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Monday, June 20, 2011
Are you sleeping? Selections will show

ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network

Derrick Williams

With the NBA draft just a couple of days away, there are plenty of questions that still need answering.

What should the Wolves do with their No. 2 pick? Knight or Walker? Biggest sleeper? Thoughts on Jimmer?

Our experts weigh in.


1. Should the Minnesota Timberwolves trade the No. 2 pick?


Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: Derrick Williams has the potential to be one of the best shooters in the league -- exactly what you need to get the most out of Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and Ricky Rubio. I'd keep the pick.

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: The only reason for the Wolves to trade this pick is if they can get a very good veteran to come in and be a sidekick to Kevin Love. Realistically, they're not going to get a No. 1 option to lead the team. Unless they can get someone whose value is nearly equal to Love's, they should keep the pick and continue to acquire assets.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion.com: The Timberwolves aren't one player away from making the playoffs, so they have to consider any trade offer that would provide them with additional assets in exchange for the second pick. Though, in this draft, those offers might not be there.

Matt Moore, HardwoodParoxysm.com: Well, considering the luck they've had with all their other lottery choices under David Kahn, it can't hurt. And hey, with players like Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph on board, how can you draft Derrick Williams? I mean, other than the fact that Williams is likely better than either of those players right off the bat, I mean.

Timothy Varner, 48MinutesOfHell.com: It depends on whom the Timberwolves get back in the trade, doesn't it? Unless you see Derrick Williams as a certain All-Star, it's hard to disagree with David Kahn's belief that the Timberwolves need to fill their cracks with veteran talent. But Kahn shouldn't settle for just any midtier veteran. Talent is talent. And Minnesota needs talent more than age.


2. Who should go first: Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker?

NAME
Knight

NAME
Walker

Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: Maybe watching the Mavericks has brainwashed me, but I'm enamored with shooting. Walker's ability to finish in the paint may or may not diminish when facing 7-footers every night, and Knight will always be able to catch a kick-out pass and fire away.

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: It depends on what you need. If you just need a fast player who can knock down jumpers, Knight is your guy. If you need someone to come in and run the team, you have to go with Kemba. Knight did not run Kentucky's team like you'd hope a big-time PG prospect would. At this point, he's more weapon than orchestrator.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion.com: Kemba Walker is a better bet to contribute immediately, but for a GM with multiyear job security, Knight is the better long-term gamble.

Matt Moore, HardwoodParoxysm.com: Oh, that's easy. Why would you go with a Calipari point guard when you can have a player most scouts put at 5-foot-11 before he measured at 6-1 and "impressed" everyone with his "length"? Knight's got better upside, athleticism and size. Other than that, though, Walker's a lock.

Timothy Varner, 48MinutesOfHell.com: Brandon Knight's raw measurements suggest a slight edge over Walker. Knight is taller and longer and is just big enough to eventually defend either guard position. Walker shows a similar talent level, but doesn't possess the size. At a mere 6-1 with good, but not overwhelmingly good, length, he might struggle against the size of NBA guards.


3. Who is the most intriguing player in the draft?

Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: Turkish big man Enes Kanter may be the best player in this draft, or a total bust. As he has hardly played in the last year, nobody knows! He's the very definition of a high-risk, high-reward pick.

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Bismack Biyombo has a lot of people swooning, even if they're afraid to admit it. Defensively, he seems like he can be a game-changer. Offensively, he is kind of a blank slate. You can probably mold him into what you need. If his production matches his confidence, a lot of people will kick themselves for not taking him.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion.com: There's a huge disconnect between Josh Selby, heralded recruit, and Josh Selby, unproductive college freshman. Injuries and suspension are plausible explanations for that. In a weak draft, Selby could turn out to be comparable to, if not better than, the guards taken in the lottery.

Matt Moore, HardwoodParoxysm.com: Enes Kanter. How much more intriguing can it get than a 6-11 player whom everyone seems to be in love with despite his not having played against significant competition in a year and a half? Kanter is the NBA prospect version of "Snakes on a Plane."

Timothy Varner, 48MinutesOfHell.com: Bismack Biyombo. Aside from the Nike Hoops Summit, most basketball observers have not seen him play. And then there is the question of his actual age. If Biyombo is 18, predictions of his rise to DPOY status seem fair. If he's already 22 or 23, we'll look back and wonder what all the buzz was about.


4. Who is a sleeper pick that almost no one is talking about?

Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: Kenneth Faried is blatantly not a go-to star -- the offensive toolbox is unimpressive. But … few players in this draft are stars. Meanwhile, Faried's production, particularly as a rebounder (one of the skills that translates best from college to the NBA) is splendid.

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Some people are talking about him, but it doesn't mean Jeremy Tyler isn't THE sleeper pick in this draft. Two years ago, he was a couple of good life choices away from being a top prospect in this draft. Instead, he followed bad advice and stunted his own growth. The right NBA team could end up winning the draft with him.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion.com: I think David Lighty has a chance to be the rare second-round pick who becomes a rotation player as a rookie and gets Wesley Matthews money a couple of years from now.

Matt Moore, HardwoodParoxysm.com: Jan Vesely has great size and athleticism, and is actually aggressive. His post numbers on Synergy are good and he's only 21, yet somehow he's not talked about behind Kanter and Valanciunas. The big knock on him is he can't shoot … except most college players can't shoot. Strange he's been overlooked.

Timothy Varner, 48MinutesOfHell.com: Donatas Montiejunas played poorly during his Treviso workout, but there is no denying that few big men possess his advanced skill set. He can shoot, post and even put the ball on the floor. His low profile, I can only assume, is a cautionary tale of why it's always best to avoid comparisons to Andrea Bargnani.


5. What's your take on Jimmer Fredette as a draft prospect?

NAME
Fredette

Henry Abbott, TrueHoop: What he can bring from college are great scoring skills and work ethic. What he can't bring is any expectation of spending 10 consecutive seconds with the ball -- which will end a lot of what worked for him in college.

Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live: Jimmer can flat-out play. It doesn't mean he's the next Steph Curry or Steve Nash by any means. But getting Jimmer on your team gives you a guy who knows how to score and can get his deadly shot off against most players. I think he can be an extremely valuable combo guard off the bench.

Bret LaGree, Hoopinion.com: If he gets drafted by a team that can leverage his scoring ability and hide his defensive limitations, he'll be fine. If not, his career might look a lot like Jamal Crawford's and everybody will be happy for Jimmer when he finally makes the playoffs in 2020.

Matt Moore, HardwoodParoxysm.com: Jimmer's got such great knowledge of the game. He just knows how to win, you know? Sure, he takes some risks and his decision making can be questionable, but more often than not, it works for him and he sinks your battleship. What? We're not talking Battleship, we're talking basketball? Oh, no, that's a bad idea.

Timothy Varner, 48MinutesOfHell.com: Meh. We're suckers for good stories. But if Fredette is drafted in the lottery, we'll know when his story arc jumped the shark. In terms of great college stories, I suspect his will conclude more in the tradition of Adam Morrison than Stephen Curry.