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On Rubio, Bynum, Nash, etc. with draft and live chat just one day away

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • June 22, 2011 - 11:51 AM

We're into the final countdown now to tomorrow night's NBA draft and...

Tune in for a live chat tomorrow at noon on startribune.com. Get your questions ready for all things Timberwolfish and draft related. Then come back at 6:15 p.m. for another Live Chat with other Wolves fans and the Star Tribune sports staff.

Until then, expect to hear all sorts of stuff about the Wolves, who have been very active working the phones, trying to drum up a deal for that No. 2 overall pick and for just about anybody on their roster not named Love or Rubio.

As I wrote in a draft preview for today's paper, the Wolves are exploring all options that will send away the 2nd pick for a young starting center with some experience and preferably another first-round pick further down in the order.

That's why in recent days you've heard them linked to proposals with the Lakers for Andrew Bynum, with Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, with Indiana for Roy Hibbert, with Phoenix for Marcin Gortat, with Washington for JaVale McGee.

They're aiming high, which probably means they'll end up taking the best player -- presumably Derrick Williams -- and keeping him, for now.

Wouldn't completely stun me, though, if they went and took Enes Kanter second if they can make a deal for a more experience, a position I think they consider their biggest need.

Bynum would be great -- 23, long, athletic, huge upside -- despite all the injury concerns but I can't see Jim Buss trading him.

At least, though, that idea makes more sense than trading for 31-year-old Pau Gasol, even if he'd help Ricky Rubio's transition to the NBA and America.

Particularly if the Lakers really were asking for both Kevin Love and the No. 2.

David Kahn yesterday at Ricky Rubio's introductory news conference said adamantly that there's no way, no how he's trading either Rubio or Love.

Btw, Rubio learned over up at the podium during the news conference when Kahn said that about him and said, "Thank you."

Bynum rumors were the hot ones yesterday.

Today it's the Steve Nash stuff revisited.

I wrote weeks ago to expect the Wolves to call again about Nash, as they did at the trading deadline.

According to ESPN, they did. The idea, of course, is to add a stablizing veteran to a team that desperately needs one and to give Rubio a mentor to start his NBA career.

Fine idea, but so many problems with the details, namely...he's 37 and there's no way in heck Nash would want to come here at the end of his MVP career.

If he's leaving Phoenix, he wants to go to a team that can win a title...and I don't think he's planning to play until he's 47.

If the Wolves trade the No. 2 pick for a 37-year-old guy, well...no need for further elaboration on that one.

Right now, I'd say it's maybe slightly less than 50/50 that the Wolves trade that pick by tomorrow night, but not from a lack of trying.

I just think the value they place on that pick is way more than other teams do, but we'll see.

The best move: Just take the best player, of course.

This time, that's supposed to be Derrick Williams.

So what if Cleveland surprises and takes Williams first.

Then, Kahn says flat out, they'll take Kyrie Irving and figure out what to do with the best asset left in the draft.

After the last three days, it's obvious: The Wolves have placed the franchise's keys into Ricky Rubio's hands and there's no turning back now.

One other thing of note:

Kurt Rambis wasn't at Rubio's press conference and Kahn said he "doubts" Rambis will be at the draft, although he says the two are working closely together on it.

Kahn said he hopes to talk with Glen Taylor about the matter sometime this week.

Stay tuned. We're about 30 hours away and counting...

 

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