Scoggins: As usual, profanity feels about right for a Wolves draft night

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 27, 2014 - 12:18 PM
hide

Milt Newton, Zach LaVine, Glenn Robinson III and Flip Saunders

Photo: Michael Rand, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The NBA draft concluded and the disgruntled All-Star remained employed by the Timberwolves. And the team’s first-round pick appeared to utter an expletive after being selected.

In other words, it was a typical Wolves draft night.

As promised, Wolves coach/basketball boss Flip Saunders wasn’t pressed to trade Kevin Love by the “artificial deadline” of Thursday’s draft. Saunders stood pat on Love and also kept his first-round pick, using the 13th overall selection on UCLA guard Zach LaVine.

Michigan State forward Adreian Payne made more sense at that spot because he’s more NBA-ready than LaVine, and the Wolves eventually will need someone to replace Love.

LaVine looks like another project for a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 10 years. The Wolves used their lottery pick on a 19-year-old who started one game in his one college season.

Saunders sounded enamored by LaVine’s natural, if somewhat raw, talent, calling him the “best athlete in the draft.” At least Saunders didn’t apologize or backpedal after taking a UCLA guard in the first round for the second consecutive year. He clearly felt better about this selection than his depressed reaction after taking Shabazz Muhammad last year.

It wouldn’t be the Wolves without some draft-night absurdity, though. LaVine’s reaction after hearing his name caused social media to hyperventilate through expert lip readers.

LaVine appeared to mouth a four-letter word (“f--- me,” he seemed to say) either in disgust or relief. I suspect the latter, but since it’s the Wolves, the natural assumption was that LaVine felt a sudden rush of dread.

Don’t worry, Zach. Wolves fans everywhere have said that same thing for years.

Speaking of Kevin Love, Saunders said trade discussions were “pretty quiet” on Thursday.

For those hoping for a resolution to this Summer of Love stare-down, don’t panic. The trade market remains open postdraft, and a deal that sends Love elsewhere still seems inevitable, whether today, next week, or later this summer.

Saunders is taking the right approach by not rushing into a bad decision just because it’s obvious to everyone in basketball that this relationship seems damaged beyond repair. If Love doesn’t want to be here and has made it clear that he’ll opt out of his contract, Saunders really has only one play.

At the risk of sounding like an English teacher, the use of certain pronouns by Love and Saunders in recent interviews told us all we needed to know about where things stand between the two sides.

Love referred to the Wolves as “they.” Saunders referred to his team as “we.” Both were intentional, as if to send a message to the other.

This was Love’s response to Fox Sports when asked about the Wolves’ playoffs chances: “If they’re healthy, they can do a lot of damage.”

Sure sounds like a guy who’s already emotionally removed himself from a situation, doesn’t it?

On the day he named himself coach, Saunders attempted to steer conversation away from the Love chatter by insisting the Wolves won’t adhere to a “lone warrior” approach. He used “we” in describing the culture he intends to instill as coach.

Those comments weren’t made off the cuff, either.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
UCLA 72
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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 is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close