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Smack / Jun 26, 2009 / 3:50 am

Wolves make waves on Draft Night; Vince goes to Orlando

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio

Say this much for new Timberwolves GM David Kahn: He might be the worst comedian in the NBA (his jokes last night bombed like Kramer on “Comicview”), but in the few weeks he’s been on the job, he’s made the Wolves relevant for the first time since they had KG. In almost every media outlet’s recap of last night’s NBA Draft, the Wolves were one of the lead stories, with half the experts thinking they killed it and deserved an A+, and the other half wondering if Kahn is smoking that same stuff Prince had when he made Graffiti Bridge … The Wolves used the 5th pick on Ricky Rubio, then took Jonny Flynn with the 6th pick. They also snatched up Ty Lawson 18th (later trading him to Denver) and Nick Calathes (later trading him to Dallas) in the second round — so before the trades took effect, using four of their six picks on point guards. (Wayne Ellington and Dutch big man Henk Norel were the other two.) Rumors are swirling that Rubio or Flynn will be traded, but if not, that means the Wolves essentially used a Top-6 pick on a backup, because both of them can’t start. Dick Vitale screamed that a Rubio/Flynn backcourt “will get a coach fired,” but Kahn said in an on-air interview that he sees Flynn as a scoring point guard (maybe like Steve Francis?) and Rubio as a playmaker, as if he wants both of them to start … The top three picks went according to planBlake Griffin to the Clippers, Hasheem Thabeet to Memphis, Professor James Harden to Oklahoma City — before Sacramento made the first slightly surprising move by taking Tyreke Evans 4th, setting the stage for the Wolves to really shake things up … At #7, Nellie pissed off a room full of Knicks fans by taking Stephen Curry right before New York had a chance to get him, leaving poor Jordan Hill to get booed by the MSG hooligans. DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) and Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee) rounded out the top ten … Funniest moment of the night: Jennings decided last-minute to skip the Green Room, but after the Suns took Earl Clark 14th (rumored to be part of an Amar’e Stoudemire trade to Golden State), Jennings popped up onstage out of order to shake David Stern‘s hand. Yes, we had our first instance of a dude technically being late to the Draft … On the low, the biggest winners last night may have been the Raptors. They had a need for an athletic wing player, they filled it with DeRozan, and then called it a night. Mission accomplished … The biggest loser? DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Chase Budinger dropped way lower than anyone would have predicted, but it has to be Patty Mills. We thought he could very easily go in the first round, yet he didn’t go until the Blazers took him at 55. Fifty-five! Some of the dudes picked ahead of Mills — like Indiana taking A.J. Price, the Hornets getting Marcus Thornton, some of the standard 2nd-round Euros you’ve never heard of — just didn’t make sense … And the strangest pick of the night: Taylor Griffin going to Phoenix 48th. That must have been an inside joke between Steve Kerr and Robin Lopez. Next year expect the Suns to take Ben Hansbrough … Although the Shaq trade went down on Wednesday, it still dominated ESPN’s draft broadcast yesterday, signficantly overshadowing the Vince Carter trade. Would this new version of the Cavs knock off the new Magic if they met in a series now? … We’re out like DeJuan’s first-round money …

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  • yw

    1st. Rubio is going to the Knicks to team up with LBJ in 2010.

  • sh!tfaced

    2nd. Darko is going to the Knicks to team up with LBJ in 2010.

  • My Rant

    Can somebody tell me about the rumored Amar’e Stoudemire trade to Golden State trade?

    Is Steve Kerr trying to be the next Isiah Thomas, i mean the sun’s have got to get rid of him before he does anymore damage!!! I mean Taylor Griffin!!! Give me a break!

    Poor Patty Mills, I feel for the guy. Suns should have drafted him as a backup to Nash instead of Taylor Griffin!

    I mean Taylor Griffin, somebody tell me it’s a joke! How the fuck does this guy get drafted! Taylor Griffin is gettin free money! Damn Taylor Griffin!!!

  • thomasmmm

    CLE v ORL – shooters + lack of perimeter defense killed Cavs, word war come playoffs between Shaq “the Big OH” and Dwight. PHX is looking to run once again. run or rebuild.

