Not much going on around your beloved Wolves these days, except mostly baseless draft and/or trade speculation. With that said, we'll try to bring all the Wolves news here to our loyal readers, especially anything breaking (ha.) And for any of you that somehow didn't know... the Lakers and Celtics are facing off (again) in the NBA Finals starting this Thursday night. The Celtics and Lakers have combined for 32 out of the 63 total NBA championships. That is sick and absurd. Anyways, I'll take the Celtics in 6. They've got the better team, despite the fact that the Lakers have the best player. Git it!!!
Ok, let's get to today's news:
NBA News and Draft Notes
From Bob Finnan at The News-Herald:
* Look for Timberwolves GM David Kahn to be active trying to trade up from the fourth pick to the second pick for a chance to take Turner. Don't be surprised if either Al Jefferson or Kevin Love is traded by draft night.
* If the Wolves stay at No. 4 and don't move either up or down, they'll likely choose from between Johnson, Cousins or possibly Wake Forest small forward Al-Farouq Aminu.
- Looks like he covered all the bases while saying nothing. We might trade up. We might not. We might trade Al or Love. We might stay at #4 and draft someone crappy. Thanks for nothing Bob.
More NBA News and Draft Speculation
From Ron Tillery at the Memphis Commerical Appeal:
Minnesota GM David Kahn is actively trying to trade up from the fourth pick to the second pick for a chance to take Ohio State's Evan Turner. Also, don't be surprised if either Al Jefferson or Kevin Love is traded by draft night.
- So he knows for sure that the Wolves are trying to trade up for the #2 pick? And that Love or Al could very well be traded? Or, perhaps he has the same "sources" as Mr. Finnan?
Calling All Athletes: TWolves Need Help. Now.
From Sam Louwagie at Bleacher Report:
Ryan Gomes and Damien Wilkins are both solid professionals and smart, veteran players. They both can offer solid contributions to a team, both tangible and intangible. But if they're your two small forwards, today's NBA is literally going to run past you.
Potential Future Wolves?
- Yes, it's pretty clear that the Wolves desperately need some win help. I think there a few more options than Mr. Louwagie listed in his article, but not bad.
TWolves #23 Pick: Defensive Post Player?
From Daniel Damico at Dunking With Wolves:
When a team has lottery pick in the NBA Draft, the teams are looking to find that franchise player. An athlete that has the ability, personality, potential and hype to become the face of the team and fill the arena.
Once outside the lottery and late into the first round and second rounds, teams start to take chances on players. While the first round is filled with potential, the second if filled with young international players, seasoned college players, and players that do one thing really well that makes them valuable.
You now why teams don’t use a lottery pick on a one dimensional players? Hasheem Thabeet.
Teams that use a high draft pick on a player who has shown very limited skills out-side that one specific skill, are typically disappointed.
If the Wolves keep their fourth pick and draft Wesley Johnson, and are able to land Luke Babbitt at sixteen, they will need to address the post with the twenty-third pick. And lucky, there are plenty of players who will be available at No. 23 that have the size and ability the Wolves need. Having three first round picks, the Wolves may be more willing to take a chance on a player with potential and “upside”.
- If we draft Wesley Johnson, Luke Babitt, and one of these defensive guys that he lists in his article, if THAT is the extent of our draft in the biggest off-season in this team's history... you might as well move this team to Vegas or Seattle right now. That draft/off-season would doom us to a decade of 15-20 win seasons.
Please click "Read More" for News from Around the NBA, a ROY arrest, and Finals Preview...
2010 NBA Finals Preview: Lakers -vs- Celtics
From Britt Robson at CNNSI.com:
Expect the Lakers to repeat for three reasons:
1. They have home-court advantage and are undefeated at the Staples Center this postseason.
2. Kobe Bryant will always find a way to win. It goes beyond the ridiculously difficult shots he routinely makes at the most opportune moments. There is a will to win emanating from Bryant that no other current player comes close to possessing. There is tremendous leadership -- born of wisdom and intuition -- in when he chooses to trust his teammates on the court and when he wrests the burden all for himself. Kobe has cut back on the pouting, he's eliminated the ego-driven need to withhold field-goal attempts to demonstrate his value, and he's minimized the fruitless arguments with the refs over frustrating calls. He's been all about the business of winning. LeBron James was the rightful MVP of the 2009-10 regular season. Kobe is in the process of earning the MVP of 2009-10 postseason.
3. They're the only team whose victories I've been able to accurately predict this postseason. Superstitious Celtic fans don't want to see me break the pattern and belatedly hop on their bandwagon.
But if they can overcome another home-court disadvantage and beat Kobe and the Zen Master, circa 2010, that 18th banner hanging from the rafters will be among the most impressive in their long and storied history. Lakers in seven.
- Booooo! Nooooo!!!
The Celtics Run to the Finals
From Ian Thomsen at CNNSI.com:
BOSTON -- This unlikely Celtics team is headed back to the NBA Finals, where they believe they belong. But how did they make it this far? The unlikeliest fingerprints on the Eastern conference trophy belonged to Nate Robinson, whose 13 improbable points turned second-quarter gloom into fourth-quarter chants of "Beat LA!"
The story of Robinson is the latest verse in a season-long narrative of pain and doubt and happy endings. Afterwards coach Doc Rivers traced their return to the Finals back 12 months to their Game 7 loss in the second round on this same court to these same Magic.
"You knew it wasn't going to happen last year," he said of Kevin Garnett's season-ending knee injury.
Orlando Magic Face Off-Season of Uncertainty
From Chris Mannix at CNNSI.com:
"It's as disappointing as it gets," Van Gundy said. "I've never won a championship. The only guy in our locker room that has is Jason Williams. If you haven't won a championship, every season ends in disappointment. I've been through it three times now where I've had teams that I thought were good enough to have a chance. So when it ends, it's an even bigger disappointment than in other years."
Van Gundy's frustration is more than understandable. The Cavaliers dripped with hype coming into the postseason, but it was the Magic who believed they were the ones with the substance. Sure, they were without they stylish Hedo Turkoglu, who sought greener pastures (and more green) in Toronto in the offseason. But this team had put together a star-studded supporting cast around All-Everything center Dwight Howard and had ballooned the payroll to $82 million (more when you factor in the luxury tax) in a not-so-subtle attempt to go all-in this season.
- At least they still have a good team. I'd take that at this point.
ROY Tyreke Evans Cited for Reckless Driving
Tyreke Evans, the NBA's reigning Rookie of the Year, was cited for reckless driving Monday night after he was clocked driving more than 100 miles per hour on a California highway.
The 20-year-old Evans and his passenger were briefly detained but were released after cooperating with police. Evans was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police said.
The posted speed limit where Evans was driving was 65 mph.
- Personally, I hope it's not anything worse than speeding. I like Tyreke.