Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Report

Breaking down the Timberwolves draft picks and roster outlook heading into the NBA draft

2017-18 W/L: 47-35 2018-19 W/L: 36-46

Finished 11th in the western conference (Missed Playoffs)

Team Needs: PG, SG, PF

Free Agents: Taj Gibson, Jerryd Bayless, Anthony Tolliver, Tyus Jones, Loul Deng, Derrick Rose, Cameron Reynolds

Under Contract: Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng, Robert Covington, Karl Anthony-Towns, Dario Saric, Josh Okogie, Keita Bates-Diop

Pick 1: 1st Round-11th Overall

Players who could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Darius Garland, Coby White

SG/SF: Keldon Johnson, Cam Reddish, Romeo Langford, Nassir Little, Sekou Doumbouya, Kevin Porter Jr.

PF/C:  Jaxson Hayes, Rui Hachimura, PJ Washington, Bol Bol

Pick 1: 2nd Round-43rd Overall

Players who could be available and fit with this pick:

PG: Talen Horton-Tucker, Jaylen Nowell, Ky Bowman, Jalen Lecque

SG/SF: Darius Bazley, Chuma Okeke, Zach Norvell Jr., Jaylen Hoard

PF/C: Jalen Mcdaniels, Simisola Shittu, Grant Williams, Luka Samanic

Minnesota has been somewhat stuck in a position between contender and missing the playoffs the last couple of seasons, and their acquisition of Jimmy Butler did not go as planned by any stretch of the imagination. They have a questionable contract on the books that has Jeff Teague making 19 million next season along with the combination of Andrew Wiggins/Karl Anthony Towns which will eat up a considerable amount of cap space in the next few seasons. Minnesota will have a decision on their hands when it comes to what to do with Derrick Rose going forward, but that will largely depend on the market that exists for the veteran once free agency begins. There are also multiple names that they could elect to re-sign or recruit if it makes sense financially, but the draft will allow them to add a potential contributing player on a cheap contract by comparison. The team did get some solid pieces in the Jimmy Butler trade taking on Dario Saric and Robert Covington but they will need to continue to add talent if they would like to reach a contender type of level. Depending on how they want to handle free agency it would not be a surprise to see them take a point or shooting guard with their first pick. There is a chance that one of the two point guards after Ja Morant will be available once Minnesota is on the clock, and both Coby White or Darius Garland would fit in well with the offense the Timberwolves want to put on the floor. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is an interesting option who is expected to be available after the top ten and as a long wing who can play either guard position, he would give the team plenty of versatility to carve out a role. If they elect to go with a shooting guard there will be options available depending on who goes off of the board before their position, but the team will just need to decide who in their mind is the best available player and go from there. Even if they sign a point guard or a shooting guard in free agency, they still will likely draft at least one guard to add depth and a potential future starter. 

With their second pick the Timberwolves could take a guard or a big man, but it will largely depend on what they choose to do with their first selection. It is not as simple as if they take a forward or a center with the 11th overall selection that they would take a guard with their second pick, however it would make the most sense for their depth to add either two guards, or one guard and an additional big. Having the 43rd pick means you can possibly pick up a serviceable asset, but there is some luck involved as well as what role the player can step into being a major factor in their ability to earn minutes. Karl Anthony Towns has the center position under control but they could elect to add a power forward that can play alongside KAT, and Jalen Mcdaniels, Grant Williams, Luka Samanic and Simisola Shittu could be capable of doing so despite the different skill sets they bring to the table. If they choose a point guard with their first selection then there will be options at shooting guard or small forward in the second round that could help a franchise, and the same could be said if they go with a shooting guard or small forward first. Chuma Okeke is an interesting option if the team feels they have the patience for him to become fully healthy after an ACL tear, and Darius Bazley has a lot of upside after not playing competitive basketball this past season but possessing solid size and skills. Having scorers on the roster and under contract for years to come, a prospect like Talen Horton-Tucker with his defensive skills would be a nice addition, and Jalen Lecque could be a steal in the right situation. If we were drafting for the Timberwolves we would select a point guard or a shooting guard with the 11th overall pick, and then follow it up with a point guard or a shooting guard in the second round depending on what position was taken with the first round selection. Obviously if a player that the team is very high on slips outside of the top ten then you make that selection no matter who is on the roster, but adding two guards that can compete for minutes early in their careers would go a long way to helping Minnesota get back to the playoffs in the next couple of seasons.

 

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