NBA Draft

David Kahn reportedly saw Johnny Flynn, Ricky Rubio as Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe type duo

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Remember back in 2009 when the Minnesota Timberwolves pulled the shock of the draft by using the number 5 and 6 picks on two point guards? Well, if you don’t, then let me remind you that former Timberwolves GM, David Kahn, drafted 6-5 Spanish point guards, Ricky Rubio with the 5th overall pick, and then turned around and selected Syracuse point guard (and complete NBA bust) Johnny Flynn, with the 6th overall pick. A move that made Kahn more unwelcome in Minnesota than Matt Millen is in Detroit.

Former Timberwolves lead assistant coach, Dave Wohl, explains that he and Kahn butted heads on the matter, and that he advised Kahn against the move, saying that neither one would work as a shooting guard. Wohl claims he advised Kahn to select Rubio and Stephen Curry instead of Rubio and Flyyn. Curry would be selected with the 7th overall pick, and prove to be the best of the three players, by a landslide.Kahn reportedly insisted that he saw a Walt Frazier/Earl Monroe type duo in Rubio/Flynn.

Dave Wohl, Minnesota’s lead assistant, remembers arriving in Minnesota and Kahn asking him whether Rubio and Flynn could prosper playing together. Wohl described Flynn as a good, ambitious kid. He also said that Rubio and Curry would have made a better pairing. He didn’t believe either Flynn or Rubio could perform at shooting guard. “He said, ‘No, no. I want to play Jonny and Rubio. They remind me of [Walt] Frazier and [Earl] Monroe,’” Wohl said.

“When he said that, I didn’t know what to say. I actually played during the ’70s against Earl and Clyde and there’s just no comparison.” Wohl told Kahn that he did not think it was an accurate comparison. “He said, ‘Yeah, it is. They are two guys who can handle the ball,’” Wohl recalled Kahn saying. “When he started going in that direction, I knew that Kurt was going to have a struggle in him trying to figure out what to do with both those guys when they came because Ricky was clearly a guy who was a great passer and was going to be able to do some things offensively with his passing that Jonny, at that point, wasn’t able to do,”Wohl said.

A pretty crazy turn of events. It would appear that Kahn had convinced himself that Rubio and Flynn would thrive as the NBA’s next big thing. A small backcourt, the kind that rarely thrive in today’s league, is not something that ultimately panned out for Kahn in Minnesota. However, we did see Steph Curry hurled into a small backcourt nightmare in Golden State, alongside Monta Ellis. A combo that didn’t work there either.

Oh, the possibilities of Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry and Kevin Love in Minnesota.

 

 

LaMarcus Aldridge: “I haven’t demanded a trade”

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This has been a crazy week for Portland Trailblazers power forward, LaMarcus Ladridge. The skilled big man has been tossed into trade rumors, such as a proposed deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Trail Blazers that would have sent Aldridge to Clevelend in lieu of the 1st and 19th picks in the first round of Thursday’s draft. A deal that the Trail Blazers shot down.

The next rumor to hit the sports blogosphere was that Aldridge was demanding a trade. It was said that LaMarcus wanted out of Portland, and even went as far as to name the Chicago Bulls as a preferred destination.

Aldridge emailed The Oregonian on Saturday and, for the first time, addressed these rumors. Aldridge shot down rumors that he has demanded a trade by saying.

“I haven’t demanded a trade, Said Aldridge in the email. “I’m looking forward to who we sign in free agency to make us better,”

The thing I’ve learned with NBA players, or even athletes in general, is that we might not ever know exactly where they stand on things such as trades, free agency, or the current city and or team they play for. It appears as if Aldridge is all-in with the Trail Blazers as of right now, and we should simply take him at his word, until it proves to be no good.

Portland had the pleasant surprise that was Damian Lillard last season, and they’ll need both Lillard and Aldridge steering the ship if they hope to make a playoff appearance next season.

