Friday, June 27, 2008

Reviewing the Wolves Draft

I sit groggily at work here at 7:30 on a Friday morning, I figured I would come on here and write up a few quick thoughts on the Wolves' draft last night. Then I came on only to learn that Devin has already written up a post this morning offering his thoughts. (See below.)

I half-expected an angry rant, which is what I've been hearing from just about every basketball fan in the state of Minnesota so far. Instead, Devin said that he is "pleased" with Kevin McHale's draft, only furthering my suspicion that Devin is smarter than most earthlings.

For those who are unaware, the Wolves owned the third overall pick in the draft and used it to select O.J. Mayo, a guard out of USC. This year's draft class was considered to have two surefire guys in Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley, and most people considered Mayo to be the third best player and a lock to be picked third. The Wolves did indeed select Mayo, but shortly thereafter they packaged him with Marco Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner in a trade with the Grizzlies that brought back Kevin Love (the fifth overall selection in the draft), Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.

This move was met with much outrage. Mayo, who has drawn extensive media coverage since he was in seventh grade, was surrounded by huge hype and many were excited to see what he could do in the pros. Love is a bit of an undersized white power forward who doesn't have nearly the "wow" factor that you'd like to see in a lottery draft pick. Yet, prior to the draft I was in favor of the Wolves trading down to get someone like Love, so I'm quite satisfied that they were able to tab him while also adding a very nice player in the form of Mike Miller.

Here's what I see when I look at O.J. Mayo:

I see a guy who is a good jump shooter, especially from three-point range. I see a guy who is probably going to be a decent defender. But I also see a guy who is a prima donna of the Sebastian Telfair ilk. I see a guy with poor ball skills who last year posted one of the worst turnover-to-assist ratios I've ever seen from a hyped college guard. I see a guy who will never play point guard adequately in the pros and would have provided the Wolves with another 6'4" shooting guard. I see a bust. I'll say it right now and go on record: I think O.J. Mayo will be an outright bust in the NBA and frankly I'm glad that the Wolves dumped him off on another organization.

I'm really not as high on Kevin Love as Devin seems to be. I think he's got a very good chance to be a serviceable player, but I sincerely doubt he'll develop into a star. At 6'9", it'd really be nice if he were a couple inches taller. He's only an option at power forward, which will force Al Jefferson to play out of position at center when both are on the court. That's unfortunate, but I really don't know which player I would have rather seen the Wolves get short of Rose or Beasley.

I'm not fan of McHale, but I really think he made a savvy decision last night. Even though the pundits around the country are sure to lambast him for it. We'll see how Mayo turns out. Those who have ever gone to a Subway restaurant with me know I like to load up my sandwiches with a considerable amount of mayonnaise, but this is one instance where I most definitely did not want "plenty of Mayo."

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