Let’s start off with an apology: I was just as tired, if not more, than any of you were last night, and instead of posting immediate results and reactions, I hit the hay.
But I’m here now, ready to discuss what exactly went down last night, which was a lot.
In a nutshell, the Wolves picked the BPA, finally, at #2, accumulated plenty of second-rounders, some in the future, a future first-rounder, enough cash to pay off some of Rambis’ buyout, a UCLA point guard and, finally, the most mysterious prospect of the draft because I’m sure 28 other teams didn’t know who the hell he was. Did that prepare you any? Or just completely scare you away? Read on to get the whole picture.
Wolves select Derrick Williams with #2 pick:
Well, to all you Williams-lovers out there, you got your guy. But will he stay? David Kahn addressed the media after the draft and said his intentions are not to trade anyone a part of this team’s core, which we can assume now includes Rubio, Johnson, Beasley, Williams and Love. That’s a core to really get excited about, but we need to take Kahn’s statements with a grain of salt, especially after barring witness to what went down last night in terms of trades.
Chad Ford of ESPN believes Michael Beasley is the most likely to leave town via trade, but I think Williams is more vulnerable given his higher value and just the buzz he’s received in this past week. But I just want to take this second to say, these two can play together. There’s all this talk about about how Williams, Beasley, Love and Randolph are all pure 4′s, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that. How I put it to a friend the other day was, Williams and Beasley may be more productive at 4 because of the mis-match problems with their speed, quickness and explosiveness, but they possess special abilities to dribble, drive and shoot making them a great fit at the 3. There, debate over. I foresee Williams coming off the bench in place of Michael Beasley to start off the season. With that kind of talent rotating in off of the bench, the Wolves won’t miss a beat, constantly having a tremendous scoring threat on the floor at all times. Only problem is when the game’s on the line and Williams, Beasley and Love need to be in the game. That lineup reeks like hell on defense but sings like heaven on offense. The new coach better have a plethora of options if/when those scenarios come up.
I’m not saying that it’s ideal to have all these forwards on one team, I’m just suggesting it’s possible to make it all work. A trade is still not out of the question, Kahn’s promise or not. However it shakes down, wherever Williams is at the start of the season, he’s going to be a good-to-great player. Even more than Williams, everyone I’ve spoke to believes he has a better chance to grow into a superstar mold as his career unfolds, and I definitely believe that. He can score at will and does it in so many different ways. Rubio’s going to be happy with an elite-scorer like him to dish if off to, indeed. I think Williams just the right pick.
Wolves trade the #20 pick (Rights to Donatas Motiejunas) along with Jonny Flynn to Houston for Brad Miller, picks #24 , #38 and a future first rounder:
And the madness begins. The #2 pick? That was a cake walk. I had a feeling the Wolves would do some wheeling and dealing with this #20 pick, especially if they failed to move the #2. This specific trade was win-win for the Wolves.
No more Jonny Flynn! And even better, because I enjoy Flynn’s presence and personality, just not so much his game, he’s going to a good situation in Houston, where he could really carve out his legacy in the NBA. Reportedly, the Rockets are now dangling him to other teams, but I doubt anyone bites. He’s a good fit in Houston.
As for the Wolves, well, they got their proverbial center! Not really. Brad Miller had microscopic surgery on his knee and is reportedly out until January. And that first-rounder isn’t something to get completely excited about. It’s a heavily protected pick from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013, but, hey, it’s worth something and given Memphis’ success last season, there’s a good chance we see it in 2013.
You’re probably wondering why the Wolves did this deal then because on the outside, it doesn’t seem like much. Well, it turns out that the Wolves’ target all along, Malcolm Lee, was certainly going to be available at 20, so they knew trading down to pick up other assets (Miller and the first-rounder) would be the best scenario. What we didn’t know was that this deal would be the catalyst of a chain-reaction of trades after that.
Wolves trade #23 (Rights to Nikola Mirotic) to Bulls for #28 and #43:
As I said, it gets a little crazy now. The Bulls wanted to move up to take Mirotic and the Wolves were more than willing to oblige them. The price? More second-rounders.
By this time, the Wolves knew they could stockpile second-rounders because, believe it or not, in this deep of a draft, those early-to-mid second round picks are valuable. This philosophy turned the draft into madness for Wolves’ fans. David Kahn, with this trade-down methodology, quickly transformed himself into the Bill Bellichek of the NBA. But soon you’ll find out that this strategy indeed works.
