Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Playing the Lottery

On Tuesday night, the NBA held their annual Draft Lottery to determine the order of picks 1-13 in June’s amateur draft. As was the norm for most of the first ten years of the franchise’s existence, as well as the last few years, the Timberwolves were prominently involved. Here is our expert takes on some of the proceedings from the lottery. Obviously we will have a more in depth look once we get closer to the actual draft weekend.

Question 1: The Chicago Bulls and their 1.7% odds became the second least likely team in lottery history to land the #1 pick last night (second only to the 1993 Magic). Two part question: was this a fix? Who do they take at #1?

Dogg—I don’t think it is ever a fix but ridix for sure. I think they take Derek Rose. The Bulls have a number of players worth something to other teams so I would be dealing some players for sure. I would deal Gordon/Deng/Hughes, Gooden/Nacioni because they have too many guys who can play ball. I would personally deal Gooden and Gordon for picks or a better top player. Whatever they decide to do, the Bulls should be near the top of the Eastern Conference next year.

Who gets to live in MJ's shadow?

Fuzz—Tim Donaghy is out of the league so I don’t think it was fixed---kidding. I don’t think it was fixed, I just think the Bulls got extremely lucky and something like that never happens to our club in town. We’ve never had the first pick and we have been an abysmal franchise. That’s the part that sucks. Anyways, I see the Bulls taking Beasley. This is a hard pick in the sense that they have a ton of forwards and a ton of guards. Beasley or Rose is going to add more competition to their team and bump someone out. They could be looking to trade some of the riff-raff on their roster to clear some things out. With guards Hinrich, Gordon Duhon, and Hughes, I see them going with the forward Michael Beasley.

Q—Apparently I’m the only conspiracy theorist in the group. I feel like the NBA is the shadiest professional sport, by far. Can you imagine the uproar if an NFL official was being charged with fixing games? NFL Live would be on 24/7. Somehow the NBA manages to sweep it under the rug. There have been a ton of sketchy lottery proceedings as well: the Knicks getting Ewing, the Magic getting Shaq, etc.

Yeah, this was legit...

Now you have the Bulls, a major market team (and former home of Basketball God) who is down on their luck and needs a boost, beating unbelievable odds to get the first pick and their choice of two instant League studs. Naw, that’s not fixed at all. Anyways, I think they should take Beasley with the makeup of their team. They have some talented guards and he would make their team much more complete. That said, I think they’ll end up taking Rose because everyone is scared of passing on the next Chris Paul.

Question 2: The Wolves landed at #3--not great, but not terrible either. This means they have their pick of anyone outside of Beasley and Rose. Make your case for who we should pick and why.

Dogg—I think this draft is loaded with players. I believe our franchise will take Brook Lopez or O.J. Mayo. What do I think we should do? After pondering about the draft I think we should trade down and get D.J. Augustin. Try and move into the 1st round with another pick and take Robin Lopez or Roy Hibbert. I know both won’t be NBA superstars but I’m still a firm believer that this team needs a true center who can rebound and play very good defense and take the load off Big Al a little bit. Maybe even a guy like Kosta Koufos if he can manage to guard low post players effectively. He seems to be a little perimeter oriented but he’ll be a good offensive player in the NBA.

TKOT's choice for the 3rd overall pick

Q—For sure we should take Lopez. He’s already proven that he can score the ball, plus he’s seven feet tall. At the very least he’ll be a presence defensively and on the boards, maybe more than that. I know the “experts” are going to yell until they are blue in the face that Mayo is the 3rd best player in this draft, but I don’t like him for the Wolves. We have some talent at the guard position; we don’t have a center. If you can get a center to pair with Big Al for the next 10 years, you’re rebuilding project is going well.

Fuzz—Brook Lopez, Center. Our main needs are at Center and Point Guard. He fills one of these needs. He isn’t going to be a sexy pick, but we’re rebuilding here. We aren’t making the playoffs next year with anyone we draft, so I would like to go with a solid 7-footer. He’s not a stiff. He has moves and a reliable jump shot already. Plus, he in no way will demand the ball to score, leaving our main man Jefferson free to do what he does best. We’d have a very good frontcourt for years to come with Lopez.

Question 3: Ok, now for a little negativity. We know that McHale destroys just about everything he touches, so what is the worst case scenario for our pick and why?

McHale might draft this guy just based on this picture

Q—Is it possible for us to run out of time and lose the pick? If not, then it has to involve us taking some foreign pud (copyright Kevin Kelly) who never leaves his homeland or sees the inside of the Target Center. Since there are one or two guys like that projected in the top part of the draft, the likelihood of this happening seems extremely high right now.

Dogg—We take Danilo Gallinari from Italy. I know the league has some great foreign players but odds tell us that most foreign players don’t pan out in the NBA.

Fuzz—A lot of people are jumping on the OJ Mayo bandwagon. He’s the risk/reward guy. Before the college season, he was the #1 pick. Now, he’s somewhere in the top 5. I’ve never liked him, so I don’t want him but I’m afraid we’re going to take him. I think he’s an egomaniac that has a piss poor attitude. The worst case scenario is for Mayo to turn out to be a superstar only to pull a Marbury and ship himself out of here. I’m stereotyping here, but guys like Mayo don’t want to be “stuck” here in Minnesota. We take him 3rd, he rips it up and he’s gone in three years. That would suck…

Does this look like a guy who would want to stay in Minny?

Question 4: One last Wolves question: we have two of the top four picks in the second round. What are some names that you'd like to see us go after with these picks?

