With the third pick in the SBNation Mock Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves, represented by Canis Hoopus , select...
OJ Mayo, Guard, USC. 6-5, 195.
Canis Hoopus says: There's been a lot of talk up here in the tundra about taking a bigman at pick three since it looks like Rose or Beasely will not be available. The contenders most discussed have been Brook Lopez out of Stanford and Kevin Love from UCLA. Given that Al Jefferson is a natural--and much more effective--power forward, both of these players would be playing center, or alternating between the 4 and 5 based on matchups.
Watching videos of Lopez run the court at his recent Wolves workout was like watching Will Ferrell move to the beat in "Night at the Roxbury", plus the fact that a mid-40's former NBA player turned announcer actually blocked one of his shot attempts.
Love, from all accounts, has had pretty impressive workouts with different clubs, but at a true 6'8"-6'9", would be undersized for the position. Since the Wolves had trouble with both longer teams, and getting back on defense against opposing front court players who could effectively run the court, either choice would underwhelm me, and I think the Minnesota fan base.
Given those dynamics, it would seem like taking once again the best player available would be advisable for Minnesota. At pick three, O.J. Mayo is the best available. He would replicate Randy Foye a bit in the backcourt, but could free up the Wolves to deal Rashad McCants, and give Sebastian Telfair an opportunity to fill in at the point as a primary backup. The pick does give them versatility and depth at the
position. The Wolves can then either use their two early second rounders to trade up to acquire a big man, or see what drops down to them.
Mayo's reportedly been turning down workout opportunities with the Wolves, Sonics and Grizzlies (teams #3 through #5 on the draft board, all small market teams). There's not a huge sample size of these occurrences, but the Wolves passed on Joakim Noah last year after rumors about his camp faxing the Target Center, a warning surfaced. Yi's experience with Milwaukee, however, was the opposite. While
Mayo's agents are probably more Noah than Yi in their strategy and firmness, Mayo's too good to pass on. He's our pick at number three.
The Seattle/OKC/Okinawa/Shangri-La Supersonics are on the clock. Ridiculous Upside will be drafting for the Sonics while the Sonics' blogger community fights for their team in the courts and in the public eye. Good luck, Sonics bloggers.
The 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft so far:
1. Chicago Bulls- Blog-A-Bull: Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat- Peninsula is Mightier: Michael Beasley
3. Minnesota Timberwolves- Canis Hoopus: OJ Mayo