When the T-Wolves ended up with the third pick, after a cursory glance at the mock drafts, I thought that Brook Lopez was the best player available. I was wrong. The Orlando Draft Camp is going on now, and while Lopez isn't playing, he did get measured and ran some drills. It did not go well.
Luckily for Lopez, he's a legit seven feet tall in shoes. (Which is good, because he'll likely be playing in shoes. Then again, when an inch can make a difference in high you're drafted, it makes sense to measure the players without shoes, so you can see who's wreaking their joints by wearing lifts like Kevin Love). Of course, the worst thing that can happen for a seven footer is to be labeled a stiff, a label that Lopez might have earned by turning in the worst time in the lane agility drill and the 3/4 court sprint (what's really sad is that Brian Butch participated in the drills). His vertical wasn't all that great either, at only 30.5 inches. That, combined with the fact that he never shot higher than 50% in a season (which, for a post player, is really, really bad-for comparison Spencer Tollackson shot over 50% his final three years, and Roy Hibbert shot over 59% his final three years) and the fact that he wasn't the best rebounder (his rebounding percentages barely cracked the top 200 last year) says that he's more likely to flop than be a star.
- Flip Saunders was let go by the Pistons today. He had a reputation, deservedly so, I think, of not knowing how to coach in the playoffs. The thing is, he managed to make the conference finals four times (once with the Wolves, and three times with the Pistons). That's pretty good. And while he never made it to the Finals, he was only favored to once, against the LeBrons last year, and even then, his team didn't have the best player on the court, which, as they found out when LeBron took over the series, makes things a lot harder. Then again, a better coach probably would have figured out a way to defend the Cavs (see Popovich, Greg).
- The Wolves have a lot more going on this offseason aside from deciding on who to select with the third pick and the folks over at the TWolves Blog discussed what they'd do if they were in charge. And yes, I think they're more qualified than Kevin McHale.
Only Tangentially Related to Football
- Bryant McKinnie's lawyer is working on getting him into a diversion program so the charges against him are dismissed. Either way, it looks like we'll see Artis Hicks start some games at left tackle.
- Michael Lombardi of SI.com has a blueprint for teams to follow in case 2010 actually ends up being a capless year.
- People in Chicago apparently ate some bad Polish sausage or something...