Draft Analysis…

Ok Howlers here is the HT-Dub draft preview…

Obviously I covered a little bit before in the Draft Howls and the State of the Wolves. (And sorry for the break in the action… I’ll try and make this make up for it and be as comprehensive as possible)

A lot of what should influence the direction of the team under David Kahn on Draft day is going to be who is coaching. I think McHale would be worth keeping as I’ve stated however that’s looking less like a possibility as time rolls on and the Wolves don’t have a head coach evaluating the players at our workouts. With this in mind its hard to decide what type of scheme the Wolves will be running next year. With Big Al slimming down you could even argue the Wolves have the right parts for a push the ball type offense or a more slow it down run the set in the half court and control the ball type team (like they did under Flip with KG/Sam/Spree). So as it looks like we will go another direction which, as explained by Jerry Zgoda at the Trib makes a lot of sense because of McHale’s hold over Taylor and Kahn’s desire to cut that tie, I can’t help but think that the Wolves would be a great spot for Avery Johnson or Jeff Van Gundy but an even better spot for Sam Mitchell. Certainly Thibodeau as I’ve mentioned before would be good too, but Mitchell is a MN guy and a proven coach who showed he can win in Toronto. So my personal preference would be Mitchell and I think he could really help the team take a step forward with the right pieces. That being said I’m not really sure if there’s a blueprint for a Mitchell team other than to have guys that are warriors and compete night in and night out. He did try and push the tempo in Toronto so that might influence it. Keep in mind also that Mitchell has ties to 3 of Kahn’s close friends in the business in that he played in Indiana for Donnie Walsh and Larry Brown, and also I think was a representative for the Players Association to David Stern as well. As it looks like we won’t get a coaching resolution anyway lets take a look around the league at who the “experts” think the Wolves will nab with their #6 1st Round pick.

SOURCE,
PROJECTION
COMMENTS
CollegeHoopsUpdate.com
Tyreke Evans
FR, Memphis
6-5/220 PG/SG
With a new GM, a roster shakeup is certainly possible. As it stands, there is a talented foundation, with the Wolves needing a guard to pair with Randy Foye, length up front to rotate with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love and a wing. Mike Miller and this pick could be used to move up or acquire a proven talent.
CollegeHoops.net
James Harden
So, ASU
6-5/220 SG
Strengths: An explosive scorer… Shoots for an extremely high % everywhere on the court (FG, 3Pt, FT). Great at getting fouled and knocking down his free throws. Has three-point range on his jumper. Very good rebounder and assist man for his position. Young – will only be 20-years-old when next NBA season begins. Strong, solid build – won’t be pushed around in the NBA. Great at playing the passing lanes – led the Pac-10 in steals his freshman year. Smooth and under control. Mature and poised. Unselfish player. Used to being double-teamed.
Weaknesses: Not a standout athlete – not especially quick or a high leaper. Questionable foot-speed may limit his ability to guard one-on-one effectively in the NBA. Will be short for a shooting guard (may only be 6’4”). Turns the ball over too often.
Draft Express.com
Tyreke Evans
FR, Memphis
6-5/220 PG/SG
Has the scoring tools to be productive, but needs to improve his perimeter arsenal to be efficient. Was the top player on our list in possessions used per game as a finisher at 8.8, and his PPP of 1.14 lands him a bit above average. Unfortunately, his overall PPP was .88, which lands him slightly below average and exposes the biggest weakness in his offensive game: his jump shot. Getting fouled at an average rate and not being too turnover prone, whichever team drafts Evans needs to take the time to develop his jumper to help the transition of his dribble-drive game to the NBA.
ESPN.com (Insider)
Stephen Curry
JR, Davidson
6-3/180 PG/SG
Analysis: The Wolves really need help at center and point guard. There aren’t any centers left worth taking. They’ve been looking at Evans here, but in this mock draft, he’s already off the board. Curry becomes an interesting prospect if Evans is gone.

He can play both positions on the floor and combined with Randy Foye could give the Wolves a pretty formidable backcourt. Curry’s maturity, his dead-eye shooting and his name recognition all make this a pretty smart pick for the Wolves.