  • knock knock

    What did people want Minni to do with their picks? Draft a crappy shooting guard like derozan or some forward/center that has few skills just because it fills a position?

    -They obviously did a good draft. Why would you draft a rookie pg and give him the keys to the team without earning it??! let em compete for the spot if Rubio is so “amazing” or if this is yi jianlian all over again.

    -Hilarious that Rubio and his Advisors talked about how this kid just wanted some “minutes.” Now he’s going to have to prove himself just to get more pt than johnny flynn. Sorry, but im in the camp that thinks flynn will eat him alive with his tough defense and the quickness.

    Did anyone forget that sebastian telfair is in Minny? You better get a couple more pgs then.

  • Big Sneezy

    I don’t understand the wasted picks starting in the late 1st/early 2nd. Suns with Taylor Griffin, Cavs with who knows at 30. Hell, the Suns with Earl Clark at 14. I mean, could Blair or Young or Budinger or Mills be a little more valuable there, if not as a contributor than as a piece in a trade? I dunno. I guess we can only wait and see. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve Kerr and the Suns part ways before the summer league is starts.

    Anyhow, I has to think the T-Wolves are shipping Rubio to NYC for…David Lee? Duhon? I’m not sure, but the Flynn/Rubio thing smells real fishy to me.

  • jay

    Yeah, the Rubio and Flynn selections are tough to figure. Both of them are full-time points, they’re used to having the ball in their hands all the time. It’s going to be real awkward for both to flip between standing around and playing points. That doesn’t put either in a position to succeed.

    I think it’s worse for Rubio. At least Flynn will go up against other point guards because he has no other choice at his size. But Rubio will have to compete against other 2 guards. He has to go up against much tougher defenders than he would face playing point guard. He also loses the one physical plus tool he enjoyed: good size for his position. He was already stretching it athletically–the guy can hardly jump, he shoots like a player from the 1960s–now he’s actually even slightly undersized when you factor in his 6’7 wingspan.

  • BRUCE

    I notice Dick Vitale did not say his usual line, “Yeeeaahhh BABY!”

  • ricky

    I still think Minnesota should have gone with Curry instead of Flynn. Curry is bigger, stronger, better shooter, more marketable, and a bigger trade bait if that’s what they want to do. Flynn is too small to do anything relevant in the NBA.

  • JL

    Expect P Mills to earn mad respect over the next 12 months…55 reasons to have a massive chip on his shoulder – go get ‘em Patty!

    I hope he plays in that number or gets it tattooed on his forehead to keep him rolling – Watch your back J Bayless…

  • parinaz suns

    I’m starting to really believe that Kerr is actively trying to become the worst GM in history, and Sarver is trying to disgust all Suns fans from coming to any games next season.

  • BRUCE

    At Post #2 — Here you go. Got it off another site.

    The Warriors’ potential trade for Amare Stoudemire. As widely reported, the trade couldn’t be completed until July 1 because of the base-year status of Warriors’ center Andris Biedrins, who would be in the package going to Phoenix. The Suns would also receive Stephen Curry, who was picked No. 7 pick by Golden State and would go to Phoenix as part of the deal.

  • Kevin Nostradamus Love

    Minny deserves an A+ for taking the best player available no matter the position. For example, if Matt Millen listened to the critics and didn’t take the best player available the Lions would never have gotten a superstar WR like Calvin Johnson. It’s great to finally have a GM that knows what he is doing in Minny.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    After living in AZ for 6 years before coming NWest, I can Say this: FIRE STEVE KERR! FIRE STEVE KERR! FIRE STEVE KERR!

    I think I heard an echo in America West…what a tool

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    The Cavs must still be high on JJ Hickson, even though he was wearing a suit for the whole playoffs, to have not taken Blair.

  • BR

    Marcus Thorton is the real deal. I’ve seen him play live a couple times, and also went early to some games just to watch him shoot. I think that he landed right were he should have, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if he went in the late 30’s or early 50’s…Mills should’ve been picked earlier though.

  • BRUCE

    Dionte XMAS did not get drafted?
    What about that Texas Longhorns shooter?

    Dime, I know you are working on it.

