Let’s pretend for a second that the Timberwolves aren’t going to move up in the 2014 NBA Draft on Thursday and they will have the 13th selection in the first round. There are a lot of moving pieces here, namely Kevin Love and his status on the team. (Without hijacking this write-up, I don’t think Love will be on the roster by the time Friday rolls around. In fact, at this point, I hope that he is not on the roster come Friday because I don’t want to hear about Love trade scenarios through February 2015. Please spare us this scenario!)
Here are several prospects that have my attention and where I have netted out after browsing the web, looking through mock drafts, etc. I’m not going to include any thoughts on the obvious big three at the top of the draft or those that continuously appeared in the top 8 or so (e.g. Exum, Smart, Randle, Vonleh, or Gordon). Those players aren’t going to be around at #13 when Flip gets to make the selection for his coach and staff. (See what I did there?)
1st Preference: Dario Saric (Croatia)
Sources (kill me …) have reported that Dario Saric has signed a three year contract in Europe that includes an opt-out after two years. This will obviously impact Saric’s stock on Thursday. If he is available at #13, I really hope Flip just selects him. He is going to be the BPA and the Wolves aren’t competing for a championship next year with or without Love. Related, I already view the 2014/15 season as a lost cause, so why not trade Love for a contract, one or two pieces for the future, and draft Saric for the future as well?
2nd Preference: Gary Harris (Michigan State)
If Harris were 3-4 inches taller he wouldn’t even be part of this write-up. However, the 6’4” (this may be generous apparently) SG could be available for Flip at #13. He played two seasons under Tom Izzo so you know he is well-groomed. His defense and overall upside (he won’t be 20 until September) moved him up my list very quickly when doing comparisons vs. others in this write-up.
3rd Preference: James Young (Kentucky)
Remember when David Kahn took Wesley Johnson over Paul George? Unfortunately, I do too. That’s why I have Young as my third preference at this point. Let’s take a gamble and go for the home run. Again, I don’t want to see the Wolves make the playoffs next season as the 8th seed while having no light at the end of the tunnel.
Young doesn’t turn 19 until August, he has legitimate NBA wing size (6’7”, 7’ wing span, and has 5% body fat) and played for Coach Cal for a season. You can’t name the top three NCAA coaches that get players ready for the NBA without mentioning Calipari, no matter what your opinion of him might be. Dear Flip, DO IT!
4th Preference: Rodney Hood (Duke)
While already 21 years of age, Hood only played two years of college ball after having to skip a season because of transferring to Duke from Mississippi St. “Efficiency” is a word you commonly see in write-ups on Hood. His 6’8” height makes him a candidate for either wing position and might allow the Pups to slide Corey Brewer to the bench and eight man rotation, where his ideal fit likely is.
What do you think? Who are your top preferences for the 13th selection on Thursday for our Pups?
Other expectations for the Timberwolves’ Draft?
- At least one 2nd round pick to be sold for cash
- The other 2nd round picks will be overseas players (which is perfectly fine) … adding credence to my “just draft Dario Saric”
- The word “sources” will be used approximately 4,651 times on TV