5. Minnesota Timberwolves

The 5th pick belongs to the Minnesota Timberwolves and their co-GM's:

  Kevin Hansen 
  Toni Morgan .

With that 5th pick, the Timberwolves select:

  Calbert Cheaney, SF, 6-7. Indiana.

Minnesota Timberwolves 1993 Draft

This team needs almost everything.  They have a very good power
forward in Christian Laettner and an underrated shooting guard in Doug
West.  That's it.  The front office/coaching is made up of GM Jack
McCloskey and Head Coach Sidney Lowe.  McCloskey has a history of
making quick changes (trades, cuts) on a team.  Lowe took over as Head
Coach in January and had a 13-39 record.  He has no prior head
coaching experience, but does have a special rapport with the players.

Power Forward
Laettner, the #3 overall pick by the Wolves last year , led the team
in rebounding with 8.74 rpg, was second in scoring wtih 18.2 ppg, and
led the team in blocks with 1.02 bpg.  After coming off of a summer of
competition with the Dream Team, many people felt he would show signs
of tiring after almost 12 straight months of basketball, but he
continued to improve, averaging 18.6 ppg in the final two months of
the season.  He finished, as would be expected, third in
rookie-of-the-year voting behind Shaq and Morning.  Although Laettner
had his share of problems with the team, fans, and officials, he did
mature at the end of the year, when he was pretty much the only player
on the team who continued to play hard all game every game.

Bob McCann shared time at the PF position with Laettner this last
year.  The former CBA star had NBA season highs in almost every
category.  He did spark the team at times, but wasn't effective as a
starter (at center) because he got into foul trouble.  (Typical of all
of the Wolves centers, actually!  Totally tangential information:
McCann has one of the best game faces in the NBA, and possibly the
biggest hands ever.)
Shooting Guard
Doug West led the team in scoring with 19.3 ppg and shot 51.7% from
the field.  West has continued to improve since he was drafted in the
second round of Minnesota's inagural season (89-90).  He has raised
his scoring average every year.  His 19.3 ppg this year was the third
highest in Wolves history.

Point Guard
Minnesota has two capable point guards in Micheal Williams and Chris
Smith.  Neither is, nor will be, a superstar, but the two of them give
the team some leadership.  Williams set the NBA record for consecutive
FTs and will continue this streak into next year.  He ranked 4th in
the league in FT%, sixth in assists, and eighth in steals.  As a
rookie, Smith showed some of the best signs of improvement on the

Small Forward
At small forward, Minnesota used Chuck Person this past year.  He can
be a great spark player, but he averaged 38.3 mpg and was completly
exhausted at the end of the year.  He battled an inner-ear infection
and hand injury most of the season.  Person would best be used as a
sixth man on a competitive team.

Another small forward that the Wolves used was Thurl Bailey.  Thurl,
now 32, began to show his age as he was placed on the injured list for
the first time in his career this past season.  He was an effective
role player, but had poor outings when asked to put in a lot of


At the start of training camp, one of the local sports writers
ventured the opinion that Laettner became the Wolves best center the
moment he walked into training camp.  This was true.

Minnesota has Felton Spencer (their first round pick in 1990, 6th
overall) and Luc Longley (their first round pick in 1991, 7th overall)
listed at the center position, but neither played the position long
enough nor well enough to be considered an NBA center.  Together, they
averaged 9.9 ppg and 8.92 rbg last season.  Spencer has never played
up to the promise that he showed in the second half of his rookie
year, although he made 51.9% of his shots in his last 21 games of the

Longley missed his training camp and the first month of his rookie
season with contract problems.  This past year, with a full training
camp under his belt, Luc showed some flashes of improvements, but also
some glimpses that he will never be a big time NBA center.

This is the area that needs significant improvement for the Wolves to
be able to end their stint as a permanent cellar-dweller/lottery team.

Other role players from last year include Marlon Maxey (5.4 ppg), Brad
Sellers (2.5 ppg), Lance Blanks (2.6 ppg), and Gundars Vertra.  Vetra
was the team's designated "injured list filler", spending 50 games on
the injured list.  Maxey started the season, including training camp,
on the injured list, thus getting off to a very slow start.  He showed
improvement at the end of the year when he was finally healthy and the
coaching staff was able to give him some playing time.  Of the four,
only Maxey has shown any real promise, and the Wolves have indicated
that they will not be making offers to Blanks and Sellers, whose
contracts are up at the end of this season.

Our selection for the number 5 pick is Calbert Cheany of Indiana.
Although General Knight's players have traditionally not fared well in
the NBA, Cheany is a polished and intelligent player who can fill
either the 2 or 3 spots.  If the Wolves keep both West and Person,
Cheany can substitute for either; if they manage to unload Person,
both Cheany and West are possible at either position.

We considered Weber, Mashburn, Hardaway, Rodgers, and Cheany.  Of
course, Weber, Mashburn, and Hardaway were already taken by the time
we picked!  Neither of us wanted anything to do with Bradley.  He is
just too much of an unknown to gamble on right now, and the Wolves
already have too many overpaid 7-foot stiffs.  If we had a chance to
bring him in and have him play a few games against Toni and me, we
might consider selecting him, but then he too was not available at the
5th pick.

It came down to Cheany and Rodgers.  Cheany seems to be a better fit,
filling the 2/3 spot, and has more of an outside game than Rodgers.
In addition, there is some "inside information" that Rodgers cannot
stand Laettner, whom he had the dubious pleasure of knowing in the
ACC, and we certainly don't need any new personality problems on this
team.  Rodgers would probably only be effective at the 4 spot, which
is already well filled by young Mr. Laettner.  Thus, when all things
were considered, Cheany over Rodgers for this team.


At this point, I (Toni, as opposed to the other "I", who has been
Kevin) don't really expect the first five picks to be Orlando,
Philadelphia, Golden State, Dallas, and the Wolves.  However, unless
something extremely unexpected happens, I do look for Bradley,
Hardaway, Mashburn, and Webber (not necessarily in that order) to be
the first four picks, leaving the Wolves with the same choice that Kev
and I had.  NBA experts seem to lean towards Rodgers over Cheany, so
that pick by the Wolves would certainly be predictable.


Only seven or eight of the players off last year's season ending
roster should be expected back next year.  Laettner, Williams, Smith,
West, Person, Maxey, McCann should return (barring trades, of course,
which cannot be discounted with Jack in charge).  Only one of the
Wolves' two centers is expected back.  Hopefully, Minnesota will be
able to obtain something from someone for one of their two first round
picks from '90 and '91.  The Wolves would probably prefer to deal
Spencer, but will probably deal whichever one that they can.
Minnesota will need to have a strong showing from their second round
pick (as they did last year from Smith and Maxey), and get a couple of
good free agents (ala McCann), or they may end up near the top of the
lottery for a third straight year.

And, of course, don't be surprised to see the Wolves trade either up
(they wish) or down in the first round.

Toni's Dream Scenario
Person gets traded (comments about wanting to buy out his contract at
the end of the year tipped us off to this) to Boston for Robert
Parish.  One of Spencer or Longley is given to anyone who will give us
anything, we get Bradley (after we work him out, of course:), and
somehow steal a scorer from someone.  This would fill some of
Minnesota's needs both now (Parish, a scorer and only one of Longley
or Spencer) and in the future (Bradley may be worth the gamble a year
or two down the road).  We are both prepared for the flames.

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner