Jim Souhan
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Tim Connelly, the new Timberwolves basketball boss, wants the NBA draft to be expanded from one to two days. This lapse in judgment might taint his entire career.

I will try to forgive him for this act of malice, but he will need to win about four championships.

The NBA draft is the worst night of sports in America. If the NBA draft were expanded to two nights, it would become worse, and longer, like following "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" with "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" (Director's Cut).

This is why, on Thursday night, I chose poorly. I walked into the Courts at Mayo Clinic Square to cover the NBA draft. I should have walked across the street.

The options available Thursday night were:

  • The NBA draft, which is a night of lying and obfuscation featuring mostly players who won't matter much in the league.
  • The Lynx playing the Phoenix Mercury as Sylvia Fowles, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, returned from injury to face the always-annoying-yet-legendary Diana Taurasi.

I chose deception and pantomime over reality. I chose to wait until midnight to listen to Connelly tell us nothing, not even the names of the players he drafted, instead of watching actual basketball.

To be fair, Connelly did say that he drafted players he likes. You can't get that kind of insight before midnight.

Fowles played well, the Lynx won and are starting to look like a team that can make a push for the playoffs.

The Wolves traded down, drafted a backup center who can't shoot, and participated in The Dance of the Seven Veils, if "Veils" is a synonym for "lies," and "seven" is an underestimation.

The NBA wants you to believe that the draft is entertainment. Then, when trades inevitably occur, the commissioner, the teams and even the players have to pretend that the trades haven't happened yet. It's an annual farce.

The Wolves made about 32 trades on Thursday, then chose Auburn center Walker Kessler with their first pick in the draft, the 22nd in the first round. Kessler was interviewed at the draft headquarters in Brooklyn. He was asked about playing for Memphis, and he was smooth enough to offer generic answers without mentioning the Grizzlies, because he knew he was going to the Wolves.

Then the Wolves traded for the 26th pick and chose Duke wing Wendell Moore, but couldn't acknowledge that they had done so.

What we saw all night was the league refusing to acknowledge facts, leaving that to dueling newsbreakers who sometimes disagreed.

I mean, imagine a prominent American organization trying to publicly subvert reality. That just doesn't happen in this country.

As the Wolves were making trades they couldn't talk about for players they couldn't name, Fowles was producing 14 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes in her return from a knee injury in the Lynx's 100-88 victory over Phoenix.

Moriah Jefferson has become a force at point guard. Damiris Dantas and Natalie Achonwa are healthy, giving the Lynx a quality nine-player rotation. After far too many games in which the Lynx looked like they had gone back to 2009, they are suddenly interesting.

The Lynx play the defending champion Chicago Sky on Sunday, in a rematch of their one-game playoff from last year. The Lynx have 18 regular-season games remaining. In their last four games, they have lost in the last minute to two excellent teams — Seattle and Las Vegas - and easily handled Phoenix twice.

The Lynx have moved out of last place and are three games behind New York for the eighth and last playoff spot.

Last year, Chicago finished 16-16, won at Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs, then won the title.

The Lynx will need some luck with Fowles' knee. They will need Aerial Powers to score efficiently. Suddenly, though, they look like a team that could be a problem in the playoffs.

That's why I should have walked across the street on Thursday night, instead of watching the NBA's annual farce.