Welcome to the 2011 NBA Draft, tweeps

Published 8:48 am Thursday, June 23, 2011

I love the NBA Draft.

The suits are flashier, congratulatory cell-phone calls don’t spoil the commissioner’s announcements and I don’t have to pay attention beyond the 10th pick.

In recent weeks, I’ve been obsessed with tracking draft rumors on Twitter. I began following a number of the NBA beats top dogs and players, notably Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, the presumed No. 1 and 2 picks.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have the second and 20th picks in tonight’s draft, which begins at 6 p.m. on ESPN. The Timberwolves are expected to take Williams but anything is possible including trading the pick for a veteran.

In anticipation of tonight’s draft, I picked up some nuggets on Twitter and created a psuedo-Q&A. So, let’s here from the experts:

AD: Who will be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NBA Draft?

Jay Bilas, ESPN: “Kyrie Irving will be the first pick. All the talk otherwise is smoke. Derrick Williams will score big in the NBA, but he needs to guard.”

AD: What are your thoughts on the rumor the Timberwolves want to trade the No. 2 pick for Phoenix’s Steve Nash?

Dan Barreiro, KFAN: “Steve Nash for the No. 2 pick in round one? Dumbest. Notion. Ever.”

AD: Any chance the Wolves draft Turkish center Enes Kanter with the second pick?

Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press: “They are seriously considering it, but I think they’ll go Williams if they don’t trade out of the pick.”

AD: There have been rumors the Wolves may trade the No. 2 pick for Phoenix center Marcin Gortat and their No. 13 pick. Thoughts?

Jon Krawczynski: “Like him. Not super cheap. But the kind of grinder they’d need. Lukewarm on deal.”

AD: Any word on the Wolves trying to move the No. 2 pick to the Lakers for centers Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol?

Phil Mackey, 1500 ESPN: “#Wolves turned down #Lakers offer of Lamar Odom for #2 pick. Wolves wanted Andrew Bynum or Gasol.”

AD: Any other prospect the Wolves are high on?

Jerry Zgoda, Minneapolis Star Tribune: “#Timberwolves consider 6-11 Czech small forward Jan Vesely most athletic guy in the draft.”

AD: Sports Illustrated reported this potential deal: 76ers Andre Iguodala to Timberwolves, No. 2 pick to Lakers and Lamar Odom and Ron Artest to 76ers. Thoughts?

Jerry Zgoda: “I think Derrick Williams is in favor of that deal…”

AD: Where would Ricky Rubio be selected if he were in this draft?

Jon Krawczynski: “Great question. Wolves think top 5. But w/all the PGs, could see him slip a little.”

AD: Last trade rumor to clear up. The No. 2 pick to the Wizards for No. 6 and center JaVale McGee?

Jon Krawczynski: “Sounds like Wiz are reluctant to deal him.”

Andrew Dyrdal’s column appears each Thursday in the Tribune. He can he heard at 12:35 p.m. Thursdays on KATE Radio.