If you went by the odds, entering last night’s NBA Draft Lottery, the Minnesota Timberwolves were slated to end up with the No. 2 overall pick. After a long, disappointing season that ended with a 15-67 record, all the T’wolves wanted was the No. 2 pick. Instead they will select fourth, behind the Wizards, 76ers and Nets.
That means that Minnesota is almost assured they wont get the player they’ve been targeting for months, Ohio State’s Evan Turner.
Even if the T’wolves had snagged the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft during the lottery, there was little chance they would have taken the consensus top player, Kentucky’s John Wall. Why? Because last year they spent two first round selections on point guards in Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn and Spain’s Ricky Rubio. In fact, when Minnesota picked Rubio (No. 5 overall) and Flynn (No. 6 overall) back-to-back, most observers thought there had been some sort of mistake. Nope. They wanted both players.
While Rubio continues to shine in Spain, Flynn had a decent rookie season, starting 81 games while averaging 13.5 points, 4.4 assists and 1.01 steals per game. Flynn also shot just 41.7 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from 3-point range. Not great numbers, but not horrible and he’ll surely improve.
What the T’wolves really need isn’t another point guard, they need a wing player who can come in and score immediately. Hence their love for Turner, who was college basketball’s best player this past season. As it sits right now, there’s no way Turner lasts past the 76ers or the Nets.
The Wolves have multiple picks to offer and will likely go hard at the 76ers, offering the No. 4 pick and either the No. 16 or No. 23 pick to move up just two spots. That would put the 76ers in position to snag one of the other players they love, either Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson or Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins.
Don’t count that scenario as a sure thing though. The 76ers might try to pull the trigger on an Andre Igoudala trade (finally) and then Turner could fit perfectly into their plans.
Right now, if everything stays the same, the Timberwolves will be stuck having to pick Johnson instead of the guy they really want.