Since all the Minnesotian members of our TWolvesBlog staff get to do fun things tonight like go to NBA City and the team's draft party, it's up to our only East-coast resident, yours truly, to hold down the fort and provide our draft coverage for this evening. Initially, I was thinking of going with a live blog, but decided against it when I realized I would need a good 15-20 minutes to pick up the pieces of my exploded head should McHale & Co. select Brook Lopez with tonight's third pick. Instead, I'm armed with a TiVo and a bottle of Xanax and will go with a more manageable running diary. For the sake of making this interesting, I'm only going to cover the first few picks up until the point to where I'm comfortable the Wolves have solidified their top pick and no trades are looming on the horizon. I mean, do any of us really care who Philadelphia or Houston selects? Here we go...
7:01 - Apparently OJ Mayo has the words "Sacrifice" and "Dedication" tatooed on his biceps. I'm not a big fan of body ink in general, but I like what he chose. Those don't seem like the tatoos of a self-centered jerk who is going to mail it in once he gets his first big contract.
7:02 - After ESPN finishes with their opening musical montage, I find myself slightly disappointed that there were no shots of the Lopez brothers walking around the Stanford campus with their Mickey ears, having a tickle fight, or giggling while reading the latest Archie comic together.
7:05 - Andy Katz reveals that the Bulls told him they're going with Rose. Way to ruin the suspense.
7:07 - Ric Bucher reveals that Pat Riley wanted Gay, Conley, and the #5 from Memphis in return for the #2. If that deal went down in the wake of the Gasol trade, I don't think any jury in America would convict the man who assassinated the Grizzles' GM.
7:09 - As the crew gushes over Derrick Rose, I'm getting very giddy that all the potential Michael Beasley trades are collapsing like decks of cards for Riley. Could Beasley possible be headed to Minnesota?
7:11 - Stu Scott cuts to Dick Vitale for some analysis. I cut to the mute button on my remote control.
7:16 - Derrick Rose's nickname growing up was "Pooh". In light of the "Doody" Ebi fiasco of 2003, I think I'd be leaning towards Beasley if I were Chicago.
7:18 - OJ Mayo just may be the most dapper looking draftee I've ever seen. I have yet to see any reason why a GM should question his character.
7:26 - Listening to all the analysts' final takes from the teams they're covering, I'm feeling more and more confident we won't see a trade from the Wolves regarding the #3. OJ or Beasley, here we come!
7:31 - David Stern takes the podium to a chorus of boos from the New York fans. How quickly they've forgotten Patrick Ewing and the frozen envelope...
7:32 - Stern is really missing the boat here. Had he come out to Vince McMahon's "No Chance" music and flipped the bird to the New York crowd, it very well may have been the crowning moment of his career. There's still time for him to make the New Yorkers pay though. I think I'd stain my boxers if he kicked Danilo Gallinari in the groin following their handshake and then proceeded to pummel him with a steel chair.
7:37 - Stu Scott says "This is the first #1 pick for the Bulls since 1999". Wow, nine years. Why don't you twist the knife in the Timberwolves nation's collective back a little more, Stu?
7:38 - "Pooh" Rose is officially the #1 pick of 2008.
7:43 - Here we go... #2 is... Beasley.
7:44 - Uh oh. Mayo looks less than pleased. Can't blame him when you consider the respective pros and cons of South Beach vs. the Twin Cities. We'll see how this plays out though.
7:45 - With three minutes until the Wolves pick, I'm going to put down the laptop in case I have a rage blackout. After the season we just put up with, I don't think I could handle a Kevin Love or Brook Lopez right now. I might lose it.
7:49 - OVINTON J'ANTHONY MAYO! OVINTON J'ANTHONY MAYO! OVINTON J'ANTHONY MAYO!
7:51 - Watching OJ in that smooth alternate logo cap, I can't help but think this may one day rank right up there with the '95 draft as a watershed moment in Wolves history.
7:52 - Riley looks slightly deflated during his interview. He totally sounds like he's being forced to praise Beasley. Figure it out - OJ Mayo wasn't even my top choice and I'm beaming right now .
7:54 - Surprise, surprise! Seattle takes Russell Westbrook with #4. How far could Brook Lopez fall at this point? The double digits certainly aren't out of the question. I guess getting blocked by Jim Petersen during a workout will do that to you.
7:57 - A small bit of vomit rises in the back of my throat as I realize my nightmare of a Heat/Grizzlies/Wolves trade may actually come to pass if Kevin Love is drafted at #5.
8:01 - With the #5, the Memphis Grizzlies select Kevin Love. At this point, the only thing keeping the tension from completely doing me in is the look on Brook Lopez's face. Priceless.
8:02 - After watching a big white guy with a buzz cut put on their hat, I think all Grizzlies fans (all twelve of them) are having traumatic flashbacks to the "Big Country" Reeves era.
8:06 - Love's father just mentioned he's been showing the future #69 old video footage of McHale. I'm dying here. I'm sitting in utter panic, just waiting for the words "this just in" and a trade breakdown graphic to take over the sceen.
8:08 - The Knicks take Gallinari at #6 to a chorus of boos. So much for that reporter who alluded earlier that New York would be selecting a point guard. After watching this draft play out, I'm beginning to believe that the league's GM have had a running inside joke where they all decided to feed the analysts tons of ridiculous lies.
8:09 - Gallinari: "New York is the best city in the world"
The Knicks fans: "Booooooooooooooo!"
Yout gotta love the New York fans. I can't for the life of me figure out who they'd rather have selected. In my opinion, Danilo at #6 is pretty solid. I've come to the conclusion that they've just been completely decimated by the Isaiah Thomas era and simply no longer know any other way to respond NBA-related news.
8:15 - I don't want to jynx anything, but I would think that if the Miami/Memphis/Minnesota trade were to go down, we'd have heard by now. Then again, these deals can be complicated. I'm getting a mental image of Fred Hoiberg wrestling the phone away from Kevin McHale as he's desperately trying to take back Mark Blount's contract to finalize his trade for Kevin Love.
8:19 - After the Bucks take Alexander as expected, Brook Lopez remains undrafted. With OJ Mayo seemingly destined to stay a Timberwolf, the only thing that could make this night better would be Robin getting drafted ahead of him.
8:23 - Stu Scott points out that Larry Brown and Michael Jordan will make the next pick . I can't fathom a scenario where those two guys take a guy like Brook Lopez. Then again, they do desperately need a center...
8:25 - D.J. AUGUSTINE!
8:25 - Oh my goodness! Brook Lopez is crying! And yes, I am a despicable human being.
8:29 - When you wish upon a star... New Jersey selects Brook Lopez at #10. Double digits just like I predicted.
And with that, I'll wrap things up. It looks like the Wolves managed to avoid their Love and Lopez infatuations and walk away with the best player available on the board. With Big Al and OJ, the future certainly looks bright in Minnesota.
That's something we haven't been able to say since 2004.