Timberwolves looking to move Derrick Williams

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly looking to move Derrick Williams and the number 9 pick in the in order to move up in the 2013 NBA draft. The T-Wolves drafted Williams number 2 overall in the 2011 NBA draft. The undersized Williams showed signs of progress in his second season, as he ate of more playing time with the many injuries to Kevin Love.

Williams averaged 12 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 24 minutes during his sophomore campaign, and will likely garner plenty of interest from teams looking to trade out of a draft that many experts consider to be weak.

With the recent rise of Timberwolves center, Nikola Pekovic, last year’s signing of Andre Kirilenko, and the imminent return of star forward, Kevin Love, their roster just doesn’t seem to support the minutes for a player like Williams. The last thing the Wolves want to do is end up with a log-jam similar to what the Utah Jazz have at the forward/center positions.

Perhaps the Timberwolves can move up and snag an exciting young wing player like Victor Oladipo , Ben McLemore, or Otto Porter. The prospect of adding a young wing scorer to go along with Love and Rubio may just be what this team needs to tip the scales.

 

Report: Cleveland Cavaliers to target Nerlens Noel

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A report from ESPN’s Chad Ford would indicate that the Cleveland Cavaliers, winners of the 2013 NBA draft lottery, still consider Kentucky big man, Nerlens Noel, as the best player in the 2013 NBA draft, despite chatter of teams passing on Noel due to his season-ending ACL injury last season.

Noel has long been regarded as the most talented player coming out of this draft class, a class many would describe as weak. Many believe Noel has the length and athletic ability to supply any drafting him with an immediate impact on rebounding and shot-blocking, as well as an unknown offensive ceiling. Noel has been described as rough around the edges, as many became aware of during his 24-game stint with the Wildcats last season.

Via Chad Ford:

The Cavs are on the clock with the No. 1 pick. Sources say that Kentucky center Nerlens Noel remains atop their team Big Board. However, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. and Maryland center Alex Len are also in the mix….

Cavs general manager Chris Grant and his staff spent more time than anyone watching Noel this season, according to Kentucky head coach John Calipari. In fact, Grant recommended the surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, that Noel used for his ACL surgery. The Cavs also lean heavily on advanced metrics, and those numbers, regardless of the system, strongly favor Noel.

 

It was initially unknown what Noel’s knee injury would do to his draft stock, and the Cavaliers seemed relatively open to discussing deals for the number 1 overall pick, after acquiring it in the NBA’s draft lottery, but as we inch closer to the actual draft, we’re sure to see teams (the Cavaliers in the situation) start to take a better look at available prospects as they narrow down their list of potential impact players.

 

Reddit user receives response from NBA after declaring for the draft

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According to the Bleacher Report Twitter account, a Reddit user who remains anonymous declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Just as a joke, right? Not so much. The user actually received a letter back from the NBA telling him that he is a free agent and can sign with any NBA team.

 

Could Michael Carter-Williams be the first pick in the NBA Draft?

carterThe Syracuse Orange turned an up and down regular season into a magical run to the Final Four. Louisville was eventually crowned the NCAA National Basketball Champs, but Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams made a lasting impression during the tournament. The consensus number one pick many experts and analysts predict is Ben McLemore from Kansas, but Carter-Williams thinks there’s no reason he can’t get to that level as well.

From Real GM:

If I go in the pre-draft camp and kill it and do the things I know I can do, I don’t see why not…with my size and length I can affect the game in a lot of ways. My IQ for the game is very high. I think that will help me out a lot.”

Carter-Williams’ 24-point performance in Syracuse’s Sweet 16 upset of Indiana helped raise his stock in the minds of NBA general managers:

“His size for position, vision and ability to deliver the ball will get him drafted in the lottery,” one NBA general manager said.

Look for Michigan’s Trey Burke to be a name thrown around as the possible first pick as well. Carter-Williams’ stock certainly rose throughout the tournament, especially because of his 24-point performance in Syracuse’s domination of #1 seed Indiana. Even if he doesn’t go first, it’s nearly a guarantee that Carter-Williams will be a top 5-7 selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

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