1. Trade the Pick
- The Wolves absolutely want to win now. Check that, need to win. David Kahn’s job likely depends on it. Rick Adelman, who maybe has one or two years left, is probably demanding it. Sustaining the momentum made with the fan base means they have to win now. I think the most likely scenario is that the pick gets dealt, probably in a package with other assets. For the record, I’m all in favor of dealing this pick but only if it goes towards a legit player.
2. Terrence Ross, SG WASHINGTON
- Ross remains the most ideal mix of talent and team need. He’s got size, athleticism and a legit 3 point range. He’s also a true SG, and mercifully removes the novelty from the SFs and PGs that the Wolves have attempted to start at the position over the past few seasons. I think there is a good chance that Ross will be available at #18, although apparently he’s been gaining buzz in recent days. If Ross goes before #18 I can almost guarantee that someone will be available here that wasn’t supposed to be.
3. Will Barton, SG Memphis
- An underrated prospect at this point. Great height at 6’6” and an explosive all around scorer, but the main knock is that he’s rail thin. Like, Corey Brewer thin. That sort of comparison will take him out of the running right off the bat with a lot of Wolves fans. #18 would be a bit of a reach but there’s no denying the talent. He averaged 18 ppg last season to go with an impressive 8 rebs a game, which might somewhat calm fears that he can’t be physical. Another big thing about Barton is that he’s an emotional (in a good way) type player. Highly vocal, plays with incredible passion. I like players like that. One final bit here, if you’re into reading the clues and whatnot, the Wolves only worked out two legitimate 1<sup>st</sup> round players, Barton and Royce White. Could mean something, could mean nothing. We’ll see.
4. Royce White, F IOWA STATE
- If Derrick Williams wasn’t in the mix I would say White had a much better chance of being the pick here. If Williams gets dealt during the draft, as many are predicting, White has a great chance of being the pick. He’s an intriguing talent. A lot of players get the ‘point forward’ title but White is the real deal. He’s an amazing passer for his size and counters with great power in the post. There is upside in this pick, which is why I’d prefer White over some random SG who just happens by title to fill a need.
5. Fab Melo, C SYRACUSE
- This pick makes sense but will make a lot of Wolves fans cringe for two reasons. One, he’s not a wing player, their most dire position of need, and two, he’s from Syracuse, a seriously negative stigma in Wolvesland thanks to Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson. But like I said, the pick makes sense. Almost as much as a SG, the Wolves were painfully inadequate in the shot blocking department last season. Melo averaged 3 blocks a game. His offensive game is raw at best but with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic on board that isn’t a huge deal. Finally, Melo represents upside. There’s definite risk but at this point in the draft why not go for a homerun?
6. Moe Harkless, SF ST. JOHNS
- I think there’s virtually no chance Harkless goes before #18. He’s got supreme athleticism and a lot of room still to grow. The problem, and it’s a big one, is that he’s not a good shooter. I just don’t see a scenario in which the Wolves take a wing who can’t shoot. Plus, I could only see them taking a SF who they think can be better than Derrick Williams. I doubt that person is Harkless.
7. Tyler Zellers, C UNC
- Same logic as Melo. Zellers is more polished and has less of a bust potential. That being said, his ceiling isn’t nearly as high and if you take Zellers I think you’re basically admitting you’re okay with getting an 8<sup>th</sup> and 9<sup>th</sup> man in a winning rotation. That’s too boring for me. Roll the dice.
8. Quincy Miller, SF Baylor
- Terrific size at 6’10” for a SF. Good shooter, worldly athleticism, tons of potential. The deal breakers: he’s rail thin and doesn’t really know how to play basketball. He also didn’t demonstrate a ton of success in coming back from an ACL tear. The Wolves want to win now so taking a total project like Miller doesn’t seem likely. On the flip, if you’re looking for a total and complete payoff/gamble type pick, this could be it.
9. Austin Rivers, SG DUKE
- This would be the ideal pick, in my opinion. I love Rivers’ game. A lot of people are down on him because they say he’s a diva. I don’t see it. To me, the knocks on Rivers remind me of the knocks that prevented Steph Curry from being a top 5 pick a few years back – they’re just white noise. Rivers will be long gone by #18 but if by some miracle he’s still on the board he’s a no-brainer pick.
10. Bradley Beal, SG FLORIDA
- A long shot, but also some reason to it. The Wolves could deal Williams to move up to #2 and take Beal. It’s one of the few Williams trade scenarios that actually makes sense from a Wolves perspective. Replace potential with potential, except for the new potential fills your #1 need. If they could somehow do that while keeping #18 and then with the pick snag Royce White I’d safely label this draft a massive win.
Others….Dion Waiters, SG SYRACUSE; Jeremy Lamb, SG UCONN; John Henson, PF UNC; Jared Sullinger, PF OHIO STATE
- These guys all make sense for their own reasons but none of them, barring a fluke, are going to fall to #18. Waiters and Lamb would be worthy of SG consideration but they’ll both be gone in lottery. If Henson or Sullinger do manage to fall, this pick is probably getting traded.
What do you think? What are you hoping for?