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Scout’s Comparison: Allen Iverson, Aaron Brooks
Reasons to Howl:
(from Urban Dictionary)
1. Man crush. When a straight man has a crush on another man, of an idolizing nature. (See: how Tom feels about UConn point guard Kemba Walker)
Ok, so I made the second part up. But I must confess: I unabashedly love Kemba’s game. Kemba plays with a ferocious intensity, attacking the basket, creating shots for himself as well as for teammates. He has an excellent pull-up jumper and a developing three point shot. He moves quickly enough to induce seizures, both from side to side, and up and down the court, and his handle is outstanding. His crossover is especially deadly, in part because his whole body moves so deceptively, and in part because of how quickly he gets to his spot and into his shooting motion. Comparisons to Allen Iverson have surfaced not just because of his height and vast array of tricky dribbling moves, but also because of the fearless way he throws his body towards the basket to create contact, and his intense desire to win.
Reasons to Worry: There are several legitimate question marks surrounding Walker as we look towards the draft. The most pressing one: his height. Kemba is listed at 6’0, but is more likely hovering in the 5’10 range, which is especially concerning on the defensive end. How will he defend bigger NBA point guards like Westbrook, Rose, or even the likes of Devin Harris?
Also, because Kemba was forced to be a scorer for the Huskies for so much of the season, it’s hard to peg what kind of a ball distributor he will be in the NBA.
Benefits to the Wolves: While I absolutely understand the concerns from Timberwolves fans about drafting another undersized, flashy Big East point guard, I see much more potential in Kemba Walker than Jonny Flynn. Kemba’s big game mentality is unmatched by any player entering the draft. Equally desirable to the Timberwolves is the way he took a young, inexperienced team, helped them develop throughout the regular season, put them on his back when they needed it, and dragged them to a national championship, shattering every expectation for Connecticut’s season along the way. While his game and his body might be similar to Flynn’s, it’s this mindset that sets him apart, not just from Flynn, but from the rest of the draft class. NOBODY wants to win more than Kemba Walker.
The Howlin’ Verdict: The jury here at Howlin’ T-Wolf is split on Kemba. Jonah (understandably) sees visions of Jonny dancing in his head. I see an intense competitor who knows how to win, and could be instrumental in helping a young Timberwolves team develop.
Fortunately, I dibsed writing about Kemba, so my final verdict is this: if the Timberwolves win the lottery, Kyrie Irving is far and away the safer bet, and should be snapped up immediately. But if point guards are what David Kahn is searching for (seems likely, no?), with the 3rd or 4th pick, Kemba would be an excellent consolation prize.
Besides, if he bombs out, and we have to suffer through another terrible year, the likes of Harrison Barnes, Austin Rivers and Michael Gilchrist will be there to console us next summer!