Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

With the second pick in the 2010 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select....

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves draft news, Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: June 23, 2011 - 6:05 PM

Derrick Williams.

Yep, with the first pick now just about an hour away, it's looking like the Timberwolves will select the Arizona forward with the second pick in tonight's NBA draft, choose the best player (preferably a shooting guard) with their 20th pick and go quietly into the good night.

Unless, that is, somebody makes them an offer tonight that they haven't received thus far.

After all the chatter -- Wolves are gonna deal for Pau Gasol, no Andrew Bynum, no Andrew Bogut or Roy Hibbert or Andre Iguodala or Josh Smith -- about the team trading that No. 2 pick for a veteran player, expect the Wolves to take Williams and then waiting for the NBA's labor issue to be resolved.

Whenever that is.

Why, quite possibly, no deals?

Two reasons:

No. 1/ Timberwolves believe that No. 2 pick is worth a lot more than anybody does.

No. 2/ They sure seem convinced that the new salary cap is going to be restrictive right away and that teams with high payrolls now are going to have to dump at least some salary right away to join the new world.

So, the thinking goes, gather all the young, cheap assets you can and then go into the new season with new rules with a shopping of list of veteran players you can get for a handful of your young guys.

Sort of like what Danny Ainge did with the Celtics all those years before landing Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett within six weeks of each other to go with Paul Pierce.

Now, I'm not saying the Wolves will get a veteran Big Three like that, but I think they're positioning themselves to grab at least one big salary guy -- a guy like a Bynum, a Gasol, a Chris Bosh or maybe even my guy Josh Smith -- for a bargain trade price.

We'll see...

Well, the first pick is coming up soon.

I probably won't be contributing much to the blog here tonight, but for updates follow me on Twitter @JerryZgoda.

It's much easier to fire off updates and newsy tidbits there than update the blog regularly.

For an ongoing discussion, join our Howard Sinker on a live chat at www.startribune.com

 

 

 

 

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