Ideally, after a snakebitten season like the one the Wolves just endured there would be a prize in the form of draft position of unspeakable value. However, the lottery has not been kind to the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have never improved their draft position in the history of their existence. I’d love to think about Noel, Porter or Oladipo — especially if Pekovic gets a fat RFA offer and the Wolves cheap out on matching — but the reality is their current slot at number nine is their most likely draft position.
NBA Draft Lottery: Not the Answer the Wolves Were Hoping For
C.J. McCollum and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should both be available towards the end of the top 10. McCollum’s size at 6’3″ wouldn’t be as big an issue playing beside Rubio — Juan Carlos Navarro, Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea have all had various levels of success. McCollum’s ability to create his own shot would be just what Rick Adelman ordered, especially if his improved perimeter shooting is for real. His size and the fact he’s coming off of a foot injury could keep him in range (pre-combine).
KCP is a different kind of shooting guard. He’s got size and athleticism, but he’s also a straight line driver who settles for a lot of pull-ups and doesn’t get to the rim as much as you’d like. He carried a heavier load than most for Georgia, so his stats are skewed. Would he get to the rack as successfully as Oladipo if he had been on a better team? Probably not quite that well, but the benefit of better teammates was mostly lost on KCP at Georgia. The lack of ball handling scares me, after suffering through two years of Wesley Johnson, but his peripheral statistics (steals rate, rebounding) give me hope. The fact Georgia didn’t make the tournament could keep him in shouting distance.
Both McCollum and KCP would be fine picks for the Wolves to attempt to solve their shooting guard woes. The ideal scenario, of course, would be moving up in the draft for Victor Oladipo. If there were any way the Wolves could move any combination of Derrick Williams, Barea or Ridnour, or the #9 for him, it would be a smashing success for Flip Saunders.