Category: 2013 NBA Draft

Wolves draft analysis; Why you shouldn’t hate Shabazz Muhammed

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Shabazz Muhammed was taken 14th by the Timberwolves last night

And so concludes the 2013 NBA Draft. Although not chock-full of organization cornerstones or even all that talented players, the draft certainly had its fair share of twists and turns.

For starters, Anthony Bennett going first overall to the Cavs. That subsequently led to the fateful Nerlens Noel slide, which didn’t end all that badly for the Kentucky big man. Or how about Dallas’ moves that took them from 13th to 16th and back to 18th in the first round, just so they could save a little cap to go after Dwight Howard? Or even the Celtics’ plan to move up to take… Kelly Olynyk?!

Yeah, I know.

But let’s get to the reason why you’re here. How did our beloved Timberwolves fair in this draft?

Here’s a review of what they did:
- No one was available at the 9th spot that they really wanted, so the Wolves chose the B.P.A. in Trey Burke, only to trade him to the Utah Jazz from the 14th and 21st picks overall.
- The Wolves had options at 14 but opted for Shabazz Muhammed.
- With the 21st pick sent from Utah, the Wolves cold-called Gorgui Dieng (They apparently had no intention of drafting him in the first place) to be their selection.
- Originally they still possessed the 26th pick but then actually sold it to Golden State in a deal that also included Malcolm Lee for a future second round pick coming our way.
- The second round began with the Wolves having two spots, 52nd and 59th, and they kept both of them (Surprise).
- The 52nd pick was used on underrated guard Lorenzo Brown.
- The 59th pick led to a international draft-and-stash in Bojan Dubljevic.

As you can see, just on the Timberwolves behalf, a lot happened in the draft.

Starting with the pick that everyone cares about or at the very least has a strong opinion on: Shabazz Muhammed. In order to fully understand what happened, let’s go back in real time to break everything down.

Flip Saunders and the Wolves had a liking for Victor Oladipo — Who didn’t? But to move up and get him, the only real partner was Orlando and they were content on grabbing whoever with that 2nd pick because they just need bodies, talented ones at that. It would’ve taken a lot to get that pick, simply put, because of how prime Orlando’s position was, especially after Bennett had gone 1st overall. My guess is more than just a package of the 9th, 26th and Derrick Williams, which was rumored in just about every trade-up scenario possible. So because no deal was made, the Magic go home happy with a great player and the Wolves were forced to scratch player one off the draft board.

Their next target was Ben McLemore. He was more tricky to peg down in the draft because his talent is undeniable but his work ethic is questionable at best. Some were enamored, some weren’t. Regardless, he fit the exact profile Flip wanted in his 2-guard: Someone who could shoot lights out, doesn’t need to be the top scoring option and possesses good size at the position. McLemore slid compared to most mock drafts that had him in the top 5. For a brief moment, I legitimately thought he could’ve fallen to the Wolves at 9. But then I remembered this is the Wolves were talking about and, sure enough, Sacramento scoops him up with the 7th pick. That was tough to swallow because Sacramento is where talent goes to die a miserable death. Seriously, just go look at Tyreke Evans and Demarcus Cousins. It is not an ideal situation for McLemore and I truly hope his career doesn’t suffer because of it.

Moving on, there was still one player left who fit the bill of Flip’s ideal 2-guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. KCP wouldn’t be a lottery pick most years but because the lack of depth at the top of this draft, he was. Most mock drafts pegged him in Minnesota with the 9th spot. Hell, KCP even did too. But, in classic Minnesotan, heartbreaking fashion, the Detroit Pistons used the 8th pick on KCP, leaving nothing for Minnesota. Looking back, though, KCP wasn’t my ideal choice because he is unknown and could fizzle out very quickly in this league if he doesn’t have a good situation and doesn’t get out to a good start. But we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

So, just like that, Flip and the Wolves’ 1st, 2nd and 3rd scenarios for this draft were obliterated very quickly. They ended up taking Trey Burke — cue the point guard jokes from Bill Simmons — but surely not for their own. The pick was traded to Utah and they were left at the 14th pick.

