In my last post, I wrote about the needs the Wolves must address in this off-season though the draft and free agency. The needs were;
- Defensive post player
- Shooting guard over 6’4″
- Consistent outside shooter
- Legit -sixth man
I also gave a recent NBA comparison as to the type of player that would fit with the players on roster.
Today, ESPN’s David Thorpe wrote about the top five picks in June’s NBA Draft and broke-down each team’s options with “value” vs. “need” when looking at the draft prospects.
Here is what he wrote about the Wolves:
Need: The Wolves have three main holes to fill: They need an organizing force at point guard, a wing scorer and some help in the paint defensively. Ricky Rubio is their point guard of the future, unless he is moved for someone similar (and then Jonny Flynn becomes a serious Sixth Man Award candidate). Corey Brewer improved dramatically in his third season, but will never be a big-time scorer (especially when he’s playing at the 2). And Darko Milicic showed flashes of starter talent after he arrived, but he’s a long way from a sure thing. The Wolves would love Turner, who’s a perfect match for Brewer, but they would settle for Wesley Johnson.
Value: Chad is going with Johnson currently, but I don’t love his upside or his long-term prospects here. This is where the Chicago camp hurts Cousins. If he had shown up in great shape and with added polish, he’d be a lock for this spot, even if it’s not a great fit. But he didn’t, and now it’s a scramble. Johnson would help the Wolves, but they’d still need a high-scoring wing. If they acquire one, Brewer and Johnson would battle it out at the 3, and Brewer has three years of experience and a better defensive future. Johnson would be an excellent backup, but that’s a high price to pay for the No. 4 pick. Al-Farouq Aminu gets into the equation, as his ability to score around the basket gets utilized well in the triangle. His upside suggests more value here, so he’ll have his chances at this spot.
I agree with his analysis of the teams needs 100%. His statements about Flynn, Brewer and Milicic are all spot-on. I love the idea of Flynn in the Bobby Jackson role that “comes off the bench and takes advantage of the opponents second team with his energy and ability to score.” Flynn, if anything, has energy and can push teams with his pace.
The thought of Brewer as our starting shooting guard has never done much for me, but I love him at the three, especially if he continues to improve his shooting and general scoring.
Milicic as a starter makes me nervous. But, at this point, what else do we have? The Al Jefferson and Kevin Love combo does not work well, and Darko seems to be a decent option to play along side both. So finding that defensive post player is crucial.
As for the Value portion, I am only about 66% in agreement with that. Cousins is going to be a mess. While he is very-talented, he is just as much a head-case as he is talented and this franchise does not need a players that is going to disrupt the young Wolves roster. That said, I would love him at 16, but not No. 4.
The assessment of Brewer and Johnson together seems pretty fair. I like Johnson’s game as he shots the ball well, is athletic, a team player, and he can learn defensive. Yet, I don’t want our No.4 pick to be a back-up.
What I don’t like is Aminu entering in the conversation at No. 4. I watched a good number of his games over the last two seasons, and he is quick off the floor, has a decent motor, but lacks a mid-range game and the ability to create any offense outside of the block. Granted, he can learn to shot, but he is under-sized to play PF but lacks the game to play SF. Aminu is an around-the-basket scorer and the lane would get very crowded offensively, with Love and Jefferson doing most their damage within 10 feet of the basket.