Blog Entry

The Three Candidates

Posted on: June 24, 2010 1:11 pm
Wes Johnson, SF Syracuse

What’s Good
- Super athletic
- Good, clean jump shot
- Great transition player
- Has physical tools to be a solid defender
- Low maintenance, positive chemistry guy

What’s Bad
- He’ll be 23 years old when next season starts
- Troubles creating own shot
- Ability to get to free thrown line
- Played Zone D in college
- Limited upside

Why The Wolves Will Draft Him
- Wesley Johnson represents the most glaring need for the Wolves. His ability to shoot, run the floor and defend NBA wings would immediately upgrade the team significantly. Some compare his upside to Shawn Marion, but I think an unselfish version of Rudy Gay with defensive commitment is more appropriate. If that’s true I think he warrants a pick at #4. Plus, I think the criticisms of his game are overrated. Most notably, his age. Remember, he sat out an entire season due to a transfer. Take that away and he’s the same age as Evan Turner. Another overrated knock is the fact that he played in the Syracuse zone, which means he’ll struggle with man. Let’s keep it in perspective, he played one season at Syracuse. His previous two years in college and high school he played man. Given his size and athletic ability, he should be able to thrive as a defender at the next level.

Derrick Favors, PF Georgia Tech

What’s Good
- Athletic freak
- Ridiculously strong already for age (19)
- Strong defender/shot blocker
- Tons of upside, pure talent to be a superstar
- Seems like a solid character guy

What’s Bad
- Very raw, will need years to develop
- Not much offensive polish, relies on athleticism to score
- Somewhat unknown ability due to college system
- Motor and passion for the game are questionable
- Passive on the court at times

Why The Wolves Will Draft Him?
- Derrick Favors represents the most upside in this draft. If John Wall can be Chris Paul, then Favors can be Dwight Howard. Given the premium on size, I think most owners take Howard over Paul. Of course, Wall still deserves to go #1 because he’s much closer to reaching his potential, whereas Favors has a lot more room to grow or even possibly bust. Drafting Favors would initiate a roster revolution that would start with the dealing of Al Jefferson or Kevin Love and so in a way, it would be the least convenient of the three possible picks. Despite that, Favors still represents a no brainer pick at #4 because of his immense potential and the allure of eventually paring him with Ricky Rubio to form the next Steve Nash/Amare Stoudemire duo.

DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C Kentucky

What’s Good
- Refined offensive skill set
- Very young, lots of potential
- Runs floor pretty well for his size
- Plays with a mean streak
- Good passer

What’s Bad
- Poor conditioning, aka overweight
- On and off court attitude concerns
- Immaturity, even considering his age
- Plays below the rim
- Played against much smaller opponents in college

Why The Wolves Will Take Him
- DeMarcus Cousins averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds a game as a freshman at Kentucky last year. Most impressively, he did so in only 22 minutes a game. That projects out to some pretty gaudy numbers if prorated out. At only 19 years of age the kid has incredible potential. Less concerning than his physical liabilities are the major red flags surrounding his attitude and psyche. He’s demonstrated a notable lack of composure in the past and investing millions of dollars and the future of your franchise in someone like that is a risky proposition for a team like the Wolves who can’t afford any more draft day debacles. Consider this: what would DeMarcus Cousins had been like if he were on the Wolves last season during a 15 win campaign? Can you imagine him staying positive, cheering his teammates on and remaining optimistic about the growth of the team? I can’t either, which is why I would be surprised if Cousins goes #4 on Thursday night.


Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: June 27, 2010 12:10 pm

The Three Candidates

Being a Syracuse fan I watched Wes Johnson quite a bit last year.  The striking thing is that you never actually watch him or even notice him but at the end of the day he put up good numbers.  I think the biggest problem for him is his aggressiveness and mentality towards the game.  If someone else can lead him he will be a valuable player on a contender.  He passes well, shoots well and can certainly athlete up if he needs to.  If someone can drag the animal out of him he could be an assassin. 

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2010 12:45 pm

The Three Candidates

Agreed, a strong post. Turns out we only had a shot at two of the candidates as Favors went third. And we chose Wes Johnson.

I have been down on the Timberwolves since the Joe Smith fiasco, losing all those 1st round picks for an ailing veteran that did little to help the club advance. Years of rotten luck in the lottery; more than that in terms of poor draft choices, and the Glen Taylor who weasled his way into ownership at the ezpense of ethics.

We are doomed to karmic failure until Taylor hands off the team to a sports guy. Someone, anyone, who can see the lack of strength and characteer from front office to the court. I was happy to see Minnesota free Kevin Garnett, his years as a prisoner of futility a sentence greater than any superstar should have to bear.

Since: Apr 18, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2010 11:48 pm

The Three Candidates

This is one of the best posts I have ever read on CBS Sports.  It was well thought out and very well written.  I live in Minnesota and this is better than any of the draft coverage in our paper.


Well done.

Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2010 10:35 pm

The Three Candidates

Wesley Johnson will be a superstar and is exactly what the T'Wolves need.  Plus, the fact that he was teamates with Jonny Flynn two years ago will add to the team chemistry.  Flynn and Johnson will be a deadly combination for years to come.  I think the T'wolves will be competitive next year.  Maybe not competitive enough to make the playoffs in the always tough western conference, but give them two or three years and they will be there again.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2010 4:59 pm

The Three Candidates

I hope you're right - I have never been a Wolves fan and have no interest in becoming one. I watched Cousins every game last year and the development was amazing - he literally was a different player at the end of the year. In Kentucky's storied history, no freshman has ever gathered more rebounds; he is second all-time in scoring (to Wall) and third in blocks.  The NBA draft is all about potential, and IMHO, any team that passes on DeMarcus will regret it!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or