Here’s where things get kind of weird. Rumor has it that the Wolves wanted Kelly Olynyk at 14. What the – If that truly would’ve been the case, Wolves nation may have considered sprinting to the nearest bridge on the block and hurling their numb bodies off. But no. Instead they stuck to the plan… Sorta. In Shabazz Muhammed, the Wolves get a pure scorer who’s done it his whole life. He’s not extremely talented or athletic or an amazing shooter but he’s been great at putting the ball in the hoop, which is the name of the game, right?

The Muhammed pick is still awfully disappointing to many out there, and I understand the pain because he wasn’t my ideal choice either. But as the timeline shows, it was the next-best option in a draft that had all sorts of twists and turns. Essentially, Muhammed was the fourth best option on the table, which really sucks that Flip had to resort to that, but at least it wasn’t the fifth, sixth or even seventh option, all of which David Kahn would’ve delightfully considered probably.

The best part is at least they didn’t have to reach for Muhammed. He was projected end of the lottery to the middle of the first round. It wasn’t clear who was willing to take the gamble but that’s where he was likely to go. So the fact that the Wolves were able to move down, accumulate a pick and still take their fourth best option is certainly a win in my books. That extra pick actually turned into Gorgui Dieng, who is more than capable of backing up Nikola Pekovic as a defensive specialist and someone who’s more efficient than Greg Stiemsma with a smidgen of upside.

The part I really don’t love about the trade/drafting Muhammed is what else we could’ve gotten out of Utah. What if they scored Alec Burks and the 21st pick instead of the 14th pick? Or how about the 9th and 26th picks for the 21st and Enes Kanter, who was reportedly on the block? There were better options available and now Flip is sort of holding his pants up, hoping Muhammed lives up to the pick. It’s also worth noting that the number one goal in this draft was to grab someone who could really shoot the ball, preferably from the 2-guard spot. They didn’t really get that. Not even in the second round. Muhammed is a capable spot-up shooter but he’s not going to wow from deep or be all that efficient either. That’s a big fail in my books. Even if they believe someone will be available via trade or free agency in a few weeks, we’re still looking towards 2013-2014 with no true starting shooting guard with a skill set that isn’t all that difficult to find. That is without a doubt the most frustrating aspect out of this whole fiasco.

So if you can understand that the draft simply didn’t play out to the Wolves’ favor, you should be able to comprehend the Muhammed/Dieng/Utah Jazz trade moves that swarmed the first round. All things considered, it made a great deal of sense based on both need and value to trade back and take a true scorer on the wing and a defensive-minded big. The problem moving forward is that there is still a gaping whole in the Wolves’ roster that will be difficult to fill moving forward into the offseason, when the draft would’ve been a useful place to fix it.

Without further adieu, here’s my grading of the Wolves’ draft:

  • Utah Jazz trade: C+
    Should’ve been able to get more from the Jazz utilizing Burke, the best point guard in the draft, as a solid leveraging point.
  • Shabazz Muhammed pick: B
    Bazz is a good player who gets a bad rep. He can flat-out score and that’s something the Wolves desperately need when Love and Pek are the only 16+ ppg scorers on the roster. His presence off the bench could be very helpful.
  • Gorgui Dieng pick: B-
    The Wolves knew they needed a wing and a big man in the first round. They got both even though Dieng wasn’t the best option. He does fill a hole on defense and could get better as he develops.
  • Trading 26th pick to Golden State: C
    There were some very talented shooting guards available here including Allen Crabbe, Alex Abrinnes, Glen Rice Jr., Ricky Ledo and Jamaal Franklin. Taking three first rounders isn’t ideal but when your need is available, you should cash in.
  • Lorenzo Brown: B
    He has first round talent, good size but was a major disappointment for NC State last season. A capable replacement for the injury-prone Malcolm Lee and at good value but that’s probably all.
  • Bojan Dubljevic: C-
    I don’t know who he is and we never will. Draft-and-stash players are close to worthless in the second round. Better off drafting someone like Trevor Mbakwe, making his night memorable and giving him a chance at a big-league squad.

