Timberwolves Pick No. 23: Defensive Post Player


When a team has lottery pick in the NBA Draft, the teams are looking to find that franchise player.  An athlete that has the ability, personality, potential and hype to become the face of the team and fill the arena.

Once outside the lottery and late into the first round and second rounds, teams start to take chances on players.  While the first round is filled with potential, the second if filled with young international players, seasoned college players, and players that do one thing really well that makes them valuable.

You now why teams don’t use a lottery pick on a one dimensional players?  Hasheem Thabeet.

Teams that use a high draft pick on a player who has shown very limited skills out-side that one specific skill, are typically disappointed.

If the Wolves keep their fourth pick and draft Wesley Johnson, and are able to land Luke Babbitt at sixteen, they will need to address the post with the twenty-third pick.  And lucky, there are plenty of players who will be available at No. 23 that have the size and ability the Wolves need.  Having three first round picks, the Wolves may be more willing to take a chance on a player with potential and “upside”.

Florida State’s Center Solomon Alabi – Raw. Raw. Raw.  He is very much like Thabeet, but no one is going to take him with a lottery pick.  Standing 7’1″ with a wing span of 7’5″ he is very physical skilled, but completely lacks any offensive moves minus a height advantage.   He is lean, but added weight in college and will need to continue to do that in the NBA.  He only has a max vertical of 26 inches, but combine that with  a 9’5″ standing reach, and you get a player who will affect shots. 

Marshall’s Center Hassan Whiteside – 7’0″ tall with a 7’7″ wing span.  Whiteside had a good year in college, not great, but he did have three triple-double’s that included blocks and averaged 13.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, and 5.4 blocks per game.  Whiteside also has reach of 9’5″ with a 31.5 vertical and like Alabi, Whiteside would make a difference on the defensive end long before we will on offense  Lucky, the Wolves don’t need offense.  They need a guy who is long, athletic, can rebound and is not going to demand the ball, and Whiteside can do that.  There have been issues with his attitude, specifically in interviews at the combine were he came off very cocky.

Virginia Commonwealth’s Center Larry Sanders – Sanders has more experience than the first two prospects, and every year his numbers have improved.  He increased his scouting from his freshman year from 4.9 ppg to 14.4 rebounds from 5.2 to 9.1.  He also improved his shooting  and has averaged 3.1 blocks a game his entire time at VCU.  Sanders is also athletic, has a 28-inch vertical, and has a wing span just under 7’6″.  And like Whiteside and Alabi, does not have any offensive moves beside the basics.

France’s Kevin Seraphin – Raise your hands if you have heard of this guy.  Liars.  No one knows him.  You can pretty much put his name in any of the last three paragraphs, expect he has size at 268 pounds to handle the physical of the NBA.  Seraphin has a 7’3″ wing span and can get off the floor, but he has only been playing basketball since he was 15 years-old (he is now 20).  However, there have not been any reports of character, just the opposite as he is described as “humble”.

Oklahoma’s Keith ‘Tiny’ Gallon – You now when an athlete has a nickname Tiny, they are any but.  Gallon is an interesting prospect.  Weighing in at 302 pounds he is the “biggest” in terms of width, he still has a 28.5 inch vertical, which is comparable to every other big man not named Derrick Favors. His weight has been an issue, and he prefers playing outside rather than on the block, but he is more skilled than an other the other players listed and as the most refined outside game.  While he may not be the defensive player that the Wolves need, he has all the tools to be that player.  And he may need to learn to be “that player” if he wants to stay in the league.

Other “bigs” who may be available but are not yet the defensive players the Wolves need.

  • Iowa State’s Craig Brackens 6’10” 235 pounds.
  • Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado – 6’10” 210 pounds.
  • Tulsa’s Jerome Jordan – 7’0″ 235 pounds.