- We’ll update our Team Capsules with more specific info once the lottery is complete.
2008-09 Record: 24-58
Draft Picks: Projected No. 5, No.18 via Miami, No. 28 via Boston, No. 45, No. 47.
How They Got Here: There were basically three seasons within one for the Wolves: the one with Randy Wittman as coach, the one with Kevin McHale as coach and Al Jefferson in the line-up and the one with McHale but without Jefferson. As most teams do with Randy Wittman as coach, the Wolves stunk the first part of the season, going 4-16. They then lost eight straight to start the McHale era but then went 13-9 until Feb. 8 when Jefferson destroyed his knee. The rest of the way they were 7-25 with rookie Kevin Love the only real bright spot, averaging nearly a double-double in just 25 minutes per game. Oh and Mark Madsen shot less than seven three pointers in every game he played.
What They Need: The frontcourt of Jefferson and Love seems like one for the future although it’s pretty undersized. With three first-round picks it makes sense for the Wolves to take an athletic shot blocker with one of their first two picks. They also get absolutely no scoring from their wing players: the solid but not exactly prolific Ryan Gomes, the giant draft bust Corey Brewer, and the Hair of Mike Miller, who is almost certainly not going to return next season. Point guard should be all set with a surprisingly solid Sebastian Telfair and combo guard Randy Foye, who had a quiet breakout season last year.
Who They'll Take: If you’re in the camp that thinks Hasheem Thabeet or Jordan Hill are going to be top-notch big men in the NBA, you probably think it would make sense for the Wolves to take one of them… and you probably are going to be wrong. To use a top pick on a guy who wouldn’t start over Love or Jefferson, maybe ever, is risky. I’m not exactly sure Minnesota can take a risk on a wait-and-see guy like DeMar DeRozan or Tyreke Evans but that’s the type of versatile, athletic scorer they need on the wing. James Harden would be nice although it’s questionable how effective he can be with Jefferson, Foye and Love needing as many touches as they do. With the later picks, guys like BJ Mullens and James Johnson would be interesting as would wings like Wayne Ellington, Terrence Williams or Sam Young. The Wolves can’t afford to screw up this draft.
Minnesota Timberwolves Draft History (since 2001)
2008: OJ Mayo (No. 3, traded to
Memphis for Kevin Love), Nikola Pekovic (31)
2007: Corey Brewer (7), Chris Richard (41)
2006: Randy Foye (7), Craig Smith (36), Loukas Mavrokefalidis (57)
2005: Rashad McCants (14), Bracey Wright (47)
2004: Blake Stepp (59)
2003: Ndudi Ebi (26), Rick Rickert (55)
2002: Marcus Taylor (52)
2001: Loren Woods (46)
Stephen Curry - PG/SG - Davidson
Tyreke Evans - PG/SG - Memphis
Blake Griffin - PF - Oklahoma
James Harden - SG - Arizona State
Jordan Hill - PF - Arizona
Ty Lawson - PG - UNC
BJ Mullens - C - Ohio State
Ricky Rubio - PG - DKV Joventut
Brandon Jennings - PG - Arizona
Hasheem Thabeet - C - UCONN