6/15/2017 0 Comments
By: Dan Slaubaugh
It may not seem like it because of the incredibly modest amount of information leaked from the Wolves front office, but the NBA Draft is now officially one week away.
All is quiet in the Wolves camp for now. With Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden electing to keep everything in house, fans are left guessing with what the Wolves front office will do with the seventh overall pick. This is noticeably different from the Flip Saunders era, where inside information continually leaked to the media. Flip loved to leak information to keep front offices around the league guessing. He was great with the media and genuinely enjoyed chatting in front of cameras. He knew he had a job to do and they did as well.
Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden are vastly different. They don't care to have a good relationship with the media. They are incredibly tight-lipped, making life tough for the Darren Wolfson's (KSTP, 1500 ESPN) and other journalists who are having difficulty obtaining even small nuggets and information about the Wolves' draft preferences. Fans want to hear what is going on behind those closed doors.
Last year at this time, it seemed logical to suggest Tom Thibodeau would select Jamal Murray out of Kentucky or Buddy Hield out of Oklahoma. There wasn't one consensus player that all Wolves fans seemed to love like this year's Jonathan Isaac, but fans agreed that the team was in need of shooting off the bench.
Then, on draft night, Adam Silver walked to the podium and announced Kris Dunn (PG, Providence) as the Wolves' 5th overall selection. The majority of Wolves fans were confused and bewildered on the pick (turns out they were right to question the pick) as Ricky Rubio appeared to be stepping into his prime, coming off a successful 5th season in Minnesota. The pick generated more questions than answers for a franchise that hadn't made the playoffs in 12 years.
Looking back, I don't think it was silly for us to be surprised by Thibodeau's selection considering it was his first pick as Wolves President of Basketball Operations. We could hardly look at his Chicago days and draw any conclusions, especially considering he wasn't even the one calling the shots. It would be a shame if he did indeed use the same criteria GarPax employed in Chicago, taking into consideration at how dreadful they were at drafting in Thibodeau's time in the Windy City. Since 2010, the only player that has turned out to have a successful career after being drafted by the Bulls is Jimmy Butler.
That being said - and because of such little draft history from Thibodeau calling the shots - we need to have a different approach from last year heading into draft night next Thursday. We shouldn't "expect" Thibodeau to select a player who's favorably looked upon in the Wolves community. If we take that approach, we could easily be heavily disappointed after talking ourselves into a prospect only to wind up with someone else on draft day.
With high-upside prospects such as Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, Lauri Markkanen, and Dennis Smith Jr. potentially available at 7, there are a plethora of options the Wolves could go on draft night. Combine that with the chance they trade down or trade the pick entirely, fans are left almost completely guessing what Tom Thibodeau has in mind for draft night.
There are not a lot of known's for what the Wolves do next Thursday, but one thing appears as we inch closer to the NBA Draft: Tom Thibodeau doesn't seem to have any intention of hinting at who the Wolves next draft pick might be.