NBA PM: Right To Draft Irving
In today’s edition of the NBA PM: Should Wolves choose Kyrie Irving?…Some NBA Draft Lottery odds and history…Raps extend Colangelo…NBA Chats.
Alex Raskin is traveling to the NBA Draft Lottery and will be back Wednesday.
Wolves Should Take Irving: If the Minnesota Timberwolves win tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery there should be absolutely no discussion on who they pick number one overall next month: Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.
Yes, they used a lottery pick to take Jonny Flynn two years ago. Yes, they used a lottery pick in that same draft to take Ricky Rubio as well. And Luke Ridnour played solidly for them a year ago. Would taking Irving be too much?
Not a chance. For one, his skills are better than those of Ridnour or Flynn. What the Wolves need is a point guard capable of breaking down defenses and getting to the hoop for easy baskets as well as capable of creating easy scoring opportunities for the likes of Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley, and Kevin Love. Flynn and Ridnour both have their moments, but aren’t in the same category as Irving.
And what about Rubio? He has yet to make a commitment to join the Timberwolves, and as much as he is talked about like an serious asset or a piece of the future, the fact of the matter is there are no guarantees he will ever come over, nor is there any guarantee he will be as good in the NBA game as many analysts predict for Irving.
If he did, that would be great for the Wolves. Having too many quality point guards is a nice problem to have because the rest of the league would love to trade a solid asset for one. But, if the Wolves choose not to pick Irving and Rubio doesn’t come over…then what?
The odds of Minny getting the top pick are actually pretty slim – see the next section – but it they do Kyrie Irving has to be their choice.
Who Wins the Lottery? The Minnesota Timberwolves have the most lottery balls for tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery – 25% – but as history has shown it’s much more likely someone other than Minny will receive the top pick (simple math, right?).
The current lottery system began in 1990. Since that time the team with the highest odds has earned the top pick only twice (1990 and 2004) has the team with the highest odds won the Draft Lottery. In fact, seven times since 1990 the team with the most lottery balls failed to earn ANY of the top three picks in the draft.
Here are the full 2011 NBA Draft Lottery odds:
1 – Minnesota Timberwolves – 250/1000
2 – Cleveland Cavaliers – 199/1000
3 – Toronto Raptors – 156/1000
4 – Washington Wizards – 119/1000
5 – Sacramento Kings – 76/1000
6 – New Jersey Nets – 75/1000 (traded to Utah)
7 – Detroit Pistons – 43/1000
8 – L.A. Clippers – 28/1000 (traded to Cleveland)
9 – Charlotte Bobcats – 17/1000
10 – Milwaukee Bucks – 11/1000
11 – Golden State Warriors – 8/1000
12 – Utah Jazz – 7/1000
13 – Phoenix Suns – 6/1000
14 – Houston Rockets – 5/1000
Only twice has a team moved up from the bottom slot, in 1993 and 1999.
Draft Lottery coverage starts at 8pm Eastern tonight on ESPN.
Question: Is Kyrie Irving the top pick in 2011 no matter who wins the lottery? Or is there a team (Golden State, probably) who wouldn’t choose Irving or want to trade the pick? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Colangelo Gets Extension: The Toronto Raptors and president and general manager Bryan Colangelo have agreed to terms of a three-year contract extension today, according to The National Post. Colangelo’s previous five-year contract was slated to expire at the end of June.
So what does it mean? For better or worse it means ownership agrees with the current plan Colangelo has working. He’s been under fire in the last year or so, mostly having to do with his handling of Chris Bosh’s impending free agency and losing him for nothing but a Traded Player Exception. He also spent the top pick on 2006 on Andrea Bargnani, which many have lambasted since with the emergences of stars Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Brandon Roy.
Bargnani has developed into a solid performer, though he isn’t very good defensively and is not a center – despite being forced to play in that position way too much. He played well enough to earn a defensible five-year, $50 million extension to his rookie contract.
There have been bad deals, with Hedo Turkoglu’s monster free agent contract from 2009 coming to mind. Amir Johnson’s contract from last summer has also received heavy criticism. Couple with a rotating door of coaches and there are plenty of reasons to question Colangelo’s plan.
But – there is always a but. In his time with Toronto they have also done a very good job of recognizing talent, taking guard DeMar DeRozan in the first round in 2009 and Ed Davis in 2010. They picked up Sonny Weems and Jerryd Bayless in trades. He has also rebuilt much of the roster with fiscal responsibility – Toronto has just $47.1 million on the books for 10 players in 2011-12. Add in a top lottery pick and the Raptors should be able to put a competitive team on the floor next season.
See more analysis from HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Brotherston here. Was extending Colangelo the right move for Toronto? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
NBA Chats: Stephen Litel, based in Minnesota, takes your questions tonight at 8pm Eastern Time. On Wednesday publisher Steve Kyler will address all the latest rumors at 1pm Eastern. All the upcoming chats can be seen here – and all the chat wraps are here.