By my math, that gives the Timberwolves a total draft grade of B- (And that’s rounding up), which makes this a passing and somewhat satisfying measurement of success.

Take note that this is simply the first day of draft analysis. We only have our intuition and projections to base this off of. That grade could very well go up or it could spin down faster than you could imagine. It’s all speculation to this point but at least it’s fun, right?

Now, as for the draft as a whole, it was entertaining. I can’t say that I’ve actually watched a draft from beginning to end before this one. I’m not entirely sure why that is but it might be the fact that all of these players — from Anthony Bennett to Janis Timma — are all graded so closely together. None are projected to be superstars but none are really projected as bonafide busts (yet) either. The talent pool, although not great, indeed had breadth, which made it fun all the way until the end.

My favorite moment: After a whole night of continuous booing upon the current and best commissioner the NBA has ever seen — perhaps the whole country has ever seen in any major sport — the tireless Brooklyn crowd gave David Stern quite the ovation on the 30th pick of the first round. Since Stern already announced his coming retirement, we knew that this would be the final pick he ever announces as the commissioner of the NBA. To thank him, the NBA faithful cheered him on as his career starts to wind down. Plus the Hakeem Olajuwon thing was pretty cool.

But that’s not even the best part. I lean over to my brother-in-law and say, “I bet they start too boo Adam Silver now.” And just like that, without missing a beat, Silver steps to the podium to begin the second round and is greeted to a wave of boos as playful but real as the ones belted out for Stern. The life of an NBA commissioner, huh?

My least favorite moment: Bill Simmons’ commentary. I’m not usually one to bash Simmons because I’m a Grantland junky and simply love what he’s done for bloggers and sports columnists everywhere. But the majority of his comments lacked any analysis whatsoever and at times seemed downright inappropriate  The fact that he brought up the Boston/Brooklyn trade about 8 different times made it difficult to view any longer with the sound on. I’ve been a fan of the tag team that is Simmons and Jalen Rose but the draft affirmed the fact that Rose out-analyzes Simmons on every situation in the basketball world. For entertainment purposes, Simmons is fine. But if you actually wanted something valid to spew out of his mouth, don’t get your hopes up. Oh, and by the way, his home team, the Celtics, royally screwed up tonight with that trade. Eat it, Bill.

More on Shabazz Muhammed

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It all started when it was announced that the Detroit Pistons were going to select Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the guard the Timberwolves had so coveted, with the eighth pick.  Not even Ben McLemore’s selection at seven sent fans’ blood pressure soaring since we never believed he would be there anyway and that it was nothing more than a fun thought to entertain. No, as soon as KCP came off the board the question became, “Now what?” Do they take C.J. McCollum, the combo guard, as a consolation prize? Or would they be better served trading out of their position altogether?

Well, they opted for the latter, selecting Michigan point guard Trey Burke for the Utah Jazz in exchange for the 14th and 21st picks.

The game began again with what to do with the 14th pick. Some of the options remaining included Sergey Kerasev, Mason Plumlee, and UCLA’s highly scrutinized Shabazz Muhammed. As we know the Timberwolves would select Muhammed, igniting a portion of the team’s fans.

“They’re gonna regret passing on McCollum!”

“Why didn’t they just keep Burke?!”

“Muhammed is Michael Beasley 2.0!”

If you’ve been following the hype leading up to the draft you are well aware that Muhammed was going to be coming with some questions, so this reaction shouldn’t surprise you. To many it sounds like there is almost no point in Shabazz even trying and whatever team gives him a uniform is destined to an eternity of futility. It’s easy to speak definitively when we get emotional about a subject we’re passionate about that we forget to take a step back and re-examine the situation at-hand.

