As a Minnesota Timberwolves fan, I am used to just skipping the actual season (where games are played) and looking towards the off-season (where they aren’t). 2019-20 was no different, but it’s taking a lot longer to get to the off-season, or the “good part”… especially the NBA Draft and its lottery.
The Timberwolves were left out of the NBA’s “bubble”, meaning they will now look towards the NBA draft. Unfortunately, we’re still 3 months away (Oct. 16) from that actually taking place. First, we have to get to the lottery, which is still more than a month out (Aug. 25). When we finally get there, Minnesota will have a 14 percent chance at winning the lottery and landing the #1 overall pick. That is a 3-way tie for best odds in the league.
I’m not sure how the NBA draft lottery will work this year, but as of today, the Pistons have the fifth-best odds to win the lottery.
1. GS: 15-50 (14%)
2. CLE: 19-46 (14%)
3. MIN: 19-45 (14%)
4. ATL: 20-47 (12.5%)
5. DET: 20-46 (10.5%)
The draft is expected to be in October.— Tony Dombrowski (@tonydombrowski) June 3, 2020
Gersson Rosas & Co. had one heck of a trade deadline, acquiring players like D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez. The pieces are there, for a bright future. If the Wolves “win” the NBA lottery and get the first pick, who should they consider taking? I know that sentence is hyperbole, given the Wolves luck in past lotteries, but let’s play pretend anyway.
Anthony Edwards | Freshman | University of Georgia
Edwards had high expectations, but was playing for a team that had low expectations. On the season, Edwards averaged 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game and just under 2.5 assists per game. In his first two collegiate games, Edwards scored 24 against Western Carolina and 29 against The Citadel.
In the Maui Invitational, Edwards dropped a career-high 37 against Michigan State.
Edwards isn’t a great three-point shooter (28 percent), but he has elite athleticism, plays strong around the rim and he’s good defender with room to improve. Anthony is a decent passer, too, finishing second on the Bulldogs, with 91 assists in 32 games.
NBA draft net has Edwards’ comp as Dwayne Wade/Donovan Mitchell.
James Wiseman | Freshman | University of Memphis
This would be one interesting pairing down low for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wiseman is 7’1, but played in just three games thanks to an NCAA violation. In his only three games as a Tiger, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiseman would make an interesting fit, because they are different players. Towns struggles defensively, but is one of the best scorers in the league, while Wiseman would help make-up for all of Towns’ struggles without the ball.
Here’s what NBADraftRoom.com says about Wiseman:
Wiseman is a force on the defensive end, where he alters and blocks a lot of shots, showing good timing, quick elevation and good shot blocking instincts. His awareness on the defensive end is something that can’t be taught and Wiseman projects as a legit rim protector at the college and NBA levels. He also does a nice job of altering perimeter shots and has enough foot-speed to bother guards beyond the three point line.NBADraftRoom.com
Obi Toppin | Sophomore | Dayton University
One of the best teams from a season ago, the Dayton Flyers had the most electric player in the nation, in Obi Toppin. They finished 29-2, before the NCAA Tournament was cancelled. The reigning Player of the Year and Dayton’s first consensus All-American, was averaging 20 points and 7 rebounds per game, while shooting 60% from the field.
Should the Wolves get the first pick, and use it to draft Toppin, it would shock a lot of people. There would be a lot of similarities to when the Cavaliers took Anthony Bennett in 2013. Toppin was better in college and has a higher ceiling than Bennett, but the shock factor would be huge.
I think Toppin is a better fit in Minnesota, than Wiseman, due to his unbelievable athleticism and above-average outside shot.
These three are the guys I like the most, should the Minnesota Timberwolves win the lottery. But, this is a weird draft and other guys who come to mind include: Lamelo Ball, Deni Avdija and Onyeka Okongwu.
The Wolves could use their draft capital to add another already-established star, too. Bradley Beal and Devin Booker, I’m looking at you. Booker might be looking at us, too…
With two first-round picks (depending if the Nets make the playoffs — they won’t), it’s not out of the question for Rosas to go big-name hunting, out on the trade market.
Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan