Souhan: Winners, not Wolves, write draft history

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 22, 2013 - 10:06 AM

The Timberwolves will make the ninth pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Rodney Williams should be available.

Star forward Kevin Love represented the team at the lottery Tuesday night and carried a Ricky Rubio action figure. Only the Wolves would consider a guy who broke his knuckles doing pushups holding a doll of a guy who blew out his knee to be a symbol of luck.

What’s stunning about the Wolves’ draft misfortunes over the past eight years is that they couldn’t have gone much worse if David Kahn had run all of them. With a little more insight and a tad more luck, the Wolves could have one of the NBA’s best and deepest rosters.

Here’s a look at what happened in the drafts that made the Wolves what they aren’t:

2005

The pick: Rashad McCants at 14.

The mistake: Danny Granger went to the Pacers at 17.

McCants was an undersized guard who needed to score to make up for his lack of size and intensity. He was a terrible pick because everyone who paid attention knew that North Carolina couldn’t wait for him to leave. Granger has become a star-caliber player at a position of great need for the Wolves, small forward.

Had the Wolves landed Granger, they might not have made subsequent mistakes. McCants’ lousy attitude led the Wolves to overemphasize character when drafting Corey Brewer, and later led to bringing in Michael Beasley to fill a scoring void.

2006

The pick: Brandon Roy at 6. The Wolves traded him for Randy Foye.

The mistake: This deal looked silly when Roy immediately became a star and Foye didn’t. Give then-Wolves boss Kevin McHale this much: He didn’t draft Roy because of his bad knees, and those knees shortened Roy’s career.

2007

The pick: Corey Brewer at 7.

The mistake: Joakim Noah, Brewer’s college teammate, went two picks later to Chicago. Brewer became a player valued for his “energy,” code for “He can’t shoot.” Noah has become one of the league’s better centers. The Wolves, with the 41st pick, also chose another “energy” player from Florida, Chris Richard. Seven picks later, Marc Gasol was selected. Gasol might be the best all-around center in the NBA.

2008

The pick: O.J. Mayo at 3. The Wolves traded him for Kevin Love.

The mistake: Maybe it was firing Kevin McHale after his most impressive draft since taking Kevin Garnett. Trading Mayo for Love was brilliant, and the Wolves landed Nikola Pekovic with the 31st pick and Mario Chalmers with the 34th, although they traded Chalmers to Miami.

2009

The pick: Ricky Rubio at 5 and Jonny Flynn at 6.

The mistake: What’s worse, letting Kahn run the draft, or letting Kahn run the draft before he hired a coach who might veto a stupid move like drafting Flynn instead of Steph Curry (to Golden State at 7)?

Kahn also took Ty Lawson at 18 and traded him to Denver. Rubio and Curry would have become the most entertaining backcourt in the game.

2010

The pick: Wes Johnson at 4.

The mistake: DeMarcus Cousins is 12 kinds of trouble, but he’s an immensely talented and productive center in a league with few of them, and he might have responded well to a gifted, respected coach such as Rick Adelman, or brought value in a trade. Johnson was not, is not and never will be an NBA player. The Pacers took Paul George at 10.

2011

The pick: Derrick Williams at 2.

The mistake: “Mistake” is too strong a word here. It’s bad luck to have the second pick in a weak draft, and Williams’ obvious talent justifies the decision. Taking Klay Thompson at 2 would have felt like a reach at the time — he went to the Warriors at 11 — but he developed into exactly the kind of shooting guard the Wolves need.

2012

The pick: The Wolves did not have a first-rounder.

With a little more insight and luck, the Wolves’ roster could currently contain, along with Rubio and Love, some combination of Gasol, Granger, George, Thompson, Lawson and Cousins.

The Wolves coulda been contenders. Quite easily, really.

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. jsouhan@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: Cleveland wins 2013 NBA draft lottery

    Tuesday May 21, 2013

    CineSport's Brian Clark reports from New York where the Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery for the second time...

  • Wolves stay put at No. 9 in NBA draft lottery

    Wednesday May 22, 2013

    Kevin Love hoped to bring some luck to the team, but it wound up right where it started. Cleveland won the lottery, jumping two slots.

  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close