HoopsHype.com
James Harden
SO, ASU
6-5/220 SG
Versatile lefty shooting guard who is equally effective creating shots for himself and others. Efficient player with terrific scoring instincts both shooting the ball from the perimeter or getting to the basket and drawing fouls. Very advanced player with an outstanding feel for the game and excellent court vision. Solid defender who knows how to fill up the stat sheet. Has average size for his position and is not incredibly explosive to compensate. Ball-handling skills are improvable, especially with right hand. Polished, mature player, with good, but not great upside, even though he’s extremely young for his class.
HoopsWorld.com
James Harden
SO, ASU
6-5/220 SG
From Draft Express: It appears that he’s one of those players who “finds a way to get by” despite his shortcomings.Very efficient, while maintaining fairly high usage rates. In spite of his perceived athletic limitations, Harden was a terrific finisher around the basket this season. Harden’s biggest shortcoming ended up being in the perimeter shooting department. Harden’s intelligence and excellent skill-level really shine through in his ability to score in transition. Something NBA types will be happy to learn is that Harden created quite a bit of offense by himself in isolation type situations. Harden turns the ball over at a fairly high rate, and isn’t as effective driving right (39% FG) as he is going left (44% FG)—which makes sense since he’s left-handed. He also doesn’t draw quite as many fouls as you might hope. However, it is more than safe to say that Harden could be a very effective offensive player if team’s put him position to succeed.
InsideHoops.com
Demar DeRozan
FR, USC
6-6/220 SF
(None)
MyNBADraft.com
Tyreke Evans
FR, Memphis
6-5/220 PG/SG
(None)
NBADraft.net
Demar DeRozan
FR, USC
6-6/220 SF
Strengths: Possesses the prototypical frame for an NBA wing …Incredible leaper and explosive finisher. Vertical is reportedly 40 inches plus … His head is even with the rim on many of his dunks … Has all but mastered the art of the mid-range game … Shoots the ball exceptionally well from inside 20 feet. At his best with one dribble and then elevating, preferably to his left … Moves well without the ball, always looking for creases in the defense … Uses screens well and comes off ready to fire … Puts his unique package of leaping ability and strength to good use on the glass … Excellent offensive rebounder (2.4 per game) … Finishes strong around the basket, but shows finesse and variety with floaters and spin moves Puts in a strong effort on the defensive end. Weaknesses: Still very much a work in progress, filled with untapped potential … Despite all of his physical attributes, is often satisfied to ‘go with the flow’… He plays hard, but rarely full throttle … Passion to be a superstar has always been questioned .. Needs to enhance range on his jumper … Shot only 17% from three in his one season at USC, attempting only 1 per game … He steps into his mid-range jumper well, but tends to fade away on three point attempts … Despite a picturesque stroke, shot only 65% from the FT line … His ball handling needs a lot of work … Rarely, if ever, takes more than one dribble to his left without pulling up or spinning back right … Not much of a passer or facilitator (1.5 assists per game) … Has a quick first step, but not dynamic … His ceiling is unlimited, but needs to add many significant dimensions to his game.
NBA-draft.com
Tyreke Evans
FR, Memphis
6-5/220 PG/SG
Strengths: Good size/physique/length (6’11” wingspan) … Scorer’s Mentality … Great Penetration Ability, can beat his defender one-on-one off the dribble … Extremely quick first step/Great Explosiveness … Good ball moves/Excellent Ball-Handling ability
Weaknesses: Below average basketball IQ … Must improve fundamentals … Poor decision making … Team Player? … bad jump shot
ProBasketballNews.com
James Harden
SO, ASU
6-5/220 SG
The Wolves need another scorer who can get his own shot to help take some pressure off Al Jefferson, and the reigning Pac-10 Player of the year has a chance to
chance to fill that role immediately.
RealGM.com
James Harden
SO, ASU
6-5/220 SG
The best situation for Harden would be OKC, where he could be a secondary scorer and get team’s second best wing defender, but he would be a nice fit in Minnesota where he can offset the interior scoring of Jefferson and Love.
SportingNews.com
Stephen Curry
JR, Davidson
6-3/180 PG/SG
Many are assuming he’ll be there for the taking when the Knicks pick. Not so fast.
TheHoopsReport.com
Tyreke Evans
FR, Memphis
6-5/220 PG/SG
(None)

So the consensus seems to be a backcourt guy and most likely Evans, Harden, or Curry depending on who’s left on the board. I like Evans fit with Foye as I said in the State of the Wolves post but I could also make an argument for Harden and Curry as well. Both guys bring shooting we need and a desire to compete as well.

Coming up next… Kahn finally sheds a little light on his thinking…

About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time. I cheer for Minnesota sports but live in Florida.

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