  • KB24

    Abrams from Texas? not drafted…I don’t think. AJ price that low too….I believe he is a steal. Jennings playing for the Bucks? Who is he gonna give dimes to?

  • mike

    how is no one talking about the spurs…they needed a backup big and dajuan blair falls to them in the 2nd round…

    he essentially has to come and just be the 4th big behind Duncan, Bonner, Gooden and just be the rebounder that he is

    and they still got TP, Mason JR, Jefferson, Ginobili, Finley, Udoka, George Hill…and you know Bowen is coming back after getting bought out

    Just more craftiness by RC Buford and Pop

  • steve nasty

    Steve Kerr what a loser…….. Griffin before Mills

  • Kobeef

    Dajuan Blair fell because he got red flagged for his knee injuries and team doctors would not sign off on him. I hope they are wrong but one NBA exec said “doctors know more now than they used to” which is saying with the technology we have we can tell that Blair’s knees are not long for this world.

    To those who didn’t catch it last night you should search for Steve Kerr’s draft interview. He said:

    “we are not a championship team any more so we are are transitioning, we are exploring options to get cap flexibility and young talent”

    I think it was the most blatant white flag waiving I’ve ever heard from an NBA GM.

  • mules

    @#9
    No way in hell is Curry stronger than Flynn. As for the marketability issue, have you noticed the banner ads on this site for the past week?

  • shake&bake

    @13 – Using Matt Millen in to backup your argument is an awful idea.

  • Kudabeen

    Wolves need to trade picks with Sacramento pronto! Looking at Rubio’s face when they mentioned him staying warm was telling that his people may force a trade or he is back overseas. I don’t know how eager he is to just be in the L without being in the right situation. Wolves got two great picks, but they need to move on of those PGs. I’m sure there is another time that would really Love one of them. (Sac, Detroit, Portland?)

    Blair, Young, Chase all fall is crazy. They are going to really improve their respective teams.

    Memphis instantly has a much better more balanced team. Carroll and Young are studs. Thabeet will help them run as he did with UConn. I really like what they did.

    Sixers getting Jrue…ah…I don’t know how to feel about that. I don’t see him as a great game changer, but he is young and is a bigger PG that will run with us. I have to see more of him. I just don’t like how quiet the Sixers were when guys were getting snatched up for nothing (cash, future 2nd round picks)…We can always bring in Christmas and try to package Dalembert and Willie in some kind of trade. I still want to go after Sessions and Gortat…We’ll see…

    Utah had a great draft! Sutton fits there more than anywhere. He is Memo-lite. Maynor is solid backup to complement and play with Deron in the backcourt at times.

    I love Earl Clark with the Suns. He is a better version of Diaw. I just hope they allow him to grow and push him to compete. If they pull off that trade with GS it is a win for the Suns, not so much for GS.

    I’m still just confused by what the Wolves did.

    Also Lakers made a really weak play. I really think they could’ve got a good 2nd round pick like Chase or Young that could help now and upgrade their backup wing position, but I guess they are going to hold on to Sasha and Trevor.

  • what-beef

    why the f**k did the wolves draft 4 point guards, and why did they waste the 6th pick on a back up rookie pg for the starting rookie point gurad would they be better having a bit of experience behing rubio!

    So why not draft curry instead of flynn given them a scorer and shooter from the outside to pair up in the back court with rubio!!!! Then they could have the youngster startin 5 in the league, they would still suk next year but wud be a watch for the future! Love, jefferson, brewer, curry, rubio!

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    The Hornets going with Thornton over Mills doesn’t make sense? They’d just drafted CP’s backup in the first round in Darren Collison. What do they want two backup PGs for? They’re not Minnesota or something….

  • E$

    Did not watch one second of the draft. MJ>>>>>>>>>>>>>NBA Draft

  • wolves fan

    Curry blows. The 2 guys we didnt want anything to do with were Thabeet and Curry. Curry is a good story but at 6 it would have made me puke.

  • Skipper

    Just gonna repost my thoughts on the trade:

    ‘QQ goes hard like carmello / QQ make these niggas look yellow
    QQ livin big like amar’e / QQ makes these niggas look sorry’

    ‘Also, QQ probably aint commented on Vince yet cuz he’s too busy celebrating. That move is trouble for my Celtics’

    Haha. Made me laugh yall.

