The latest report coming the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood is that Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, the highly-touted freshman marksman, would like to join last year’s #1 overall pick (and fellow Wildcat) Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. John Calipari was praising Thibs in a conference call with reporters before saying that Murray “loves” Minnesota and that’s “where he’d like to go.” Shooting is a definite need for the team and would fill that void nicely if that’s the way Thibs and Layden want to use the pick (his shooting is roughly on par with Hield, but he has more potential to be a combo guard if need be). This news comes about a month after Kris Dunn refused to work out for both Boston and Phoenix, presumably because of their backcourt depth. Apparently he thinks it’d be easier to beat out Ricky Rubio for a starting spot than Eric Bledsoe, or maybe it’s the Thibs effect.
Regardless of the reasoning, it’s rather shocking that two of the projected top 5 picks seem to fancy playing in Minneapolis next year. It’s quite a reversal for a franchise that had to trade both of the Kevins (Garnett and Love) to the Eastern Conference to let them get their rings. The success of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City likely played a huge role in this transition. Marquee names are less likely than ever to care about playing in a big market. LeBron James reportedly signed a billion (BILLION!!!) dollar lifetime contract with Nike playing in Cleveland. Durant and Westbrook both have major shoe and commercial deals playing in Oklahoma City. Paul George has nearly unlimited endorsement deals and he plays in Indianapolis.
Playing basketball in Minneapolis is not going to hurt the marketability of the athletes that come here through the draft (either with the #5 pick or if it gets traded) or in free agency. Of the teams in the top 10, the Wolves are arguably set up the best to become a winner in the future. Boston is the most obvious refutation of that given their playoff appearance, solid core, and coaching phenom Brad Stevens. The one thing they don’t have is a Karl-Anthony Towns level player that will be capable of bringing a team to the playoffs year in and year out by himself (probably). The Sixers are still a complete unknown and the Colangelo situation has to be a little scary for any lottery pick. The Lakers, Suns, and Kings are all complete disasters at this point. Toronto and Milwaukee are both solid teams but unless LeBron leaves the Eastern Conference, they basically have no chance of making the Finals while he’s still in the league.
So there you have it, every lottery pick should want to play for the Wolves, and in a matter of a year or two, every free agent should want to play here. That’s how this works right?
Thoughts About The Thoughts
Brian is attending the
Caucasians Indians-Rays game and is unable to provide his thoughts.
Brock (in Wrigleyville bar pre-Cubs game. All takes shall reflect such atmosphere. RT’s are not endorsements): If any free agent wants to be cold like Minnesota, they should come to the way-cooler Chicago instead. LeBaby is just lucky the playoffs were rigged to leave the Bulls out, because Jimmy Butler would’ve dropped 50 per game. Ben Simmons to Chicago, imo.