Quick note here: At #26, the Dallas Mavericks selected Jordan Hamilton and got themselves in the middle of the Port-Den swap of Raymond Felton for Andre Miller. The Mavs ended up with Rudy Fernandez in the deal from Portland for giving them Hamilton. Why didn’t the Wolves jump in here? We lack from having a true 2-guard and Rudy is good friends with Rubio being from Spain. Seems like the perfect fit to me. Although I like what they got from their other trades, I wouldn’t have minded impeding in this one and taking Dallas’ spot because we certainly had the resources to do so. And now we leave without a true 2-guard and a capable center, again. Oh, well it turns out to be okay, so move on.
Wolves trade #28 (Rights to Norris Cole) to Miami for #31, future second-rounder and cash:
Again, Wolves knew they could afford to move down because who they wanted was still going to be there in the second. Why not keep picking up assets in your quest to grab that player?
Quick note here: The #31 pick was the pick we gave Miami for Michael Beasley last season, and they gave it right back. So, the two-year exchange between Miami and Minnesota ends up like this:
Miami: Norris Cole
Minnesota: Michael Beasley, 2 future-second rounders and cash from two different teams (Nets bought #31 pick)
That’s backyard bargain shopping at its finest. It doesn’t happen often that you can get a 19 ppg player for next-to-nothing. David Kahn at his finest, right?
Wolves trade #31 (Rights to Bojan Bogdanovic) to Nets for future second-rounder and cash:
The trend continues. This time you’ll notice that the Wolves are starting to pick up quite a bit of cash in these deals. “Cash considerations” may be the worst term in trade talk. We’ll never know the amount the Nets bought that pick for, but it’s a good chunk. Late first-rounders are believed to be worth more than a $1 million, and early second rounder slot in just under that.
So in just two trades, the Wolves could’ve accumulated more than $2 million, enough to pay off one year of Rambis’ alleged buyout. Catch my drift? Kahn said that all cash received last night was not for that purpose at all, but you can’t help but wonder what else it would go towards. Taylor told Kahn to cover up his mistake with Kahn by finding the cash to pay for the buyout. It all fits and is certainly an interesting take, whether it’s true or not. Let’s move on.
Rockets buy out #38 (Rights to Chandler Parsons) from the Wolves:
Now we’re just going backwards. The Rockets, after having traded this pick to the Wolves, actually bought it back from the Wolves to take Parsons.
That’s alright, though. Wolves don’t have a particular need for Parsons with the supplement of forwards we now possess. Just gimme more cash, homie!
Wolves KEEP #43 and take Malcolm Lee:
And finally, their man!
Let’s be honest: The Wolves could’ve taken Lee at #20, saved everyone a serious migraine and we’d all be happy. They took the scenic route but it paid off. They’re now stocked with cash, future picks and the man they wanted all along: Malcolm Lee.
Lee was the UCLA point guard last season. The PG jokes can start now, if you’d like… BUT, Lee is a different breed. He’s 6-foot-6 and has the ability to guard multiple positions. He’ll be a great back-up at the 1 and 2 positions because of that ability.
This was Ronzone’s pick. He believes that UCLA kids have something special about them. So special that they always seem to outperform their expectations in the NBA. Take Kevin Love. A tough rebounder type, no one believed he would put up Moses Malone numbers and record a 30-30 game in one season. Take Russell Westbrook. Some honestly thought he was too slow for the NBA. (O-M-G) Westbrook quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league, maybe not a true PG but a great player who helped lead OKC to the Western Conference Finals this year.
I’m not going to say Lee is going to amount to his fellow Bruins in the NBA, but he should be serviceable enough to get minutes over Wayne Ellington, another Wolf in need of a change of scenery.
Wolves select Targuy Ngombo with 57th pick:
Just youtube him. There’s a prospect video there and Draft Express knew about him too. Otherwise, he’s completely unknown. Played in the Qatar league as well as Asia, I believe. He’s 6-foot-7 and freakishly athletic. He’s Pete Philo’s baby and probably just picked for the hell of it. Not much of a chance he makes it to the NBA. Especially with a rumor that he’s already 26. Whoops!
Well, there you have it. Feel free to discuss the night in the comments section. I know you all have your own opinions on how the night went down, so let’s hear ‘em!