MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves are less than a month from the NBA Draft, and they’re in an enviable position with the No. 1, No. 17 and No. 33 overall picks.
For the second time in franchise history, the Wolves won the NBA Draft Lottery. The last time they had the No. 1 overall pick, they brought Karl-Anthony Towns to Minneapolis. This year, they have a plethora of options.
There’s not a clear-cut generational player to take No. 1 overall. There’s no Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis or LeBron James. So will they opt to take who they feel is the best player in the draft with the top pick, or will they use the asset in a trade package to bring in a current star?
Nobody knows, but with the picks they have, they like where they’re at. That’s what Gersson Rosas, the head man in the Wolves’ front office, said Wednesday morning in a pre-draft session with reporters on Zoom.
“I’m very confident that as we go through this process, the talent will rise to the top and we’ll be confident about identifying one guy as the best guy, the best talented player with the most upside and most ability for our organization,” Rosas said. “We feel good about the talent on top, we feel good about the depth. It’s easy for me to say that because we have those picks, but after studying these guys for six or seven months, we’re very confident of what draft night is going to bring us.”
The luxury for the Wolves, if you want to call it that, is they’ve had since March to evaluate the top prospects. They were 19-45 when COVID-19 shut down the sports world, and they were not part of the NBA’s return in Florida.
But there’s been nothing normal about this year’s draft process. No in-person workouts, no live NBA Draft Combine. They scout by tape, virtual workouts and interviews. They’ll finally get to meet with prospects in-person in the near future, but it’s still different.
“Those are things that have made this year strange. But at the same time, we all know everyone is dealing with a new normal with this pandemics so we’re making the most of it,” Rosas said.
The consensus among draft experts is the top three players are Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, guard LaMelo Ball and Memphis center James Wiseman. The Wolves want another scorer and ball-handler to complement D’Angelo Russell. They also might want a more true center to allow Towns to play at forward.
Regardless of who they draft or trade for, the night is about the future and potential. They can only go up from 19-45, and missing the playoffs 15 of the last 16 years.
“As the days get closer to it, there’s a level of excitement because we’re going to add an influx of talent to this organization, and we’re one step closer to training camp and we’re one step closer to starting the season next year,” Rosas said.