The last three years have been a very hard time to be a fan of the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have a comically unsettled coaching situation, a mismatched roster of players, a laughingstock owner and the General Manager so incompetent that he inspired a Facebook group of people hoping to replace him with a sportswriter.
Still, today’s draft could become a great turning point for the Wolves.
Multiple rumors have suggested that the Phoenix Suns are incredibly eager to draft Derrick Williams, the standout collegian from the University of Arizona. Even if there were no formal offer to trade Steve Nash for the #2 pick (and Chad Ford believes that offer did happen) the deal on the table that would trade that pick for center Marcin Gortat and #13 seems a must-do for the Wolves.
The Wolves are still uncertain as to whether or not they want Derrick Williams to be their selection and the only conceivable reason for them to choose Enes Kanter or Jan Vesely instead of Williams is the desire to upgrade the center position. If that’s the goal, why not go for the proven commodity in Gortat? In the last 30 games or so of the season, Gortat was one of the top 10 centers in the league despite playing short minutes. His ability to score, rebound and defend would immediately improve the Wolves substantially.
The Wolves could also use their first round draft choices to make their roster more complete. As it stands, the Wolves only have 8 or 9 guys who are clearly NBA players. They desperately need more talent, more athleticism and more potential. Using these two picks to find the combination of a high scoring shooting guard and a talented young center prospect seem the way to go.
When you’re as low as the Wolves are, it’s imperative to take risks and force yourself into opportunities. This draft appears to be an example of opportunity knocking loudly. Come on, Wolves. Open the door.
Update: The Wolves chose Derrick Williams and were ultra-aggressive in trading their picks. They got a lot done but appear to still be moving along the margins instead of making moves toward immediate success. Perhaps they anticipate next year's draft being so strong that they can make a quantum leap after the draft/free agency periods of next summer. Perhaps.