Most NBA draft histories are bound to be a little depressing if you follow the Timberwolves. As such, we clicked with trepidation on a HoopsHype chart about the 2000-2009 NBA drafts and how many players from those years signed extensions to their rookie deals.
Overall, there were some surprising numbers -- chief among them being this:
Out of 294 first-round picks between 2000 and 2009, only 72 (24.4 percent) received extensions before their rookie contracts expired.
So basically one of every four, which goes to show what a crapshoot the draft can be. Now, an extension isn't the perfect indicator of a player's success, but it does mean the player had enough value to keep around.
A few notes about the Timberwolves:
Only one first-round pick who was drafted/acquired on draft night -- Kevin Love in 2008 -- was extended. Now, in fairness, the Wolves didn't have first-round picks in 2000, 2001, 2002 or 2004 (their own fault, but still), so those years don't qualify. But Ndudi Ebi (2003), Rashad McCants (2005), Randy Foye (2006), Corey Brewer (2007) and Jonny Flynn (2009) were not extended.
To make matters worse, Brandon Roy (2006) and Ty Lawson (2009) were both chosen and traded on draft night, and both have been extended. So the Wolves have traded away more extendable players on draft night than they have kept and extended on their own. Roy, of course, was swapped for Foye. Love was a great move in 2008, swapped for O.J. Mayo, who was not extended. Lawson was immediately shipped to Denver.
Now: Ricky Rubio was also part of the 2009 draft, but because he stayed overseas early on he is not eligible yet for his extension. The Wolves almost certainly will extend him, which would add to their total. However: 2010 first-round picks Wes Johnson and Lazar Hayward are already gone; there is no guarantee about Derrick Williams' future (2011). So overall, the picture is not very rosy.
One final note: The Nos. 27, 28 and 29 picks in 2003, those taken immediately after Ebi, all were extended. Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard. Ouch.