Timberwolves come so close again PDF Imprimir E-mail

Well, that's too bad. For a brief and shining moment, I thought we'd all be able to tell that smart-alecky Ricky Rubio, who apparently thinks he's too good to come to Minnesota, to go jump in a kettle full of steaming paella.

The player of the Wolves' dreams, point guard Kyrie Irving, was this close to being here. How close? When the camera cut to him at lottery headquarters in Secaucus, N.J., he already looked a little queasy. I'm sure he was thinking: Any chance of re-upping with Duke?

Relax, Kyrie. The Wolves took another hosing in the lottery on Tuesday. The team with the worst record in basketball ended up with the second pick in the upcoming draft. The overwhelming consensus is that the second-best player in the draft is Arizona forward Derrick Williams. However, the team already is committed to building around current forwards Kevin Love and Michael Beasley.

I'd say the best part of watching Tuesday's lottery show on ESPN was learning from Montel Williams that I could get cash fast. Up to $1,000 by tomorrow! Unfortunately, the commercials ended and we had to go back to the ping-pong balls.

Wait 'til next year. And, believe me, we'll all be back counting the ping-pong balls again next year.

"It is what it is," Wolves President David Kahn noted after taking his annual medicine, just like all the Timberwolves execs before him have done.

The ideal scenario - the just and righteous scenario - was for the Wolves to get the No. 1 overall pick, anhonor they so richly deserved. Then they could have traded Rubio's rights to New York or whatever other city the little "Principe Espanol" deemed worthy of his talents.

Granted, Minnesota has become something of a point-guard graveyard. But Irving seemed talented enough to come in and take charge on the floor, sooner rather than later. Of course, I was assuming Kahn would hire a coaching staff that could help the kid develop. You know, a coaching staff that knows how to teach defense. Scoring may be a God-given talent, but defense is teachable. And last season's Wolves team was the worst defensive team in franchise history. Maybe one of the 10 worst anywhere, ever.

But it's moot now. And I'm pretty sure Kahn has learned his lesson. Instead of traveling to Secaucus each year, only to wind up standing there on camera with a frozen smile congratulating the winner of the top pick, he'll start sending an arena maintenance man or security guard or maybe even a wino living under the Target Center loading dock to represent the franchise.

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