Yes, he only had 27 assists over the course of 32 games last season, but that was at UCLA. Here, he won’t be the team’s go-to player and neither will he be the team’s primary ballhandler. In fact, if he becomes a ball-stopper by refusing to pass, he won’t play. We’ve seen it with Derrick Williams where he gives him these in-game teaching moments by benching Williams if he’s trying to do too much on his own and is hurting the team. In reality, Adelman may be the strong coach Muhammed needs to succeed at the next level. Systematically, Shabazz can fill the role of the catch-and-shoot player off of Ricky Rubio passes while helping to open up driving lanes for Derrick Williams and others to cut to the basket. No, he wasn’t elite in college (37 percent), but that figure is still good and he’s certainly young enough to continue to improve further.

While Muhammed isn’t a spectacular athlete, he’s a good athlete and his 6’11 wingspan will help him compensate for that defensively. Using Williams as the example once again, we’ve seen Adelman make serviceable defenders out of players with inferior physical attributes, so there is reason to believe that Muhammed could grow into a capable defender along the way. You can certainly change a 20 year old kid’s mindset from scorer to more complete player as long as they have the proper coach to instill that in them. Again, if he wants to get minutes he’ll earn them by doing things like playing defense.

You can point to his past issues with his birth certificate or his perceived attitude problems as reason for concern, but part of the reason Muhammed wooed the Timberwolves was the fact that he did own up to his prior issues. He’s young, naive, and made some mistakes because of that, but taking responsibility for them is a sign of maturity. The Timberwolves were also enticed by the fact that he’s a gym rat and willing to put in the work to get better. Plus, it will only be an added bonus if Muhammed comes in with a chip on his shoulder having fallen from top pick consideration once upon a time to a fringe lottery pick.

Perhaps I’m being positive here, but it’s a choice I’d rather make than damning Muhammed to failure from the get-go. Like any other pick, there’s a chance that it works out and a chance that it blows up in your face; that’s the draft for you. It’s not as if they gave up a ton to get him, and arguably received more in return considering the alleged depth of this draft and the fact that they were swapping the ninth for fourteenth. Being able to use both picks to fill separate needs isn’t too shabby, either. So, there are many reasons this could be a disaster but there are also several reasons why this could be a bit of a steal.

2013 HTW Mock Draft

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Here is our long-awaited 2013 NBA Mock Draft. Derek and I took on the role of each and every team in the first round’s general manager role to complete this mock draft. Enjoy!

1Nerlens NoelKentuckyCenter7'0"206 lbs

The Cleveland Cavaliers are blowing serious smoke with all this talk about Otto Porter or Alex Len being their potential pick at the top. That simply won’t be the case when it comes down to it. They could very well trade the pick but in the end they’ll end up taking the player that makes the most sense to them paired with the highest upside of anyone in the draft. Noel is hands down their man come Thursday night. — Jonah

2Ben McLemoreKansasShooting Guard6'5"189 lbs.

Some teams might have Otto Porter higher-rated than McLemore, but for the Magic McLemore makes more sense. While they are a rebuilding team that should be drafting for talent and not need, they already have Mo Harkless as a developing small forward, meaning that Harkless and Porter splitting minutes could potentially stunt their development. McLemore will still give them some shooting and will be able to fairly split time with the veteran incumbent at the shooting guard, Aaron Afflalo. — Derek

3Anthony BennettUNLVPower Forward6'8"240 lbs.

The rest of the lottery is envious of Washington’s position in this draft. We all know there isn’t elite or guaranteed talent at the top of the draft but still very good players with potential all-star acumen. The Wizards will have a few players to choose from that will all help them now and maybe turn into that all-star down the road. Anthony Bennett has the best combination of those two components and gives them a great scoring option in the frontcourt, something they didn’t have last year to take the edge off of their star-studded backcourt of John Wall and Brad Beal. — Jonah

4Alex LenMarylandCenter7'1"225 lbs.

