May 19th, 2010 by
Tuesday night, a piece of the Wes Johnson draft selection puzzle revealed itself when the draft lottery was held in Secaucus. The Washington Wizards came into the place guns-ablazin’ and won the thing despite odds that had them pegged at 10%. The Wizards will take John Wall from Kentucky with the top pick, barring something catastrophic (which you can’t always rule out, considering the way that team operated the last couple years). Depending on where you look, Evan Turner and Derrick Favors are positioned as the next two picks, but in which order remains a little more foggy.
That brings us to the fourth pick and the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is the highest position associated with Wes Johnson. Minnesota could use some help just about everywhere, including Head Coach, but the SU faithful are understandably licking their chops, hoping to get a glimpse of what could have been with Wes and Jonny Flynn. Remember that Flynn was one of several on the ’08-’09 team hyping Johnson before he played a game in an SU uniform, and it’s easy to imagine the excitement of them playing together.
Around draft time, it’s always fun to imagine former college teammates reuniting, players from rival teams having to share the ball, and similar storylines, but Flynn and Johnson together in Minneapolis actually has some legs to it. The Timberwolves have Corey Brewer at the swingman spot. His numbers from last year aren’t awful (13 PPG, 34.6% on threes in 30 minutes per game), but a fourth year of his services would require an $800K raise to $3.7 million, rendering his performance much more replaceable. According to Hoopsworld’s 2010-11 rookie salary scale, the T’Wolves could save about $700K by drafting Johnson and letting Brewer go.
In any case, SU is poised to have a former player picked in the lottery portion of the draft for the second straight year, and in the first round for the third straight year. Along with the Melo Center and the team’s recent performance, this trend continues to make SU an appealing choice for recruits.