Re-drafting the 2009 NBA Draft: 5) Jrue Holiday, Minnesota Timberwolves
Before I get into this, let me make another defense of Minnesota Timberwolves’ oversight of Stephen Curry. To be fair, the Timberwolves were interested in drafting Curry, but Curry’s family reportedly didn’t want him to play in Minneapolis (maybe?), so it may not have mattered whether the Timberwolves wanted him or not.
Still, this team could have gotten far more value out of their first-round picks than they ultimately did. They can hardly be blamed for using this pick in Ricky Rubio — who received plenty of hype going into this draft due to his exploits overseas — but the team would’ve been better off taking Jrue Holiday out of UCLA.
Coming out of college, Holiday faced questions regarding his inconsistent shooting and spotty playmaking. It took a few seasons, but Holiday successfully answered those criticisms and has become one of the most underrated two-way players in the game.
Sure, he’s dealt with some injury issues, but most of those have occurred with the New Orleans Pelicans, a franchise that prioritizes frugality over having a training staff that specializes in basketball.
Holiday wouldn’t have instantly turned a team that finished 24-58 the season prior, but his ball handling, passing and ability to score off the dribble would’ve meshed well with emerging stretch four Kevin Love.
Who knows, maybe the Timberwolves would have even made the playoffs without needing to bring in Jimmy Butler or have Tom Thibodeau attempt to recreate the 2010-11 Chicago Bulls in Minneapolis?