    Yall know that I’m not a big VC fan. He’s getting almost the same hate from as TMac. I call them the ‘Soft as pudding cousins’ remember?

    This is why:

    1. Carter is a gunner. Even with all the ‘He is now mature’ talk, a gunner will always have that rabid urge to shoot the ball. It never goes away completely.

    2. Carter, IMO, doesn’t play with heart. I dunno, but I prefer solid players that play hard over superstars that are soft.

    3. Chemistry. Hmmm.. Will he and Dwight mesh? Will he accept his role? How about Turk, our fourth quarter guy, how will he play with a wing scorer by his side?

    Of course, this is good news for the fact the my Magic are now really gearing up for the chip.

    Teams don’t make moves like these if they ain’t getting ready to dominate. That is ALWAYS a good sign.

    About VC though… I REALLY FUCKING HOPE HE’LL GET IT THIS TIME.

  • QQ

    ^Sorry… Used the ‘Skipper’ nickname.

    LOL. That bitch who uses my name is so fucking irritating,I figured I use another name to still represent the Magic.

  • Kobeef

    @QQ/Skipper

    You think the Magic are going to re-sign Turk now that they have VC? I am hearing that Turk is out after the VC trade.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @skipper

    Now that the magic have vince there’s no way they’re resigning hedo.

  • doc

    Uh oh Rubio’s worst nightmare just happened.Now Flynn is gonna show him everyday just how much better he is than him.I like Minny picks though.Rubio Flynn and Ellington.Good job.San An came up with Blair too.His knees might not hold up for 10 but Im sure Pop will take 3 good years starting NOW.JRUE HOLIDAY!Dont know much but I hope u as tough as I heard.

  • Dagomar

    Kerr is as bad a GM as he was a good sports journalist and shooter before that. That said, his hands have been tied by Sarver. Both of them ruined the Suns, but if I have to give one the majority of the blame it would be Sarver. As for the Carter trade, I’m not as high on it as most people seem to be. The Magic beat teams last year not just because of their big three, but because of their depth. Not many teams have great role players who can shoot and play D. Carter is a nice piece but the Magic needed a slasher, and I’m not sure that’s Carter at age 32. I also think Carter’s late-game record is very inflated. Right now if the two teams met I’d give it to the Cavs. If they can cover Howard like the Lakers did they’ve got a shot, and the Magic just shot the lights out against the Cavs; not sure if that could last.

    Like the Raps pickup in the draft, but the Wolves confuse me. Rubio is a great pickup but getting Flynn is weird. If both start one will get eaten alive by opposing 2’s. If one starts at a time neither will get enough playing time and a Ford/Calderon situation could develop. I also didn’t like Kahn’s trade to the Wizards, so I’m just going to assume Kahn is a shitty GM for now. Should be nothing new for Wolves fans.

  • Dagomar

    I should have made clear that I thought the Magic gave up some really nice role players to get Carter, by the way.

  • flavur

    all the teams that slept on Dejuan Blair will be sorry for not picking him up he’s one of those diamonds in the rough the same with sam young who the hornets were dumb enough not to take the spurs were the best team getting richard jefferson at the 99 cent store and now 2 good players that were slept on in the draft pop and the spurs have done it again.

  • QQ

    @ 31 and 32:

    I am optimistic that they will, but yeah, they probably won’t. But I guess the grit and passion he contributed to the Finals run has really endeared him to us Magic fans, and management will surely find a way to address that.

  • Michorizo

    Tyreke Evans… I am going to root for the Kings now. Tyreke is the man. He will be the best player in this draft!

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    I thought the Hornets were going to take Blair but apparently he was never on their board. I guess they were scared of his knees like everyone else. If Hansbrough wasn’t available they were always going to take a guard. According to Byron Scott on the radio they wanted Collison, Maynor, Teague, or Thornton. Ended up getting two of them.

