There are quite a few stories - opinions really - about how Kahn! is going to screw this draft up somehow. Most of this is centered around the Nets trying to dupe him into giving them a draft pick to NOT take Wes Johnson. This is something McHale would fall for - well, he'd probably trade two draft picks. I have to say that in the event he does give the Nets #23 for the rights to draft Johnson, I will officially be done with Kahn!.
And I'm not going to lie. I'm nervous. Nervous as hell. I've spent too much time watching this franchise muck up things that are nearly impossible to muck up not to see the possibility of another poorly done draft and offseason. So, in order to keep myself from overreacting to rumors and such I've decided to put myself in Kahn!'s shoes and highlight a few things I might try to do if I were him.
First thing I'd do is pull the trigger on the Al Jefferson-for-Zach Randolph trade. No hesitation. Z-Bo is in the last year of his contract versus the 3 years Big Al has left on his. Maybe you try to buy him out or maybe he ends up being a useful trade piece in the near future. He may have the history of being a lockerroom wrecker, but this lockerroom ain't exactly tight as it is anyways so I don't see much harm in having Randolph for one season. Getting out from under Al's contract is worth that. Plus, you then have a decision made for you: Kevin Love is your power forward.
Next I'd make sure and re-sign Darko. He looked good in the few games he played considering it'd been a year since he'd seen much playing time. He and Love looked good together last year and with a full training camp I think they could be the beginnings of a solid front line.
I would then try to trade #23 pick to Portland for shooting guard Rudy Fernandez. Rumor has it that the Blazers are trying to get into the first round, somewhere in the 20's and hey, we have a pick that - to us - is totally useless. Not only is Fernandez a decent player and in the final year of his contract he is Ricky Rubio's running mate on the Spanish national team. Now, I'm not holding my breath on Rubio ever playing a game in a Wolves uniform, but why not make an effort to improve those chances by trading for, and then extending the contract, for one of his buddies. If you can sell Fernandez on the franchise then maybe he could help sell Ricky on the Wolves too.
As far as the #4 pick goes, if Wes Johnson is there, I pick him. If New Jersey really is serious about drafting Wes Johnson I would call around to the few teams below us in the draft about making a deal to trade down. I'd look at Al-Farouq Aminu, the small forward from Wake Forest (CHRIS PAUL JERSEY!!!). He's a freaky athlete who can get up and down the floor and play defense. No, he's not Corey Brewer.
If that works out then I look at trading up from #16 to get Gordon Heyward, the kid from Butler. He's a solid playmaker and he can shoot the ball, two things the Wolves don't have on the wings right now. I would love to see some crazy pick-and-rolls up top with Flynn, Love, and Heyward.
If I can't trade down to take Aminu, then I might trade further down to take Heyward.
As far as the second round picks go, they're always a crapshoot, so I'd just grab the best available talent, regardless of position. Based on some of the mock drafts that are out there, I would aim for Jarvis Varnado, the shot-blocking power forward from Mississippi and Jon Scheyer, the point guard from Duke. I kind of hate Scheyer, but he was a four-year starter under Coach K and he can shoot, so he'd be worth a chance at #56 and Varnado averaged 4.7 blocks a game for the past three years.
It all goes down this evening. Here's hoping the real Kahn! doesn't do something stupid. Or a bunch of something stupids.