The last time the Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves and Flip Saunders were all involved in a draft trade, Minnesota fleeced Washington, gaining the No.5 pick (which became Ricky Rubio) in the 2009 NBA Draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila in exchange for Randy Foye and Mike Miller.
If the current rumors are true, this group is again discussing a draft trade that would result in Saunders’ team again getting fleeced, with the catch being that he is now with the Timberwolves.
The proposed trade has Minnesota shipping out former No.2 pick Derrick Williams and the No.9 pick to Washington in exchange for the No.3 pick.
While Williams has long been on the trading block, in some ways he was drafted to it. He isn’t a bust like the last former No.2 pick (Michael Beasley) Minnesota bent over backwards to trade—unsuccessfully I might add.
The 6-foot-8 Williams simply failed in his attempt to convert into a small forward, leaving Minnesota with only two options: let Williams waste away behind franchise cornerstone Kevin Love or trade him for a much needed shooting guard. Alexey Shved wasn’t bad last year, but I must emphasize that they need a shooting guard. And with a 29.5 percent mark from three, Shved doesn’t fit the bill.
This is why Minnesota is supposedly targeting Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo in the draft.
I’d bet that even knowing what Williams’ numbers (10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game) would be his first two years in the NBA, many teams would still take him No.1 in this year’s draft.
While this isn’t saying much with this year’s draft class being so considerably weak– Nerlens Noel, a guy who may miss his entire rookie season with a torn ACL, is the consensus top prospect at the moment—if this trade goes down, it would still be a huge coup for Washington.
Trades this lopsided don’t appear in “NBA 2K” let alone real life. The Wizards garner the stretch power forward they have long coveted all for simply moving down six spots in the draft.
Possibly awaiting Washington at the No.9 pick could be a pair of prospects who once were considered as potential No.1 picks, Alex Len and Cody Zeller.
While neither would head into the season as a projected starter, either would be a great value pick who brings much needed insurance in the event—a highly likely one—that Nene is again hampered by injury.
While Saunders never delivered on his promise to make Washington a contender during his time coaching them, his David Khan-esque trade proposal just might.