Damn Wizards, screwing everything up. Suddenly, this pick becomes a little more difficult. But, again, the Bobcats just drafted a player at Porter’s position, and they need the frontcourt scoring more than they do another shooting guard, so I’m taking Alex Len and his fused ankle for the Bobcats. — Derek

5Otto PorterGeorgetownSmall Forward6'9"198 lbs.

Otto Porter is a bit of a wild card in this draft. Because he’s probably the most polished player projected to go in the top 5, he could go literally anywhere. And because his game is so versatile from the small forward position, any team would be a great fit for Porter. Having said that, the Suns would grin ear to ear  if he were to fall to them at 5. This pick will come down toVictor Oladipo and Porter. With more wings with better shooting prospects towards their 30th pick than Oladipo, the Suns would be smart to go Porter and pick one of those up later. — Jonah

6Victor OladipoIndianaShooting Guard6'4"213 lbs.

FINALLY, the Oladipo slide ends here. While Al Faroq-Aminu has made strides on the wing, and they just paid Eric Gordon a lot of money to miss a lot of games, and they drafted Austin Rivers last season, passing up on Oladipo here is just unforseeable. If nothing else, Oladipo has a shot to be their healthiest and most productive guard next season. — Derek

7Michael Carter-WilliamsSyracusePoint Guard6'6"184 lbs.

There are four point guards that I really like in this draft. Michael Carter-Williams is probably my favorite, which is why I give him the edge to go to the Kings at 7. The Kings are guard-heavy, which may make this pick seem a little odd on the surface. But a closer examination proves that they still don’t really have an elite ball-handler, more so just great playmaking guards and then Jimmer Fredette. Carter-Williams has a ways to go on offense, especially with his poor perimeter shooting, but with all the weapons in Sacramento, somebody needs to run the show and make sure they all get their opportunities. — Jonah

8Trey BurkeMichiganPoint Guard6'1"187 lbs.

With Will Bynum and Jose Calderon entering free agency, leaving Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight as the Pistons only point guard capable players, they get a cheap replacement here that could be a long-term solution at the point. Plus he’s already made some Michigan fans very happy, so he should be a popular choice. — Derek

9Shabazz MuhammedUCLASmall Forward6'6"222 lbs.

Surprise! Many will disagree with this pick but here’s why it’s not all that bad. Muhammed gets a bad rap because of his disgusting year at UCLA. But some didn’t know that he was the top-ranked player in his 2012 high school class. And now that he’s all healed up and in much better shape than last season, his workouts for teams have been going extremely well. Flip Saunders said that Muhammed just knows how to score and not many can do that naturally. That’s a gift, especially for a team like Minnesota, who only has one player who can score 20+ points on a consistent, nightly basis, at the ninth spot. If you can look past the stigma Muhammed carries on his shoulders, you’ll realize he’s a great pick for the Wolves. — Jonah

10Kentavious Caldwell-PopeGeorgiaShooting Guard6'4"204 lbs.

Alright, so they need a center, which means my pick is probably wrong but this could be a nice young backcourt with Damian Lillard and KCP, while moving on past Wesley Matthews and his bruising contract. Besides, they can always pick up a center later on, in free agency, or give JJ Hickson $12m for the next four years (Kidding.) — Derek

11Steven AdamsPittsburghCenter7'0"255 lbs.

The 76ers have some trouble brewing and it all lies in their frontcourt. Upcoming free agent Andrew Bynum, who they gave up Andre Iguodala to get, never played a single game last season because of a bad knee. Beyond that, Spencer Hawes doesn’t know how to play 7-feet tall and Arnett Moultrie is too raw to just throw to the dogs. To give them some depth upfront or a replacement for Bynum — Knock on wood — Adams is a strong pick. Cody Zeller is also a solid option here. — Jonah

12Cody ZellerIndianaCenter7'0"230 lbs.

Tired of watching the Thunder roll out Kendrick Perkins time and time again? Worry no more! Not only that but Zeller is a great option on kick-outs at that 18-foot range. Now the Thunder can afford to marginalize Perk and work on playing more productive lineups.  – Derek

13CJ McCollumLehighPoint Guard6'3"197 lbs.

