Category: 2011 NBA Draft

So get this…

That guy, Targuy Ngombo, that nobody knew about, for the right reason, turned out to be a fraud! Yup, Pete Philo’s alleged “baby” lied about both his age and even his name, to a lesser degree.

The Timberwolves took Ngombo with the 57th overall pick in last night’s draft.

Also, the trade with the Rockets was reported wrong. The Wolves never received two second-rounders for Jonny Flynn and the #20. That #38 pick that Houston used to take Chandler Parsons was their’s all along. They never had to buy it back from the Wolves, unfortunately. So they really only ended up with Brad Miller, a future first rounder and that 24th pick.

Can’t win everything, eh, Kahn?

The 2011 NBA Draft, David Kahn's style

Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is heading to Minnesota

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. Continue reading

S.I. digs into the numbers

Check out this Sports Illustrated article on Derrick Williams, the should-be next Timberwolf, and Charles Jenkins, a real sleeper and would-be great fit for the Wolves too.

Williams was the nation’s most efficient forward in ISOs, spot-ups and pick-and-rolls, and was fourth-most efficient in the post. He really can do everything — and the fact that he didn’t truly break out as a star until this past season as a sophomore suggests he may be far from hitting his ceiling. I wouldn’t want to be the GM who passed on him.

Jenkins’ profile isn’t perfect. He’s older than most draft prospects, at 22, and has realized his potential. He’s smaller than most NBA shooting guards and he’s unlikely to transition into a pure-point role. He doesn’t have the speed or the athleticism of some of the guards projected to go at the top of the first round. What he does know how to do is create shots off the dribble going in both directions, knock down shots with defenders attached to him and put up points in a highly efficient manner. He spent his college career outside of the major-conference spotlight, and never played in an NCAA tournament, but he’s worthy of a guaranteed contract. His statistical resume is too strong to ignore.

There’s no denying the year that Williams had in Arizona. In fact, his numbers speak for themselves but when you combine them with a solid off-court personalty with an intelligent head on his shoulders, it’s becoming that much more appealing.

So here’s to a swing in my beliefs: Take Williams at 2, ship Beasley out.

Wolf Track: Cavs looking to add #2 pick?

This comes from Chris Broussard via ESPN.com:

Already owners of the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to sweeten their position by securing the second pick as well, according to league sources.

The Cavaliers are in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons about a three-team trade that would give Cleveland the top two picks of next month’s NBA draft.

Chad goes on to say that Cleveland would absorb Rip Hamilton’s deal with the trade exception from Lebron James. The Wolves would the receive the #4 and #8 pick in this Summer’s draft. And the Pistons? I have no idea.

The skepticism on what’s actually being discussed and who goes where leaves this trade as murky at best. But if the Wolves head into the draft with, yet again, three picks in the first round, they could very well leave the draft with two great lottery picks and a newfound first-rounder for 2012, the summer of Clippergeddon. You really can’t argue with that, and would have to give Kahn some serious credit for wheeling and dealing there. But of course, that was all just formulated in my head. The chance it blooms into reality are slim-to-none, as usual. If only…

Howlin' T-Wolf's Mock Draft 1.0

Being no stranger to the NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves should be pros at this. And, as a fan of one of the lottery’s likely contestants every year, so should Howlin’ T-Wolf. With that said, from now up until the actual NBA Draft, Tom and I will tackle the task of role-playing every GM for each team in the league by alternating picks throughout the first round. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? But with the “David Kahns” of the NBA world today, believe me, it’s much more difficult to predict one’s fate than it seems.

We will release three total mock drafts: This one, one in two weeks and one the night before the draft. As always, feel free to criticize accordingly. Just please be kind.

Without further adieu, here we go! Continue reading

Tonight's The Night (Hopefully)

Let the soothing tones or Mr. Stewart’s voice flow over you.

Ahh…Much better.

Believe me, a certain level of tranquility must be reached before I can allow you all to sit down and witness what may happen to the franchise tonight because, odds are, it won’t be pretty.

Tonight does indeed mark the night where all things could very well change as we know it; a new path shall be revealed as loyal fans scheme up millions of ways to fix the squad only to see Kahn steer the ship in a different and puzzling direction. How ever the ping-pong balls fall, the Wolves will come out of this one with a new asset, hopefully one with some real value behind it rather than some long-gone afterthought of a basketball magician from Spain. An asset that could turn into a #1 pick. An asset that could turn into a #4 or worse prospect. An asset that could turn into a wrinkly but wise veteran.

We just have no idea how it will end up. That calm silence everyone’s had since the end of the season hasn’t given any clues into what’s ahead for the Wolves. But tonight that changes. We’ll finally get a gauge on what’s next, you know, the “what’s next” we’ve been asking for nearly five years now.

Tonight’s the night. Or let’s pray that it is. And may God have mercy on our souls.

Draft Prospect: Bismack Biyombo

Bismack Biyombo
bismack_biyombo.jpg (407×512)

Basic Info:

Home Country: Congo

Height: 6’9

Weight: 240

Wingspan (because it’s incredibly relevant): 7’7. Yes, you read that correctly.

Scout’s Comparisons: Serge Ibaka, Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace

Reasons to Howl: Biyombo has been fascinating scouts since his impressive showing in the Nike Hoops Summit, during which he recorded a triple double of points, rebounds, and blocked shots. As a defender, he has the potential to dominate inside, thanks to his otherworldly wingspan and his incredible athletic ability, as well as his burning desire to leave an imprint on every game. He leaps like kangaroo, runs the floor consistently, talks on defense, and, by all reports, is very driven to practice and improve. He does a lot of work on the offensive glass, and his thunderous dunks can be momentum changers, as he attempts to rip the rim off the backboard every time he elevates.