  • MSkittle

    My thoughts on the draft= Great trades for Orlando and Atlanta. I cant believe Minnesota drafted so many point guards.. I think Jennings, Evans, and Griffin will be very good.. I like how most of the players talked and conducted themselves.. I have a feeling that Rubio will be a bust. I love Curry’s game but was surprised that Golden State went for another shooter like that… Was surprised MJ drafted a Duke guy.. But the fact that Gerald Henderson loves golf means that he’ll be playing a lot with MJ lol.. Jordan Hill seems like he could be a Mikki Moore type..

    The Nets and Suns are screwing up their teams. I am surprised the Bucks went with a PG because they already have 2 good ones. I think Hansborough may end up being overrated and like a Mark Madsen type.. I like the trade for the Spurs and I hear the guys they drafted will contribute right away.

  • Kobeef

    @QQ

    That would be pretty wild if the Magic kept Hedo but I am not sure they need him now. Vince does everything Hedo can do and does it better (passing, shooting). On top of that he is only 2 years older than Hedo.

    I think the Magic would be better to go after a more skilled post player to put beside Dwight. They have more than enough players who can hit the 3 now (Carter, Rashard, Jameer) and should probably address the fact that Dwight’s offensive game is still very raw (option a and b are dunk..and those are the only options) .

  • Kobeef

    Off Topic but is it just me or has NBA.com been offline for the past 12 hours or more? That has to be pissing stern off

  • QQ

    @ Kobeef

    Well, VC does it better.. ON PAPER. We all know how it works, bro.

    That’s the thing about VC, man. Like TMac, you never know what you will get. Will he accept his role and do the things you said, like pass the ball? Or will he still be the bitch ass who whines a lot and is soft as shit?

    I mean, Hedo’s a goofy dude who shoots awkward jumpers, but he BRINGS IT EVERY SINGLE GAME. He plays hard, he plays with hard, he leads.

    I’ve gotta be honest, although I’m a VC hater, learning that he is now part of my team sparked some excitement in me. I’m not gonna lie. He’s a big name, and getting players like that always stirs things up.

    I just hope he becomes more than a just a name, and more of a player who plays hard and gives it all. In other words, a player who FINALLY do what it takes for his team to win.

  • QQ

    *he plays with HEART.

    LOL, sorry.

  • fallinup

    @ QQ

    I play with hard too. *wink wink

  • QQ

    @ fallinup

    HAHA!

    I was like ‘OH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’ when I saw my comment. LOL.

    YAY FOR UNINTENTIONAL SEXUAL INNUENDOS! hahaha.

  • Michorizo

    I like how stern brought #8 pick Jennings out after the 10th pick

  • Kobeef

    @QQ

    Yeah – I remember the last part of VC career in Toronto and it was ugly. The guy was clearly mailing it in.

    That said, I was blown away by the way he played last year. Not only was he an iron man (very non-vince behavior) but there were many nights where he was taking a back seat to Harris and dishing out a lot of assists. It is never certain but he seems to have finally turned the corner and is willing to to what it takes to make his team win..even if it isn’t good for his stats.

    I do like Hedo – and loved the “best in the league at making bad shots” status he achieved in the playoffs.

  • QQ

    @ Kobeef:

    I really really hope the new Vince will show up in Orlando.

    I am optimistic now.

    But if he goes back to his bitchass ways, I’ll burn him even if he’s on my team.

  • goonther

    the rockets are making crazy moves under the radar…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/news/story?id=4287786

  • Bizz

    Hedo’s as good as gone. He and VC wear #15 lol…who’s gonna assume ownership of the #, when both of them have an ego?

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    props to west conf playoff teams making lemonaide with low picks, like ticktock’s hornets and my jazz. so many pg’s in this draft, will any of them go beyond the hype and be all-stars/all-nba types? only time will tell.

  • QQ

    Milicic to New York?

    Damn, and he thought his time in Detroit were depressing.

    20 dollars days Darko’s eardrums will explode in his first game with the boos reaching tremendous sound levels.

  • QQ

    ^ 20 dollars SAYS

  • Big Sia

    Orlando is the best team in the NBA

    VC GETTING A RING

  • snook

    lol @ the steve kerr hate…

    BLAME SARVER YOU DUMMIES

  • Octopus Jonny

    @42, the Bucks only have ONE PG (and please don’t tell me Luke Ridnour is a “good” pg, I watched almost every Bucks game last year) on the roster before the Jennings pick. They gotta resign Sessions and trade Ridnour for fucking anything, I’ll take a box of Crayolas at this point (64 colors with the built in sharpener, who wants this trade!?)