Chad Ford is claiming that the Mavericks are intent on trading this pick. Why? I’m not sure. They’re as old as the Celtics and need just as much help injecting youth into the organization. This is a wonderful scenario for them if McCollum were to fall to them. He immediately upgrades their backcourt and allows them to let OJ Mayo walk, if need be. — Jonah

14Shane LarkinMiamiPoint Guard6'0"171 lbs.

Because sometimes Devin Harris and Jamal Tinsley just aren’t enough. But in all seriousness, the Jazz seriously have the biggest hole at point guard, and although there aren’t many sure-thing guards in this draft, Larkin has some upside to his game. — Derek

15Dennis SchroederGermanyPoint Guard6'2"165 lbs.

The Bucks are kicking themselves if this indeed happens. First off, McCollum slides almost through the lottery to Milwaukee at 15. Then, Utah feeling slighted too, takes the next best point guard before the Bucks in Shane Larking. Doh! But Dennis Schroeder is a good consolation prize. He’s a little unknown because he played last season in Germany but he’s got sky-high potential, just as much as anyone else in the draft. If the Bucks can be patient, which it doesn’t seem like they want to be given the JJ Redick trade, Larry Drew hiring and more, Schroeder could develop into a great option for them in their dissolving backcourt. — Jonah

16Lucas NogueriaBrazilCenter7'0"220 lbs.

I am so sorry Celtics fans. He’s not much of a scorer, but he’s got the size and a ton of potential, so you all might not hate me in a few years. Then again, maybe you didn’t even notice I made this pick because your team did draft Fab Melo last year. — Derek

P.S. Tom is a big Celtics fan on top of being a Wolves roadie. This is what happens when he misses out on our draft and Derek takes over the ship.

17Kelly OlynykGonzagaCenter7'0"234 lbs.

The Hawks need big bodies. Lasting on Zaza Pachulia among others, the Hawks just didn’t have enough depth in the frontcourt behind Josh Smith and Al Horford. Kelly Olynyk provides them exactly that and is a great option too. Olynyk seems to be more NBA ready than other center options near the top-half of the draft, so this could be considered a steal for Atlanta. — Jonah

18Mason PlumleeDukeCenter7'0"238 lbs.

Ok, I need to get it together, but it’s unlikely this matters because I doubt they keep both of these picks at their current slots. If they wanted a guard, they could trade down, or if they wanted to find out what a Horford-Olynyk-Plumlee lineup could do… (they won’t do this.) — Derek

19Sergey KarasevRussiaShooting Guard6'7"197 lbs.

Steal of the draft? I’d say so. Sergey Karasev, another international player, is a straight sharpshooter from distance. The Cavs would be blessed to get him here, especially after taking a big body with the top pick. Karasev’s stock has been rising for weeks, and now that Dario Saric has officially removed his name from the draft, Karasev may just be the best international prospect available. He’ll be a huge boost to Cleveland’s perimeter game this year or next, depending on when he comes over. — Jonah

20Rudy GobertFranceCenter7'2"238 lbs.

With Karasev going off of the board, it’s between the seven-foot Gobert and a handful of limited wings, so why not? He won’t be forced into anything in Chicago behind Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, but could give them emergency depth if the situation arose. — Derek

21Gorgui DiengLouisvilleCenter6'11"230 lbs.

Gorgui Dieng’s stock is suffering right now because of some injuries but his championship season can speak for itself. At Louisville, Dieng was the Cardinals’ presence in the paint, part of the puzzle that helped them vault to the top. Dieng is a defensive stopper, the perfect rotational frontcourt player. The Jazz, having already grabbed a point guard in this scenario, move to help their frontcourt, which may be disintegrating this summer with both Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson becoming free agents. — Jonah

22Reggie BullockNorth CarolinaShooting Guard6'7"200 lbs.

