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Could the Wolves Trade Up in the Draft?

Posted by Dakota Sports FM on June 12, 2013 at 8:05 PM

While president of basketball operations Flip Saunders is in Italy for the next few days scouting the Eurocamp, it shouldn't slow the team down from looking to make a trade to move up in the NBA Draft later this month.

Now, it's obvious just by watching the Wolves for the last, oh say, decade-plus, that they've lacked competent play from the shooting guard position. Flip and company could be trying to change that come June 27th.

According to sources, the Wolves have shown a "strong interest" in Indiana guard Victor Oladipo. The Wolves have had talks with Oladipo and his representatives, however, the IU guard's camp has been reluctant to schedule a workout with the team until the Wolves are able provide enough evidence that they are capable of moving up to one of the top four picks, per Darren Wolfson.

If the Wolves are indeed willing to move up in the draft, the Magic, who hold the No .2 overall pick, may be the most probable suitor as they are interested in trading down, via Brian K. Schmitz.

It's unknown what the asking price would be to trade up from No. 9, but you would assume the Wolves would need to include in addition to the No. 9 overall pick, the No. 26 pick in the draft, which they received from Memphis, as well as forward Derrick Williams. With all that being said, the question we need to ask ourselves is, could the Wolves get more production out a player with the No. 2 pick -- most likely Oladipo -- then they could at No. 9, No. 26, and a still developing Derrick Williams? It's an interesting question, but difficult question to answer as we simply won't know until a few a years down the road once we are able to accurately grade this draft. Right now, it would appear they would as Williams looks to be a player that is destined to be a career bench player and players picked towards the end of the first round typically don't become all stars.

Now, it's no guarantee that Oladipo will develop into the next stud shooting guard, but HoopsHype.com compares him to that of Grizzlies guard Tony Allen and they believe he can become an upper echelon role player.

"While he may lack superstar potential, he appears to be the ultimate glue type player as an overachiever who brings boundless energy. His explosiveness is off the charts (42-inch vertical at the combine), particularly off of two feet and his shooting and ball handling have shown surprising improvement. At 6-foot-4 in shoes, he's undersized, taking his long-term potential down a notch. Some wild comparisons such as Dwyane Wade and even Michael Jordan have been thrown out for Oladipo. But those are unfair for a player who projects as a high level role player, but not a star at the next level."

Other reviews of Oladipo aren't as optimistic about his shooting and ball handling skills. Trading a top-10 pick and a former No. 2 overall pick for a player like Oladipo is a risk, especially with the need for an improvement with his jump shot. Even more so, when you take into consideration the type of player Ricky Rubio is and how that would effect the way he is able to run the offense, one must take a moment and think if Oladipo is a good fit in the Wolves backcourt.

With all that being said, at this point, this is purely speculation. Flip doesn't have a track record as the president of basketball operations so we have no idea how much he values the two first round draft picks or where he thinks Williams fits into the Wolves future plans.

If a move were to transpire, don't expect it to happen until after the NBA Finals.

Jake Watroba

Twitter: @JakeWatroba

Categories: Wolves Full Court Press (Minnesota Timberwolves)

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