Fuzz—I think those picks will be based off what we do with our 1st rounder, obviously. If we take Lopez, we’d go with someone smaller with these picks. Vice versa if we take a guard/forward. Anyways, if there were a way that we could trade these picks to move up to the late first round and take a guy like Ty Lawson, I wouldn’t be pissed. I don’t know if this is even a possibility, but I would like them to make a move up if they could.

Potential 2nd Round Pick?

Dogg—If we take Brook Lopez with the #3 pick I say we roll with Ty Lawson early in the 2nd round. He is small but he’s got strength so I wouldn’t worry about him getting abused in the low post. This team needs a true PG and I think Ty Lawson can be effective in this league. The other guy who I think could have a solid NBA career coming out of the 2nd round is D.J. White from Indiana. He seems he could be that guy off the bench who averages 10 and 5 which every good team needs.

Q—These guys hit the nail on the head in that picks 31 and 34 depend entirely on who we take at 3. Since this isn’t the NFL, I seriously doubt that we’ll be able to move up by exchanging the two of them either. So if we take Lopez at 3, then I’d like to see us go after at least one guard, maybe two. Some guys I wouldn’t mind seeing us take in the 2nd round include: Ty Lawson, Kyle Weaver, Davon Jefferson, and Wayne Ellington.

Question 5: Make a call--who is the sleeper in this draft that no one is talking about right now?

Fuzz's Sleeper: Donte Green

Fuzz—Jerel McNeal. Kidding, he fucking blows. I like Donte Green from Syracuse. He’s been overshadowed since day one. He was a top 10 freshman coming in last year, but all the accolades went to Beasley, Rose, Love, & Mayo. He’s a big kid at 6’10, 225. He averaged nearly 18 points and 7 boards a game his freshman year. A few casual college hoops fans don’t even probably know who he is. He projects in the mid 1st round and could end up being the steal of the draft. His perimeter game improved greatly and if he could be a #3 in the NBA, he’d be lethal.

Q's Sleeper: Davon Jefferson

Q—I really like Davon Jefferson out of USC. He’s a 6-8 wing who can score, rebound, and defend. Obviously, as is the case with most draft sleepers, it is going to depend on who he gets drafted by. If he can get on a team where he can fill a niche, a la Brandon Bass in Dallas, then he could be very good. I’d love to see the Wolves pick him up at 31 to come off the bench as Brewer’s sub when he inevitably gets benched.

Dogg's Sleeper: Kyle Weaver

Dogg—I like Kyle Weaver out of Washington St. He knows how to play tough defense coming from that school and seems to have good NBA game. I’ve seen him in the low block and also on the perimeter with scoring abilities from both positions. I would love to see the Wolves select him in the 2nd round.


Anonymous said...

Im with Q on this. The NBA is sketchy as it comes. Why not have the lottery balls shown on TV like the Lottery where you can win Millions. Thats all they have to do. Im pretty fed up with pro sports in general. Too many cheaters going on. No wonder I never made it.


Dogg said...

Finn, can you explain to me why the NBA would rig the lottery balls? I just don't see what they get out of it. If it was rigged the Knicks would've had the #1 pick when King James was coming out. The NBA is straight up with the exception to that dipshit Tim Donaghy.

Mr. Cue said...

I disagree Dogg. LeBron is from the Cleveland area and it made a lot of sense for the Cavs to get him in the draft. They knew that if he blew up, he could either stay and become a hometown legend (thus creating another major market type of team) or leave to a big city such as New York (or Brooklyn with Jay Z).

Anonymous said...

Dogg, Why does the NBA not show the lottery happen live then. Thats all I want. That would show people that it is not set up. Also its just weird that big market teams seem to always land the number 1 pick. It just seems sketchy to me. You know I have thought that for sometime now.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Cue
You could have given a shout out to your parents on their 31st wedding anniversary since you posed the article on that day.

Anonymous said...

OUCH Mr. Cue

Anonymous said...

The Chicago Bulls will take Derrick Rose #1. He's from Chicago, he's electrifying, and he's a natural-born leader. Beasley is a great talent too, but there are a lot of questions about his character and leadership ability--there are none of those questions with Rose. If the Bulls don't take Rose, I think the entire city of Chicago would kill John Paxson. They'll take Rose. And then they can deal Hinrich or Gordon, although I think it'll be Hinrich cause he was mainly Scott Skiles boy and now Skiles is gone, so I see 'em dealing Hinrich somewhere and getting some size in return. No way that they will deal Deng when he is only 22-23 years old and his potential is incredible. Put Rose with Gordon, Deng, Gooden and Noah, and Chicago is a legit team right off the bat, and a title contender in 2 years.

There seems to be all types of accusations and drama swirling around OJ Mayo, but I think that's exactly who the Wolves should take. Unless we could somehow trade up with Miami to get Michael BEASTley (and I hear that Miami is very interested in OJ Mayo so that is a possiblity), I would take Mayo. I think the Wolves need a perimeter star to go with Big Al, and Mayo has star written all over him. He's actually a very good kid and has the work ethic of some of the greats. He's a lockdown defender, has a great jumpshot, and can also run the point. I would take Mayo, then package Foye and McCants somewhere so we could get some size to go with Big Al and some additional veterans to help on the perimeter. I know Lopez would help Al up front, but Mayo is too much of a talent to pass up. If you consider taking money given to you by a family friend "character issues," then you might be alone on that one. I'd take Mayo. He's a can't-miss talent and gets a bad rep because he's been under the spotlight more than any other amatuer basketball player in history (more than LeBron). They've been all over Mayo since he was a 7th grader, and he's never had any problems. Give me a Big Al Sandwich with extra Mayo, and a glass of OJ please.