.
My take: Whatever Minnesota does with this spot, I agree that they absolutely cannot go point guard. They are all set there and have to address other needs.
Package the Picks for a Veteran Wing Player, Higher First Round Choice
Justin Trangsrud, New Prague, MN: I think they'd be best packaging their picks and either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour for a proven veteran wing. A sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith might work. I honestly do not think they will find the type of wing scorer they need with either of their picks in this first round.
Jaren Grenell, Lakeville, MN: Packaging a pick with Derrick Williams to try and move up and grab Ben McLemore may be worth a shot. I wouldn’t mind the Wolves doing that at all.
My take: I think exploring trade options is well worth it, but the Wolves must make the right move if it is there. Unless they can get a legitimate wing player in return, whether it be through the Draft or an already proven NBA wing, they should not look to trade.