SLAMonline Mock Draft: Slava Kravtsov, No. 28
All my clever witticisms have been used up on twitter. Kevin’s too…
by Myles Brown
With the 28th pick in the 2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select…
With the 31st pick in last year’s draft the Wolves selected Montenegrin center Nikola Pekovic. Despite an NBA opt-out clause in his contract he remained overseas this season, however Wolves management has maintained that he’ll join the club in 2010. According to the scouting reports, he’d certainly be a welcome addition
This past season Pekovic was All-Euroleague First Team and helped Panathinaikos capture the Triple Crown, which is essentially a domestic, national and continental championship in the same season. Though prototypically undersized at 6-10 and 265, Pekovic is still quite comfortable at center with a reliable set of post moves, good hands and solid rebounding.
Which is why I’m drafting another center.
Al Jefferson is a bonafide All Star and Kevin Love could be well on his way to becoming one. But it became evident this past season that they’re not an ideal front court tandem due to their lack of size-and more importantly-defense. According to the scouting reports, Pekovic doesn’t care to overexert himself under the opposing basket either. Love is best suited as a sixth man, where his talent would provide a consistency at the PF over 48 minutes and Pekovic would win the starting center spot by default.
Three skilled and hard nosed post players are a blessing for any franchise, particularly one in a rebuilding process. So considering that the previous two selections of this mock draft rectified any deficiencies at the point or swing positions, it’s a reasonable gamble to select a project player with such a low pick.
Twenty-two-year-old Slava Kravtsov is a 7-0, 260 pound Ukranian who received mixed reviews at this year’s Reebok Eurocamp. A strong build and impressive wingspan establish him as a defensive presence capable of blocking or altering shots in the paint. He’s an aggressive offensive rebounder and moves reasonably well for someone of his size. His weakness seem to be entirely on the offense, which is excusable considering the aforementioned talent on this roster. If he can assert himself on defense to compensate for their shortcomings in limited minutes, he’ll have done his job.
Jefferson, Love, Pekovic and Kravtsov could have the makings of a formidable front line for years to come. Especially with a Hall of Fame pivot to mentor them.
Oh, that’s right.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Demar DeRozan|
|7||Golden State Warriors||James Harden|
|8||New York Knicks||Stephen Curry|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Tyreke Evans|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Jonny Flynn|
|11||New Jersey Nets||DeJuan Blair|
|12||Charlotte Bobcats||Terrence Williams|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Earl Clark|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Jrue Holiday|
|15||Detroit Pistons||B.J. Mullens|
|16||Chicago Bulls||Sam Young|
|17||Philadelphia 76ers||Ty Lawson|
|18||Minnesota Timberwolves||Eric Maynor|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||Patty Mills|
|20||Utah Jazz||Gerald Henderson|
|21||New Orleans Hornets||Wayne Ellington|
|22||Dallas Mavericks||Austin Daye|
|23||Sacramento Kings||Omri Casspi|
|24||Portland Trail Blazers||Victor Claver|
|25||Oklahoma City Thunder||Tyler Hansbrough|
|26||Chicago Bulls||Jeff Teague|
|27||Memphis Grizzlies||DaJuan Summers|
|28||Minnesota Timberwolves||Slava Kravtsov|