A Few Ping-Pong Balls Short of a Lottery

The title of this post is basically a warning to you that I know very little about this draft still, but still have enough knowledge of the lottery/draft and the Timberwolves’ situation to make penning some thoughts worth everyone’s time. Or at least I hope it is. If not, I’m sure both Tom and Jonah will have some thoughts for you guys. Still, there’s lots of ways they could go with this pick and you have to remember they are in a different position than they were at this time last year. Heck, they’re in a position as a team that they haven’t been in since I started high school and that was like a decade ago. *gulp*

A lot of fans on Twitter are saying trade the pick. Which is probably what I would do, but I would trade the pick altogether instead of trying to trade up since the likelihood of being able to move into position for Ben McLemore or Victor Oladipo is pretty unlikely. Moving up also likely means having to take back a bad contract or give up a valuable asset, which for a team like the Timberwolves vying for a playoff spot may not be the best idea.

The other reason it makes sense to move both the 9th and 26th picks if they’re not blown away by anything left on the board or a great offer comes by them is that they don’t need to get younger. They also don’t need a skinny project big or an athletic wing player still trying to work out that hitch in his jumper. The Timberwolves are still a win-now team that may need a backup center and shooting two-guard, but they need those types to be NBA-ready and cheap, too. If they think they can find that at nine and twenty-six, great, but they sure don’t need both and Flip even admitted as much after the lottery they don’t need two more 20-year olds on the roster.

Ideally, they’d be able to move the picks like last year for an established player, but there are not a plethora of teams with talented, cheap, and young players they are willing to part with for a draft pick.

If they do keep the picks, they’re likely out of position for any wings that could make an immediate impact or bigs at the same stage of development. That leaves the Timberwolves to choose from point guards (which they don’t need) and small forwards, which might work better if  they can land a combo 2-3. According to Jerry Zgoda the Timberwolves have already met with UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas, who gets props for not having me capitalize the “Shaun” in his name. As for point guards, the Timberwolves have been looking to move one of Luke Ridnour and JJ Barea since the last trade deadline, and…and…ok, I really can’t see them taking one with four players on the current roster capable of playing the position, so they’d have to move one.

That’s all I have for now, but I really can’t see them keeping both picks and I think we all know that they will be listening to offers for the 9th pick. Now, time to go bone up on this draft because I really need to learn more about the mid-lottery.


About Derek James

In addition to writing for Howlin' T-Wolf, Derek James writes about basketball Hardwood Paroxysm in the ESPN TrueHoop Network and covers the Charlotte Bobcats for SB Nation’s Rufus on Fire. Andray Blatche and Isaiah Rider follow him on Twitter.