MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - We won't know who the Minnesota Timberwolves will add to their roster until Thursday night, but we do know one thing. The Wolves intend to build their roster around their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns.
The NBA Draft is Thursday night, and the Wolves hold the No. 11 pick in the first round and the No. 43 pick in the second round. Any and all scenarios are in play for new President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas.
The options include trade packages to move up in the draft, deals to move back or to just stay put at No. 11 and take the best option available. The phones have apparently been busy over at Mayo Clinic Square with the draft less than two days away.
"We've reached out to every team in this league to see what our options are, and we'll be prepared here on Thursday to make the right decisions for our organization," Rosas said.
The Wolves don't exactly have a proven track record of success in the draft. Since 2013, only two players chosen in the first round are still on the roster. Those are Towns, the No. 1 overall choice in 2015, and last year's first round pick at No. 20, Josh Okogie.
Former first round picks Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine were part of the package sent to Chicago for Jimmy Butler, and we all know how that ended. We also can't forget 2009, when the Wolves took Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn instead of Steph Curry.
The reality for the Wolves is they're one year removed from breaking a 14-year playoff drought, and there's a new front office in charge. It's one that emphasizes communication, working together and operating at a high level.
Speaking of operating at a high level, Towns starts his 5-year, $190 max contract this season. Rosas is aiming to build the Wolves roster around his franchise player.
"We want to make sure that we've got pieces in place that can grow and develop with him, and can peak at the right time. You win in this league with high-end players, we're fortunate that we have a high-end player," Rosas said. "We've got the potential for other players on our roster to be high-end players. That's going to be part of our philosophy and part of our player development. But we are going to be very aggressive at looking at any and all opportunity to add talent to this base."
One piece Rosas said he expects to have is forward Robert Covington. He missed the last 43 games of last season with a bone bruise. Rosas said Tuesday he'll be ready to go for the start of the season.
If the Wolves do make a deal on draft night, one of the players in the rumor mill for a trade is Andrew Wiggins. He's under contract for $147 million. Rosas said any rumors about moving Wiggins up to or on draft night are just that.
"The reality is just because it's on social media doesn't make it real. Just because it's a rumor doesn't mean it's something that's happening. The reality is my job is to do everything possible to make this team the best team possible," Rosas said. "At the end of the day, we're fully committed to our players."
The job for Rosas is to add as much talent to the roster as he possibly can in a fit to the style they want to play. Thursday night is the culmination of a front office that's put in 16-hour days for more than a month, pouring over player analysis and evaluation after prospects have worked out for teams, hoping to have their name called on draft night.
It's also entering the unknown. Unless it's a top five pick, we won't know for a few years if Minnesota's new draft pick will be a future cornerstone. That's why next year, Rosas will appreciate having more than a year for evaluation rather than six weeks.
"We love it, it's why we do our jobs. A lot of people say it's our Christmas Day. Sometimes it's 3, 4, 5 years of work that comes to completion in 3.5 hours and begins the life course of a new player for your organization," Rosas said.
Wolves fans hope a new front office in charge will improve the quality of the talent that comes to Minneapolis. After all, it's Rosas's mission to turn the Timberwolves into a family-friendly, world-class organization that competes for championships on a yearly basis.