My favorite thing about blind taste tests is that branding, marketing and preconceived notions don't matter. All that matters is true personal preference of the quality of the product. My 2nd and 3rd favorite things are the moment before and the moment after the test has been administered. The moment before is full of anticipation and the moment after is full of analysis to try to determine how everything compares.
My taste challenges serve as a good analogy for this year's Twolves draft preview. The Twolves are full of anticipation with the 4 first round picks (5th, 6th, 18th and 28th) and in a draft with only one projected superstar there will be plenty of analysis afterwards. For one I am very excited for tomorrow's night draft because the Twolves before and the Twolves after are going to be two very different teams.
This is the 2nd year of previewing the draft for the Twolves for those of you who remember the "Hold the Mayo. All You Need is Love" post. This year is more interesting and complicated because besides power forward the Twolves have a job opening at every other position. Here is the current roster for the Twolves with a quick analysis.
- Point - Bassy Telfair and Kevin Ollie. (The worst tandem in the league.)
- Shooting Guard - Rodney Carney (Without Mike Miller and Randy Foye they are now lacking both quality and quantity.)
- Small Forward - Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer. (Combined they might make a decent small forward)
- Power Forward - Al Jefferson and Craig Smith (No problem here)
- Center - Kevin Love and Jason Collins (Kevin Love is more suited to be a power forward and Jason Collins is more suited to be retired.)
In other words the top priorities should be both guard spots and center. Based on the team's priorities, John Hollinger's words of wisdom and my own combing through the stats here should be the Twolves strategy.
- Consider trading with the Grizzlies for the 2nd pick, but don't pull the trigger if the price is too high (think 5th and 6th or anything involving Love). This is basically a 1 player draft with a bunch of wild cards after that, so moving up to 2nd doesn't make that much sense. It would be better to roll the dice two times with the 5th and 6th pick then to try your luck once with the 2nd pick.
- Draft Ty Lawson with the 5th or 6th pick and put him in the starting lineup. He shoots, scores and will be a great passer for Love and Jefferson. I can already imagine Love throwing a great outlet pass to Lawson who then finds Jefferson streaking to the basket for a dunk.
- Hope Thabeet falls to the Twolves with one of their first two picks.. He would be a great defensive player and fit in well with both Love and Jefferson as they rotate front court minutes between those 3 players.
- Stay away from DeMar DeRozan with the 5th pick, 6th pick and even the 18th pick.
- There aren't any shooting guards that stick out as definite picks, but I would definitely draft Gerald Henderson with the 18th pick and if Thabeet and/or Lawson wasn't I would even consider him with the 6th pick.
- Stay away from James Harden. He scored 20 points a game and fills a position the Twolves need, but he plays old. It is hard to describe besides the fact that when I watched Arizona St. play it looked like he was playing in slow motion. There is no way he is going to be a better player than Gerald Henderson.
- Stephen Curry is a great point guard or combo guard option. If the Twolves aren't sold on Lawson then I would prefer they go with Curry. I have mixed opinions on Curry because I usually don't like combo guards (like Foye) who don't have an true position, but on the other hand it is Stephen freakin Curry. Did you see the NCAA tournament last year? There aren't many people who can make LeBron James gasp by playing basketball. He is an unbelievable shooter who would provide much needed scoring to the Twolves. I am not confident that he will be a great point guard option (not as confident as I am with Lawson), but I do think he would be an above-average player in the Nba. My expectation for him is to be a better all around version of Ben Gordon.
- If Gerald Henderson has already been picked or they already drafted shooting guard then don't think twice and draft Jeff Teague with the 18th pick. I don't care if they draft Lawson with the 5th pick and Curry with the 6th pick they should just take Teague and not worry about it. Currently he is my hope for the Jazz at the 20th spot, but the Twolves could use him more than the Jazz. I loved watching Jeff Teague play this year in the ACC and would love to see him in either a Twolves or Jazz uniform.
- Stay away from Hansbrough.
- Draft Danny Green with the 28th pick. He can play a wing position for the Twolves and is a very versatile player who I am glad is finished playing for UNC.
That is my draft strategy for this year. Best case scenario the Twolves get Thabeet, Lawson, Teague and Green. Most likely scenario the Twolves will draft Curry, DeRozan, BJ Mullins, and some European player they won't see for a few years.