April 13, 2018, 6:32 pm
In the 2018 NBA draft the Wolves are slated to pick No. 20 overall after the NBA determined the tiebreakers for a number of teams.
First tiebreaker: Oklahoma City Thunder gets the #20 pick (pick conveyed to Minnesota). Utah Jazz #21. New Orleans Pelicans #22 (pick conveyed to Chicago). #23 Indiana Pacers
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 13, 2018
The Wolves traded Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz last offseason and received Oklahoma City’s 2018 first round pick in return. It’s been well documented how tight the standings have been in the Western Conference, and in regards to the draft order things were just as clustered.
Four teams were tied at 48-34, including the Thunder, meaning the Wolves could pick anywhere from No. 20 to No. 24. Fortunately for the Wolves, the Thunder won the tiebreaker and were awarded the highest position among the four other teams.
There’s no guarantee the Wolves keep the pick. The Wolves are tight on cap space, meaning they might have to get creative in trades to acquire additional veteran talent as opposed to the free agent market, or if they want to ship out bad contracts they’ll need to attach the pick.
If the Wolves do elect to keep the pick, there’s a solid chance to get a useful player. In the past there have been notable players selected No. 20 overall, including Evan Fournier, Brendan Haywood, Jameer Nelson, and Larry Nance Sr. and, very recently, Tony Snell, Delon Wright and Caris LeVert.
Potential prospects that may be available around there, and would be solid fits on the Wolves, include Zhaire Smith, Troy Brown Jr., Chandler Hutchinson, Bruce Brown, Shake Milton and Jacob Evans, among many more. There will be a more in-depth look at draft prospects once the offseason begins and workouts are underway.
As for the Wolves’ original pick? They owe it to the Atlanta Hawks, as long as it wasn’t in the lottery. Wednesday’s playoff clinching win assured the Wolves they would not see that pick, but they’ll gladly trade that off for the result they got.
There was a tiebreaker for the pick with the Spurs as both teams were tied with a 47-35 record.
Second tiebreaker result: San Antonio Spurs #18, Minnesota Timberwolves #19 (pick conveyed to Atlanta)
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 13, 2018
The Spurs won that tie-breaker, meaning the Wolves’ pick fell to No. 19 overall, where the Atlanta Hawks will make their second of three first round selections.
Wolves’ fans are very familiar with the lottery system, so the top-14 picks aren’t set in stone, but the rest are, barring any trades, locked-in. They go as followed:
16. Phoenix (from Miami)
18. San Antonio
19. Atlanta (from Minnesota)
20. Minnesota (from Oklahoma City)
22. Chicago (from New Orleans)
25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland)
28. Golden State
29. Brooklyn (from Toronto)
30. Atlanta (from Houston)
The NBA draft lottery will be held on May 15 and the 2018 NBA draft will be held on June 21.
April 24, 2019, 9:56 amIvan Rabb - F - Memphis Grizzlies
Ivan Rabb plans to spend much of his offseason in the weight room as he tries to bulk up and show that he has NBA-level defense to pair with his expanding offensive game.
For all the charm of Rabb's smooth offensive repertoire, he knows his defense needs to improve. It was especially evident in an April 3 loss at Portland when Enes Kanter torched Rabb and the Grizzlies in the post for 21 points and 15 rebounds. Rabb posted almost identical statistics this season to those he posted in 36 games as a rookie, but the second-year post player knocked down 37 percent of his 3-pointers in the G League, showing a comfort level from beyond the arc previously missing from his game. Rabb's deal is non-guaranteed, so the Grizzlies could move on from him if they want but he is only 22 years old and has shown enough potential to likely warrant another season at the relatively low price tag of $1.6 million. Keep him in your radar as he might have an important role next season in what might be a rebuilding year for the Grizzlies.
Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal
April 24, 2019, 9:41 amClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
The Rockets hope that Clint Capela has benefited from two more days of treatment for the virus that has sapped his energy through much of their first-round matchup against the Jazz.
Since opening the series with 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, Capela has averaged just 7.3 points on 47.4 percent over the past three games. He was 1-of-6 with seven rebounds on Monday while the Rockets got outscored by 20 points when he was on the floor. "He's trying to battle through it," Mike D'Antoni said. "I think he's been great because he's been able to play. Each day that passes, the virus passes and he'll feel better. Hopefully next game, he's back to almost 100 percent.” The Rockets will try to close out the series on Wednesday night in Houston and they are going to need their starting center to show some signs of life.
