With only two teams still in action and the rest of the league scheming to get there, the story that affects the most in the league is the NBA Draft.
With two picks and specific needs, the Wolves are in a position valuable enough to move for a veteran starter, draft a potential starter who could offer immediate rotation help, or go nuts and trade up for a pick who could actually start now. Blah, blah, blah — go look at Beecken’s draft board!
The top 5…
- Otto Porter, Jr., SF, Georgetown
In my mind, the top talent in the draft, all things considered. He should be able to help any team immediately, and still has a superstar ceiling. He’s still just 20 years old, and his outside shooting and length would be an enormous boon for the Wolves prospects in 2013-14 and beyond.
- Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Yeah, he’s got the ACL injury that will keep him sidelined until at least Christmas, and possibly well into 2014. Yes, the Wolves have Kevin Love and likely, Nikola Pekovic on the roster. But the physical and defensive comparisons to a young Kevin Garnett are un-mistakable, and he would be a wonderful fit next to Love, with or without Pekovic on the squad. Just think about that three-man rotation for a moment.
- Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
This portion of my board is likely similar to Flip’s. He may have Noel at number one, but Oladipo is almost certainly in the top-three on the Wolves’ board as well. His defensive ability, tantalizing athleticism, and all-around solid game would fit a back-court rotation with Rubio like a glove. He can hit an open shot, but he isn’t a great shooter. Think somewhere along the lines of an extremely souped-up version of Mickael Gelable, with even more athleticism and obviously a greater upside at this point in their respective careers.
- Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
Some think that Mclemore is the best overall talent in the draft, while I remain skeptical. There are rumblings that Saunders isn’t nearly as high on McLemore as he is on Oladipo, but it’s hard to see why he wouldn’t be considered one of the top-four players in the draft, and a solid fit on the wing-bare Wolves.
- C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
McCollum is a very good shooter (49.5% from the field, and a blistering 51.6% from long range last season) and apparently very intelligent. Those are probably the two main requirements that coach Rick Adelman looks for in players that fit his offense. The main downside is his size, standing at just 6’ 3”. Pairing him with Rubio is a smallish backcourt, but with his shooting ability and Rubio’s length and defensive prowess, methinks this is plausible.