Timberwolves No. 1 Pick Dilemma


I can hear everyone yell; “What dilemma? Just pick John Wall!”  Well, it is not that easy and here is why.

Even before the season ended, the Timberwolves were looking forward.  Looking forward to all things draft related and the possibility of the Most Important Draft Day Decision in franchise history.

  • A little dramatic?  Absolutely.
  • True?  Same answer.
  • Strong alliteration?  My English teacher Dad would be proud.

The 2010 NBA draft Lottery and the draft itself are crucial for the direction and perception of the franchise that has asked us, the fans, to be patient –“we are going through tough times”.  Aka “rebuilding”. This draft is important not only because we can add stellar players like Kentucky point guard John Wall or Ohio State ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Evan Turner,  it will also give us a clearer few of General Manager David Kahn’s vision for this team as he solidifies that core of players that will become relevant in a few seasons.

However, this team is young, and we would get even younger.  Would we then have to revamp the rebuilding plan?  It would seem so.  Flynn becomes a back-up and Rubio becomes a Knick, a Clipper or a Heat – even though that sounds weird, it is grammatically correct. And because the expectations need to be pushed back one more year, Al Jefferson most certainly would be traded and we would be looking for the new big man. This season has been difficult to watch and, at times, care.  It does make it easier to do so when you believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and this would make the tunnel longer and darker.

Possible starting line-up in this scenario:  Wall, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love and Dark Milicic.  Off the bench you have:  Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins, Aleksandar Pavlovic and Damien Wilkins.

Other Side of the Magical Coin Let’s say the Wolves get the No. 1 pick and draft Wall, don’t trade Jefferson and for some un-known reason Rubio decides to play in Minnesota this season. Just imagine press conference.  Kahn leans to the microphone and declares his plan a success; we have our superstar and a team that can grow with him – not unlike Cleveland with LeBron James or Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant. Then Kahn introduces Wall with his shiny-new Wolves jersey, people clap, cameras click and bulbs flash wildly, and we would all be very happy.

Suddenly, Kahn announces he has another special announcement.  Rubio will be coming to play with Wall.  The buzz-factor just kicked-up six notches, season ticket sales jump 5000% and Timberwolves would be the lead story on every sport show and sports blog in the country for at least two to three hours – media rolls over pretty quick, but we will take anything we can get. Holy Crap Target Center would be packed!  Even with a team that would struggle to win 30 games, Minnesota would have the two most talked about draftees over the last two years on the same team.  Jersey sales go up!

  • Romantic?  It is a Minnesota basketball fans “wet dream”.
  • Possible?  I give it a .43% chance.

What do I really think the Wolves should do if they land the No. 1 pick? Trade down. Get a player and a lower lottery or mid-round pick, draft Cole Aldrich or Greg Monroe, draft Xavier Henry with No. 16 from the Ty Lawson deal, then pick Luke Babbitt with 23rd pick from Philly.

Possible starting line-up in this scenario:  Flynn, Henry, Brewer, Darko Milicic and Jefferson.  Then off the bench you have Love, Aldrich/Monroe, the Ryan’s: Gomes and Hollins, Babbitt, Wayne Ellington, Ramon Sessions, and the player added in the trade.  Plus you probably still have money to spend this free agent season or next.  Let’s say it together – “Upgrade”!

While all this pretending is nice, the real decision will take into account factors that we don’t know about.  And no matter what they decide to do; there will be those of us that will hate it and those of us who will love it.  Either way, we can only hope they don’t pick four point guards and then only get one.  Seriously.

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