Source: Houston Chronicle
April 24, 2019, 9:04 amJason Kidd - Team - Los Angeles Lakers
Bill Plaschke of the LA Times is reporting that the Lakers interviewed Jason Kidd only as a favor to his agent, Jeff Schwartz, who is also the agent for Lakers forward Brandon Ingram.
Kidd doesn’t really seem to have a chance at the gig and the fact that he lobbied for the job even while Luke Walton held it is a tremendously bad look for the former All-Star guard. Jeannie Buss looks like she has no plans, at least not yet, to support current GM Rob Pelinka with bright, young personnel as he instead is being assisted in this coaching search by Kurt Rambis. The Lakers continue to target Monty Williams, Ty Lue and Juwan Howard and the list doesn’t seem likely to expand.
Source: LA Times
April 24, 2019, 8:51 amEnes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter suffered a separated left shoulder in the first quarter of Game 5 on Tuesday night, but he received an injection at halftime and gutted his way through despite clearly being pain at times.
“I just tried to play through it," Kanter said afterward. "We'll see what happens in the future." The Blazers will have at least through Saturday off as they await the winner of the Nuggets-Spurs series. Kanter’s teammates and coaches were impressed with his ability to play with pain but this looks like a serious injury and it remains to be seen if the Turkish big will be forced to miss any time.
April 24, 2019, 2:18 amDamian Lillard - G - Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard put up an instant classic performance featuring a game-winning deep three, 10 total triples and a 50-spot in Tuesday's 118-115 closeout win over the Thunder in Portland.
Lillard started off Game 5 with 34 first-half points while playing all 24 minutes. He finished with seven boards, six dimes, three steals and a block while shooting 17-for-33 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. Despite a big second-half Thunder run, Lillard kept it going all the way until the buzzer as his shot from near the logo fell, giving him an even 50 and a series win as he waived goodbye to the Thunder.
April 24, 2019, 2:08 amCJ McCollum - G - Trail Blazers
CJ McCollum put up 17 points (8-of-19 FGs), two rebounds, two assists, one triple and two blocks in 32 minutes in Tuesday's closeout win over the Thunder.
McCollum sat a little more than usual in the first half after getting his third foul early, though he also ended with three fouls in another example of why coaches should just leave players in until they get their fourth or fifth. McCollum had been on fire in this series, averaging over 26 points per game coming into tonight's game. He and the Blazers now wait to see if they'll get the Nuggets or the Spurs in the next round.
April 24, 2019, 1:55 amEnes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter toughed out a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double over 32 minutes in Tuesday's Game 5 victory over the Thunder.
Kanter also had four assists and a block while shooting 6-for-9 from the floor tonight. He got pretty banged up in the first half, injuring his shoulder which was heavily wrapped after the game. Kanter averaged over 13 points and 10 rebounds in under 30 minutes for the series and he looks like one of the best mid-season signings in the league at this point.
April 24, 2019, 1:48 amMaurice Harkless - F - Trail Blazers
Maurice Harkless had 17 points on just nine shots with seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in 33 minutes on Tuesday vs. the Thunder.
It's not wise to rely on Harkless, but he can be the wildcard the Blazers need every few games. After closing out the Thunder tonight, they'll await the winner of the Spurs and Nuggets series.
April 24, 2019, 1:37 amPaul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George had a huge game with 36 points (14-of-20 FGs, 5-of-8 FTs), nine rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers in Tuesday's 118-115 road loss to the Blazers.
George was feeling it early, making his first five shots. He battled through first-half foul trouble and likely some lingering pain from his injury. But it wasn't quite enough as Damian Lillard out-played him in this one to end the series in Portland.
April 24, 2019, 1:30 amRussell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook put up one final triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists as the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs by the Blazers on Tuesday.
Aside from making all three of his free throws, it was a microcosm of Westbrook's season. He shot just 11-of-31 (4-of-11 from three) and had four steals, two blocks and five turnovers in 45 minutes. There's no better value if you're looking to punt three categories next season.