Well then. David Kahn has gotten to work and pulled off his first trade. What does it mean? We won't know that until Thursday night is finished, but we do know Kahn was serious about shaking up the roster. In dealing starting guards Mike Miller (1 yr left at about $9 million) and Randy Foye (1 yr left on his rookie deal) to the Wizards for Etan Thomas (bye!), Darius Songalia (see ya!), Oleksiy Pecherov (I don't even know you) and the #5 pick, the Wolves are now the team to watch at tomorrow night's draft. They now hold FOUR 1st round picks at #5, 6, 18, and 28, and it makes zero sense to hang onto all four of them.
I hope- I really, really, REALLY hope- that Kahn's plan is to deal two of those to Memphis for the #2 pick to take Ricky Rubio. I know the Wolves have been rumored to love Hasheem Thabeet (and as you know, I'm on record as saying Thabeet will be a bust), but it doesn't make much sense to me to deal both your starting guards away and then take a center with your top pick. This is NOT a good draft and it's not deep, and after Griffin and Rubio it's filled with nothing but question marks. You're not getting Griffin away from the Clippers (what kind of world are we living in where the Clippers might actually do the smart thing?), so if you have an opportunity to get the other "as close to a sure thing as you can get" guy, you go get him.
If they have to give up 5 and 6, then make it happen. If you have to give up 6 and Kevin Love, or one of those two picks and another player not named Al Jefferson, you do it. The Wolves do not need four more rookies from a weak draft, they need a sure thing to go with Jefferson. They also should try and get Rubio's buddy Marc Gasol included in the deal. It would ease the culture shock from Spain to Minnesota, and if you start winning, you've got a chance to keep them around a long time.
After that, I'd package the rest of your picks to climb back into the top 12 to take either Earl Clark from Louisville or DeJuan Blair from Pitt. Clark's really the only other guy in this draft besides Griffin and Rubio with all-star potential, although his chances of reaching it are much less. Still, in a draft this week, I'd roll the dice on potential compared to what else is available.
They could always stay at 5 and 6 and take Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry, Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, or Demar DeRozan, but I'd much prefer to see them grab Rubio.
Guys I don't want to see in a Wolves uniform? I mentioned Thabeet and BJ Mullens last week, who are second and third on my "guaranteed to be busts" list. Who's #1? None of than Gonzaga's Austin Daye. As a Gonzaga fan I watched plenty of Zags games last year, and finding Daye in those games was like playing "Where'd Waldo?" Yes he's 6'11 with a smooth jumper and good handles- BUT HE'S SOFT!! In the WCC on a Zags team who gave him every opportunity to be The Man, Daye was practically non-existent. Any team drafting him is throwing away a first round pick. He's #1 on my list of busts (BJ Mullens is second, Thabeet third)- he looks great in workouts but has no passion, intensity, or aggressiveness on the court.
I had wondered why Daye bothered to stay in the draft and not go back to Gonzaga and prove himself, but somebody on sportingnews.com (I read it yesterday and now can't find the article) made a great point- what if Daye KNOWS this is what he is? What if he's self-aware enough to know that he IS soft and if he goes back to Gonzaga he's going to get exposed as a fraud, whereas this year in the weakest draft in a decade, he's guaranteed first round money?
Again, stay the hell away from Austin Daye. Please!