In Light of the recent 2009 Draft T-shirt (as seen below) that appeared at Tuesday’s game against the Spurs, we decided to publish the Wolves All-Time Missed Draft Picks Team.
If you are a Wolves fan, you probably look back at every draft and think ‘We could’ve drafted X instead of Y’. Its natural. All decisions are inherently easier in retrospect because, well the choices have played themselves out in which you can see the final product. I am sure there are reasons why we picked the player we picked over the player that would get drafted later. Its life. The point of this isn’t really to prove ‘what could’ve been’ but really just to have fun with it. The draft is essentially a crap shoot and no one really can tell who will be a star and who will be a bust.
The reason this is so interesting to look at for the Wolves is because the Wolves have the longest active streak without a playoff birth. It is now going to be 12 seasons in which the Wolves haven’t made the playoffs. Thats A LOT of lottery picks. Fortunately, the Wolves finally scored a number one pick in Karl-Anthony Towns and acquired a couple the summer before in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
So, we will pick a player that could’ve been draft at each position. A player that could’ve been a Timberwolves, but the Wolves went in a different, usually wrong, direction. Rules are the player needs to have been picked after the Wolves pick and only one player per draft. I try to make it a similar position so it is realistic, but in the event that it isn’t, it needs to be a viable option for the Wolves at the time. So without further ado, I present to you, the Wolves All-Time Missed Draft Pick Team:
PG – Stephen Curry (2009 Draft. Wolves Drafted Johnny Flynn 6th overall)
KAAHHHHNN! Ah, the one that hurts the most. Thank you David Kahn. Its good to tear the band-aid off quick here because none of them hurt as much as this one. The Wolves shockingly picked two true point guards back to back in Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn. Curry was taken 7th right after. It didn’t make any sense 7 years ago and doesn’t make sense now. Steph Curry would lead the Warriors to a championship and win MVP last season. He is the best player in the league today and breaking every 3-point shooting record possible. And Johnny Flynn has been out of the league for a couple years now. Demar DeRozan and 7 other more capable points than Flynn were also available. The T-shirt that appeared at the Wolves game was a wonderful reminder of this disaster. Of course Curry never worked out for the Wolves which indicated he didn’t want to play here. This one will always hurt.
SG- Kobe Bryant (1996 Draft. Wolves Drafted Ray Allen 5th overall)
This one isn’t fair. We drafted Ray Allen then traded for Stephon Marbury. Which isn’t bad at all. You couldn’t predict Marbury wanting out. Kobe and KG could’ve been beautiful together. But many teams didn’t take a chance on Kobe and it seemed like Kobe was headed to the Lakers in some way, shape, or form. But out of respect to Kobe, we technically did pass on him. So he makes the team.
SF – Kawhi Leonard (2011 Draft. Wolves Draft Derrick Williams 2nd overall)
Derrick Williams was a clear 2nd best talent in the 2011 draft after the Wolves had gotten jumped in the lottery by the Cavaliers out of nowhere to take Kyrie Irving. But Kawhi Leonard is an absolute stud now after winning Finals MVP and a championship with the Spurs. Its always hard to tell if Leonard would’ve developed into the player he is today if it wasn’t for the Spurs Organization. But if you want a consolation prize, there were many other good players in this draft that went later. Klay Thompson and later on Jimmy Butler were all taken to name a couple. Derrick himself seemed to be his own biggest hurdle. He was stuck between a 3 and 4, couldn’t defend either, and never could solidify himself in the league.
PF- Shawn Marion (1999 Draft. Wolves Drafted Wally Szczerbiak 6th overall)
Tough one here. Wally was absolutely a solid player in his time in Minnesota as he made the All Star game once. But the Matrix was among the top players in the league for a while. Marion was versatile enough to play the 3 and 4 and did so much on the court, namely play defense. There was always a lot of speculation as to how far the Wolves could’ve gone with KG and Marion on the same team, especially during the 03-04 season. Marion could’ve easily played in the role of Trenton Hassell alongside Garnett, Sprewell, and Cassell. The main reason Wally didn’t start that season was due to injury, which plagued his career and is unforeseeable, and being a liability on the defensive end. Could the Wolves have won a championship with the Matrix on that team? We will never know. The second option here would’ve been the Wolves draft Donyell Marshal over Juwan Howard.
C- DeMarcus Cousins (2010 Draft. Wolves Drafted Wesley Johnson 4th overall)
Paul George would be the other option. But Cousins was absolutely an option at pick 4. The Wolves needed a center as Darko was the starter and Al Jefferson was on his way out. Cousins has put up monster stats and is probably the best center in the league today. Wes Johnson was an absolute bust. This should be an easy one to agree with.
Do you agree with who made the Wolves All-Time Missed Draft Picks Team? Let us know!