Sunday, June 19, 2011

Final NBA Draft Preview

All you people who are still reading all about Enes Kantor? Forget it.

Once upon a time, I thought the Wolves would take Kantor with the 3rd or 4th pick.

Now? The Wolves have their best pick ever at #2! It's a two-man draft, with Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams being the only two sure things. And the Wolves now have signed the elusive Ricky Rubio, the man (the boy?) David Kahn wanted as his 1. So all of the suspense has gone out of the NBA draft, which occurs on Thursday.

There are only 2 scenarios.

1) Cleveland takes Irving, a point guard. We take Williams, a combo forward, or

2) Cleveland takes Williams, we, ah, we, er, umm, we.... Well, maybe not all of the suspense is not gone out of the NBA draft, not even for the Wolves. But the likelihood that Cleveland takes Williams is regarded as slim to none. They need a 1 almost bad as we did before signing Ricky.

Still, the possibility exists that when David Kahn's turn comes up (nobody helps David Kahn decide who to draft!), the best athlete available will be Irving. What do you do? Well, maybe you trade the #2 for Pau Gasol. But more likely, you don't have any sort of prior arrangement fully ironed out. So you pick Irving, and you trade him later.

Personally, I'd grab Irving and trade Rubio, but I guess that's just me. I mean, here's a guy who is scoring about 6 1/2 points, with 4 assists and 3 boards in the European League. (Well, that is to say, about 6 points, 4 assists and 3 boards in the Spanish League, and 6 1/2, 4 and 3 in the Euro League. With FG percentages of 32 and 31, respectively, this past year. 32 and 31 percent. Think about it.) As for all this crap about his game being better suited to the NBA than to the European League, well, crap. The NBA's not a half-court game when good opponents want to force you to play a half-court game? Steve Nash can't always force you to play a full-court game. Can a kid who scores 6 1/2 points with 4 assists do that? Can he shoot a better percentage in the NBA than in Europe. Hey, it's a full-court game (in the NBA), so his shooting percentage will rise. Say, what?

End of rant.

If it were up to me, I would pick Irving if he's available. If yes, then move Beasley and Rubio for an experienced shooting guard. If no, then move #2, Beasley and Rubio for a #4 through 9 and an experienced point guard. If you can.

But none of those things is going to happen. Kahn can hardly admit that his draft picks of 2 years ago--point guards Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio--were both wasted. We now know that the Flynn pick was wasted. So all the more reason for the stiff upper lip going in to 2011. And if the Wolves continue to lose 8 out of 10, hey, he's young! We surely can milk another couple years out of that before we go back to the drawing board. Again.

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