The Mount Rushmore of Timberwolves Bad Draft Picks
With the fourth pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves took Wesley Johnson. The Syracuse product currently starts for the rebuilding and injury ridden Los Angeles Clippers. With MN facing L.A. twice in four days, Wolves’ fans have had a great chance to catch up on our former first-round bust.
It is kind of a shame the Clippers suck. Watching their owner, Steve Ballmer, celebrate brings me great joy:
Our secret weapon… Steve Ballmer dance. https://t.co/YdV2Gx2nlO
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 8, 2015
This Johnson reunion has me thinking a TON about that 2010 draft. Demarcus Cousins went 5th to Sacramento. How did we take Wes Johnson over what turned into this:
*Watch how the Warrior’s bench reacts*
Boogie wrecks Patrick McCaw, stares down his bleeding body, Warriors bench reaction 10/10 pic.twitter.com/WL38vA31xq
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 5, 2017
It’s painful to think about. Partially as a result of that blunder, we now have Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns. That might help ease the sting. The 2010 selection wasn’t the worst in team history. However, it definitely makes the top four.
The Mount Rushmore of Bad Timberwolves Draft Picks:
Wesley Johnson (4th overall, 2010)
Part of me feels guilty for earlier referring to Johnson as a bust. Here we are over 7 years since he was drafted and he’s starting the league. A lot of higher drafted players have done far worse. E.g. Darko Miličić.
It’s just witnessing Boogie Cousins drop 40+ points with 20+ rebounds skews your viewing of Wes. Like if Blair doesn’t go wide left vs. Seattle, you wonder what could have been. People might argue that Demarcus wouldn’t have fit in well with our MN Nice culture. Ok. That’s cool. Instead of Boogie, we could have had Gordon Hayward or Paul George.
But hey, Wes was here long enough to put together a highlight video that isn’t embarrassing.
Jonny Flynn (6th overall, 2009)
For future reference, no more Syracuse players. One year prior to taking Johnson, the Timberwolves took another Jim Boeheim product. Jonny boy averaged 13.5 points per game as a rookie. Over the rest of his five-year career, he was never able to top 6 PPG.
Flynn went one pick before 2x NBA Champion, Steph Curry in 2009. Along with the two rings, Curry is a 2x MVP, arguably the greatest shooter of all time, owner of the top-selling jersey in the NBA, and is the face of a $14 billion dollar company. Even with all of those accomplishments, the 29 year-old is far from done.
Ndudi Ebi (26th Overall, 2003)
The Joe Smith scandal resulted in Minnesota losing multiple first round picks. Regardless, Kevin Garnett and company were able to remain highly competitive. After serving the punishment, we were back in the first round in 2003. A solid role player in the draft was what was needed to bolster championship aspirations.
Nbudi Ebi was anything but solid. It was a disaster from the moment former commissioner, David Stern, called out the selection. Stern mispronounced the Nigarian-British player’s name and referred to him as “Doodie.” Long story short, “Doodie” scored a total of 40 points in his 19 career NBA games.
However, he’s still busting people overseas…
Shabazz Muhammad (14th Overall, 2013)
Bazz is the man. He was put on this earth to get buckets. Timberwolves’ fans should appreciate the fact he took less money to stay in Minnesota. 2017 has been an odd season for him thus far, but hopefully he figures it out.
With that said, raise your hand if you’re familiar with the “Greek Freak.” Yep. Hindsight is 20/20, but dammit. The selection directly after Muhammad in ’13’s draft was Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 23-year-old is averaging 29.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists this season. Those numbers say enough when it comes to Giannis. Adding one more doesn’t hurt. but adding footage like this doesn’t hurt:
The Greek Freak has made the most of his 23 years. pic.twitter.com/J6oVKmH0NS
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 6, 2017
We all know Shabazz has his downfalls but we’ve seen him play well too. However, it still shocks me that there wasn’t a scout in the room, on Shabazz (he was a top 1-3 nationally-ranked recruit in 2012), who said: “Wait, we should make sure he can use his right hand…”. Even in this high school highlight video, it’s pretty clear Bazz can’t use his right hand. He might as well cut the damn thing off.
Mount Rushmore’s don’t appoint a “top spot.” Rightfully so! How is any sane person supposed to chose between those Presidential legends?
As is tradition, the “top spot” for this Mount Rushmore doesn’t exist either…
T-Wolves fans tonight are googling Johnny Flynn to rub salt in their 2009 draft day wounds pic.twitter.com/0zedptQ7f9
— Nate Severson (@nateseverson) February 28, 2016