Alright, this is another depth pick because Jerry Stackhouse won’t be around forever (Or will he…?) Hopefully, for the Nets’ sake, he makes them more fun to watch than last season. — Derek

23Giannis AntetokounmpoGreeceSmall Forward6'9"215 lbs.

The Pacers made quite the impressive run this season, huh? But the one thing I noticed in their playoff contests was that they lacked depth pretty much all over. They have capable players stepping in but no one that can really make a difference when needed. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a large wing from Greece with deep range. He may not be ready now but he’s the kind of guy who can become that top option off the bench. Plus, if any team can wait for someone like Antetokounmpo, it’s the Pacers. — Jonah

24Tim Hardaway Jr.MichiganShooting Guard6'6"199 lbs.

This is a little funny to me considering Knicks fans hated his Dad’s team — the Heat — in the 90′s and now they would get his son. Going deeper than that, Hardaway could give them added depth to the backcourt, but despite him being a good shooter he would need to improve his shot selection in New York. — Derek

25Ricardo LedoProvidenceShooting Guard6'6"197 lbs.

We get to the pick with arguably the best value of the first round. Ricardo Ledo, who didn’t actually play a game at Providence, is a top-notch scoring threat. Along with Muhammed, he may be the only one in this first round with the ability to average 20+ a game. Ledo is a great shooter, both spot-up and off the dribble. He’s the perfect player to consider a replacement for Chauncey Billips, if/when he ever retires. Plus, Ledo can shift to the small forward spot, where the retired Grant Hill has already left a place open. — Jonah

26Allen CrabbeCaliforniaShooting Guard6'6"197 lbs.

While Crabbe isn’t exactly a knockdown shooter, he was still average, meaning he could still bolster the team’s less-than-average shooting from deep next season. — Derek

27Glen Rice Jr.NBDLSmall Forward6'6"211 lbs.

No George Karl, soon to be no Andre Iguodala, the Nuggets are in a bit of trouble now. Although Karl may be irreplaceable, the Nuggets could get a headstart moving on from Iggy by taking Glen Rice Jr. He’s not the defensive mogul that Iggy was but he’ll certainly be able to chip in on offense. Rice Jr. is a great shooter with a good-sized body. He’ll give relief to Ty Lawson, Evan Fournier and Andre Miller in the backcourt. — Jonah

28Jeff WitheyKansasCenter7'0"222 lbs.

Because sometimes you just can’t stomach the thought of paying Tiago Splitter $13 million per year. — Derek

29Jamaal FranklinSan Diego StateShooting Guard6'5"191 lbs.

Jamaal Franklin is actually a top 20 prospect in my mind. Think of a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard. He’s not a great threat on offense or defense but he’s always going to play very hard, which makes him a coachable, lovable prospect. The Thunder could use someone like Franklin to sort of weed out Thabo Sefolosha, who had a pretty awful postseason. — Jonah

30Tony SnellNew MexicoSmall Forward6'7"198 lbs.

The Suns went small forward earlier on with Otto Porter, they still need wings. Tony Snell is soaring up draft boards right now, which means this is probably too low, but in these kinds of drafts where value is minimal, teams take exactly who they want, exactly when they can get them. For that theory and that theory only, Snell drops to 30th but the Suns are damn happy.  – Derek

2013 HTW Wolves Draft Board

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We all know the NBA Draft is tomorrow, right? If not, you’ve probably been living in a cave because this is the week of rumors galore plus endless hours of draft coverage everywhere you look. So only to pile on the onslaught you’ve probably already run in to, HTW has created our very own Timberwolves Draft Board, but with a twist.

Our rankings are legit. All three of us — Tom, Derek and myself — took time to create our individual lists and then compiled them into a comprehensive draft board based on the Wolves’ needs and value. But to make it a little less dry than your average draft coverage, which are typically based on nothing but rumors, we created blurbs to spice it up a bit and add just a touch of humor.

Snarky but accurate, here is our draft board:  Continue reading