    I’m big on a Sessions/Jennings PG tandem right now. I’m also still in shock that the Bucks didn’t fuck their draft in an epic way for once.

  • jay

    I like the Jennings pick a lot. I think he was the most talented player in the draft with Blake Griffin. The guy’s unbelievably fast and he can whip passes while he’s moving at jet speed. The first time that he turns on the afterburners and blazes from endline to endline, I think people are going to be mesmerized.

    The European decision really sabotaged his draft stock. Prior to going to Europe, he was a projected top 5 pick based on his athleticism, skills and what he was expected to do in college. He was the no.1 guy in his class. If he had just gone to college and even played only decently but showed oodles of potential, he would’ve gone higher than 10. Look at Demar Derozan: similarly very highly rate, had a so-so freshman year overall, struggled early, played better late and even though he’s raw, he goes at 10. Jennings, who is much more skilled, would’ve gone higher had he performed at Derozan’s level.

    I think Milwaukee got a steal.

  • Arno

    Rubio will never compete against flynn. Why ?

    1) Flynn is strong, quick, he is a great athlete. Rubio is only a basketball player. For instance, he knows every second where are his 4 team mates on the court. More importantly, he knows where they will be in the next 2 sec. Flynn just knows where the rim is.

    2) Rubio can stay in europe and make 2 to 4 million bucks p.a. ads and marketing fees notwithstanding. So he’ll stay put till the Wolfes transfer him in what he thinks is a good location.

  • Maynard

    I highly doubt that Minnesota took Rubio to keep him — at least I don’t think that was their original intention. Rubio has Skills with a capital S. But he doesn’t want to play there. The guy’s going to go back to Europe in lieu of playing up in the cold. They can lobby with him to come over in a few years, or they could trade him.

    That said, anyone who thinks Flynn is better than Rubio, give me a break. Put Flynn as the point guard for Spain, see how he does in the last Olympics. Flynn’s a tough, talented guy, but I wonder if he’s just a very good college player. Ty Lawson was viewed like that, and you see how far he slipped. How can we be sure Flynn’s any different?

  • Michorizo

    Tyreke Evans will be the best in this class and top tier in the NBA

  • knock knock

    lmao to the person above^^^

    You’re right, if flynn was the point guard of spain, he wouldn’t get more than 8 pts 3 assists. That is RUBIOS stat line if you even bothered to WATCH the olymnpics. Patty mills had better stats and game vs team USA. So, should patty mills have been drafted number 1?

  • thomasmmm

    can Rashard Lewis, VC and Dwight all enter the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest?

  • Maynard

    I watched the Olympics, thanks. Did you? A 17-year-old Rubio was impressive in a system that was not tailored to individual statistics, while playing on a loaded team where his role was not to score. In international ball, statistics don’t tell the story. Chris Bosh averaged 9 points in the Olympics, and I think that guy may have an NBA future. Jason Kidd started for the U.S. and averaged 1.6. You do what the team needs. And no, Patty Mills should not have been the No. 1 pick, though who didn’t think he’d go higher than he did?

    Kahn sent out a letter to Wolves ticketholders saying he intends to hold on to Rubio no matter how long it takes to get him there. Could be a while…

  • LakeShow84

    That Patty Mills dropping points on team USA arguement is so weak lol

  • LakeShow84

    Im just glad we drafted what we really needed..

    Scratch lol

  • nelson-philippines

    vince carter will fit for orlando’s team, but orlando must not give up rafer & courtney lee. howard, lewis, turk, carter and rafer is a great combination.

  • AZ

    PLEASE TRADED RUBIO, SOTA. JENNINGS WAS RIGHT! Shoulda ATLEAST paired him up with Curry, kahn.

  • QQ

    @ 67:

    They already did trade those guys you said.

  • JL

    @ 67

    Haha are you for real??? They must not give up Rafer and C Lee??? Do a little research man.

    Rafer was always headed back to NY – its a good situation for him and he will thrive if he can get some help outside of Yi.