Reasons to Worry: One word: offense. Biyombo doesn’t really have it. Although scouts have pointed to recent improvements in his back-to-the-basket game, Biyombo’s moves remain rudimentary at best, and his jump shot from any distance is non-existant, though his alley-oops are undeniably exciting. Also, his eagerness to make a move whenever he gets the ball results in turnovers much too often and his passing from the post leaves much to be desired.

Also, while his zeal on the defensive end to make his presence known is admirable, Biyombo can get himself into foul trouble with his intensity.

Benefits to the Wolves: Last season, the Wolves’ defense was absolutely porous, dead last in points allowed. SOMETHING needs to be done to shore things up on that end of the floor. If drafted, Biyombo could be a gigantic step in the right direction. He’s everything we wish Darko could be: extremely long, extremely athletic (and fit), committed to shutting down the opponent in the paint, and able to run the floor on the fast break. While Milicic’s ability to score the ball is (slightly) more polished than Biyombo at this point, Biyombo’s commitment to self-improvement bodes very well for the young center. Remember: despite standing at just 6’9, making him slightly undersized for an NBA center, no player rebounds or blocks shots with his head; they do the work with their arms. And Biyombo has some of the longest arms in the biz.

Scouts have been saying that the T-Wolves covet Biyombo, and might well take him, should they lose out on the number one pick. But is it worth wasting a high lottery pick on yet another player who will never be a go-to scorer in the NBA? Only David Kahn knows. (Gulp.)

The Howlin’ Verdict: The pulse of the online Timberwolves community seems to largely be in favor of Biyombo, and I confess myself to be in this camp as well. Offense may put butts in the seats, but defense wins games, which puts happier butts in the seats down the line. It seems to me a wise decision to address what might be the Wolves most glaring problem with a potential game changer like Biyombo.

It should be noted that despite reports of this draft being low on talent, both Jonah and myself are yet to find and review a prospect that we wouldn’t approve of Minnesota taking.

Optimists? Why, yes. Yes we are, thank you.

Draft Prospects: Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight

Basic Info:

College: Kentucky

Height: 6’3

Weight: 180

Position: PG

Scout’s Comparison: Jrue Holiday/Jason Terry

Reasons to Howl: What aren’t there? Once you’re done reading this, you’re going to see why losing the lottery might not be all that bad. Brandon Knight could very well be the missing link when everything is all said and done. Allow me to paint a vivid picture: Kahn gets Rubio to sign and ships Flynn out for whatever he can get. That still leaves a void at the 2-guard where Wes is clearly not comfortable playing. We lose the lottery, pick 3rd or 4th and end up with Knight. You may be thinking this is quickly becoming the fiasco that forced fans to bury their heads in dirt back in 2009 but this is different. Knight is a 6’3 point guard that has the ability to play off the ball thanks to his outside shooting (Here’s where the Terry comparison kicks in). He seems like the ultimate combo-guard to come off the bench that can either A) Run the offense if need be; or B) Spark the offense by playing the 2 and hawking the perimeter. We’ve seen from two very strong playoff teams, still on runs I might add, where they’re sixth man is an offensive-minded combo-guard with an exceptional shooting stroke. What’s so wrong in saying that, a few years down the line, Knight could prove to be a very similar type of player?

Knight is very fast and also possesses the ability to slash into the lane and either convert on an attempt at the rim or draw a foul. Or both! He’s a high motor type of player and plays like it on both ends. Did you know in high school he drew two charges a game? He’s got the i.q., intangibles on both offense and defense and the motor to become a veteran-type leader in the NBA someday given the right situation.

Reasons to Worry: The only true reason to worry about Knight is his consistency. He was ranked #1 amongst point guards going into college and #3 overall. But he struggled at Kentucky early on and never quite established the groove many witnessed in high school. It wasn’t until the SEC Tournament when Knight’s buzz began flourishing. Though, after the NCAA Tournament, many critics were hushed.

Benefits to the Wolves: I already touched on this but I feel as though Knight could very well turn into a catalyst off the bench for the Wolves. Whether it’s running the point behind Ridnour/Rubio or subbing in for the hot-and-cold shooting of Wes Johnson, Knight could come in and be that spark that turns those opposing runs into streaks for our side. As he ages, Knight, as calm and cool-headed as he is, will learn the game much better and one day become that sixth man do-it-all threat off the bench for a championship squad, very similar to what Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford have done this season for their respective teams.

The Howlin’ Verdict: Behind Irving, Knight ought to be second on the Wolves’ draft board. And although Tom did great of trying to convince me to hop aboard the Kemba-express, I’m gonna stay put and bet on Knight. He may never be an All-Star but he will be helpful to any team looking for a role help. Hell, the Wolves are looking for any help they can get at this point. He’s a must-have, in my opinion.

Wolf Track: Minnesota Doesn't Want Irving

ricky-rubio.jpg (280×280)

According to Jerry Zgoda, who covers the T-Wolves for the Star Tribune, Minnesota has no intention of drafting Kyrie Irving, should they win the first pick in the draft. (The actual quote from Zgoda is in the comments.)

I’m fairly certain the Wolves brass consider Rubio a better prospect than Irving and no matter what they might say should they somehow get the No. 1 pick, I’d expect them to fully try to trade the pick to the highest bidder.

Well. If this is the case, then thanks, David Kahn, for making our latest series of draft prospect breakdowns here at Howlin’ T-Wolf a little less useful. And of course, as the good people over at Canis Hoopus pointed out, is it EVER a good idea to trade the first pick in the draft? Especially when passing on a semi-sure thing like Kyrie Irving over a player who has yet to play a basketball game on American soil.

Far be it from me to question the mind of Kahn. Oh well.