NBA Draft: Will the Wolves Trade Up?

With the NBA draft approaching the Timberwolves are getting ready to put their two first round draft picks — which are No. 9 and No. 26 to good use. Many are speculating that the Wolves will trade both spots to get a chance to grab No. 2 first round pick Victor Oladipo of Indiana.

The Wolves severely need a shooting guard to take the pressure off Ricky Rubio and are looking at Oladipo to fill the spot. He was the Big Ten player of the year in 2012-13. At 6’4 and 213 pounds — he averaged 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game. He was also one of only two players from major conferences that averaged at least 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game this season.

While the Wolves are gunning for Oladipo he is not the only player they have their eyes on. They also want to try and draft either Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum if they aren’t able to grab Oladipo. This is no surprise because both are great shooting guards with good range, but many are convinced that it will be Caldwell-Pope who is coming to the Wolves.

Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year and stands at 6’5 and weighs 204 pounds. But McCollum was a far better scorer than Caldwell-Pope, he averaged 23.9 points in 12 games before a foot injury put him out his senior year.

“Both have the ability to knock down shots, and both are pretty much multidimensional players,” Team director of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. “McCollum has better range, has been a more consistent scorer in his two years since college and has had some big games. But, like I said, I don’t think you can just look at one factor when you’re taking somebody.”

But Wolves analyst Kevin Lynch prefers a bigger guard like Caldwell-Pope because he’s likely to be a stronger defender with his size. “I’d rather have an athlete at 6’5, 6’6 on the wing who can defend and you work on his outside shot rather than an undersized guy,” Lynch said. “If (McCollum) doesn’t shoot well, he’s going to be called a point guard.”

So whomever the Wolves go for tomorrow it is promising that this good be the start of good season for the Wolves who are in desperate need of a recharge. “I think what you enjoy is you’re able to kind of mold the type of team you want,” Saunders said, “and we have a lot of dynamics going all the same time.”

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