Another Look At The Wolves Draft Needs

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.

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  • Kevin C

    I gotta say that I’ve done some research and was wrong about Rubio. I now believe he will be here next year. Knowing this I feel the Wolves do not need to be as aggressive in pursuing Turner. The Wolves need a franchise player but Rubio could fill that role. I don’t really like Johnson. As much as I hate to say it I think the Wolves could move down and target Henry or Anderson. I’m also intrigued by the center from FSU. He could be the defensive presence the Wolves need in the middle or he could be Thabeet.

  • John

    With Rubio and flynn (as you seemed confident he would be here) trade sessions? As Kevin Love puts it “I’m sick of talking about it.” (rubio) I agree 100% with love. so questions of…
    where will sessions be?
    and
    how are you confident that rubio will be here?

  • Kevin C

    I’m thinking that Flynn’s play this year has a lot to do with who stays and who goes. If Flynn plays well and has value in trade as a starting one I think he will be moved. If he struggles to run the offense I think he will be kept on as a scoring threat off the bench. As for Rubio. I am extremely confident he will be joining the Wolves for the 2011-2012 season. I would go into further detail if it wasn’t two in the morning. Perhaps tomorrow.

  • John

    With Kahn going on the Dan Patrick show and talking about the rubio situation, it does seem that he might be here for the 11-12 season. You said “I now believe he will be here next year”, this year is not quite over so next year would have been the upcoming season. That’s why the curiosity came out. I dont believe he will be here this coming season. With Rubio coming (theoretically in 11) I say keep Flynn and trade sessions.
    Flynn has alot of upside and can be a great player in this league.

  • Kevin C

    Yeah but I think it boils down to value. Either way one of those guys is going to be a backup. If Flynn has a great year and you can get a top ten pick or a player at a position of need with that type of value that’s the move I’d make. If he has a average year and is worth more as a reserve than he is in a trade then I would move Sessions.

  • Daniel Damico

    Rubio’s contract with Barca allows him to leave for the NBA after the 2010-11 season. The original buy-out with DKV Joventut was $8.1M, but now with Barca it shrinks to $1.4M after this up-coming season. The Wolves can only contribute $500K – but this is much easier than the $5.4 buyout agreement that Rubio backed out of to stay in Spain. Which, is looking like a good decision for everyone.

    I think you make an interest point Kevin about the play of Flynn dictating who the Wolves trade. I like Fylnn as the sixth man, but if his trade value rockets – I would not blame the team for trading him.