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Jazz beat Suns, Wolves back in June's NBA draft

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • April 25, 2012 - 9:25 AM

Thanks, Big Al!

Al Jefferson -- the guy the Wolves traded away for so far nothing tangible but cap space (which they didn't do anything really constructive with) -- has led the Utah Jazz into the playoffs, producing big in recent weeks and finishing off Tuesday's victory over Phoenix that clinched the West's final playoff spot.

He did his part with a 15-point, 16-rebound game that included a couple big buckets late in the game.

By doing so, he guaranteed his former franchise's June will be more interesting.

The Jazz's achievement means the Wolves get Utah's first-round pick, which if the season ended today would be the 17th overall pick.

Of course, the season doesn't end until Thursday night. By then, the pick could be anywhere between 15 and maybe (but unlikely) as high as 20, depending on how the final jockeying in records between the Jazz, Dallas, Denver, New York, Phialdelphia and Orlando finish.

So how much are the Wolves going to sell this first-rounder for?

ESPN.com's Chad Ford's latest mock draft has Illinois center Meyers Leonard going 17th overall, but that doesn't take into what the final draft order and what those teams' needs will be.

If you check out several mock drafts, the pool of players the Wolves likely will be looking at includes Duke shooting guard Austin Rivers, Washington guards' Tony Wroten Jr. and Terrance Ross, Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie, Iowa State's (and former Gopher) Royce White and possibly North Carolina's John Henson, if he falls that far.

There's no guarantee any of those players will end up with the Wolves. That pick gives them just another option to either use or trade as a piece in a deal for a veteran such Houston's Kevin Martin, who the Rockets are going to peddle by draft night and who Rick Adelman knows well.

The Wolves, as you might know if you haven't tried really, really hard to have forgotten, don't have their first-round pick.

They traded that away years ago to the Clippers in the deal that brought Marko Jaric to Minnesota.

New Orleans now owns that pick, which likely will be a Top 10 pick.

Given the Wolves' luck, the Hornets will beat the odds and turn a 1.1 percent chance into the draft's top pick.

Doesn't that sound just about right?

 

 

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