Posted by Matt Moore
So while the Wolves were having what is being called a "good" draft by taking Derrick Williams, the second best player in a two-pick draft with the second spot, and then trading a top 20 pick down to get several second rounders, most of which they traded, they did spend to pick one up. The Wolves and David Kahn bought the rights to the No.57 pick in the draft from Dallas, then took a guy name Tanguy Ngombo.
Ngombo was out of Qatar, and showed up in an impressive showing at the Asian Games. Wolves assistant Phil Philo found him and the Wolves thought they had themselves a steal in a 21-year-old foreign prospect. What a great story, nice to see the Wolves finally get through a draft without a real embarrassme....
Yeah, so he's not 21. He's 26.
Draft Express originally put him into the sphere of public knowledge, and mentioned the Philo connection. DX also dug up the info that shows he's 26. Which means he's ineligible. Even Qatar lists himi as being born in 1984. The result is the pick will be voided.
Now, let's say this was just the Wolves' natural 2nd round pick. That would be a bummer, but not really as bad. After all, he was unlikely to come over anyway and even if so may have been terriible. It's a late second-rounder, after all. Or say that they had picked up the pick as part of another trade as an asset they didn't really care about but the other team threw in as a deal-sweetener. That would be acceptable. It's no worse, really, than most of the picks in the second round which are really Euro stashes who will never come over to the A.
But the Wolves bought the pick. So after making all these moves in order to free up cash, presumably to afford the buyout on the remainder of Kurt Rambis' contract, they then spent money to acquire this selection... and then drafted a player who lied about his age and was ineligible.
At one level, you feel bad for Philo. Found a prospect, thought it was worth a flyer, talked his organization into making a move for him. Everyone makes mistakes. And maybe Qatar and FIBA are both wrong, and he's 21 and this isn't an issue. Plus, it's not like a second round pick is really worth much and it's not like the loss of a huge asset; the pick couldn't have cost that much.
But it's just the fact that once again the Wolves can't get out of a draft without stumbling and falling. They traded back to get value, and wound up picking up Brad Miller's contract and drafting a guy who's older than LeBron. Just when you think we have nothing to make fun of the Wolves about, Kahn's organization strikes again.