Timberwolves 2022 Mock Draft Round-Up
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the 19th overall pick in Thursday night’s 2022 NBA Draft and what they will do with that selection is still completely up in the air. Obviously, the Wolves have needs. But they aren’t desperate for help at any one position. Plus, there’s a lot in play that’s out of their control, between now and the 19th pick.
For the Timberwolves, this draft is even foggier than it is for most teams picking in the mid-late 1st round. Tim Connelly may not be new to the NBA Draft. In fact, he was stolen away from Denver and hired as Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations, because of his draft expertise.
But Connelly is new to Mayo Clinic Square. That’s made it impossible to look behind the curtain at what he may do with the Wolves’ 1st round pick. Not only is media struggling to gauge his thought process, but there are surely those inside the organization who are wondering what’s running through the new PoBO’s mind.
Mock Draft Round-Up
What we can do, is turn to those who follow the draft for a living and, at the very least, get to know some of the prospects who might be available at No. 19. Doing that should give us an idea of who the Minnesota Timberwolves might draft and why those players are seen as good fits on the roster.
TyTy Washington (20.6 y/o) | 6’3″ Guard | Kentucky
The Athletic: It’s a bit more difficult to find a fit for Washington than you would expect on draft night. That is part of the reason why you have seen his name fall in recent weeks on mock drafts. Still, he fits a number of boxes that Tim Connelly tends to look for in prospects. He is excellent from a skill perspective and processes the game exceedingly well.
Sporting News: Washington was once considered to be a potential top-10 pick before injuries and inconsistency derailed his freshman season. The Timberwolves could use some depth in their backcourt behind Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. If a talent like Washington is still on the board here, they could find their reserve floor general. Washington is a capable pick-and-roll ball-handler and a solid shooter, but he can be a streaky scorer. His ability to play on or off the ball makes him flexible for the team that selects him.
Jalen Williams (21.2 y/o) | 6’6″ Guard/Forward | Santa Clara
This would work out pretty well for Minnesota, if Williams fell to 19. So well that Connelly would likely go with this option over selecting somebody named “Nikola Jović”. Williams would give the Wolves another ballhandler, one with some size, after they too often leaned on undersized perimeter lineups last season. Liddell also would be a really good fit here, but I have him gone by this point.
Walker Kessler (20.9 y/o) | 7’1″ Center | Auburn
Twin Towers lineups are becoming more in vogue these days with the success that teams like Boston and Cleveland had with bigger lineups this season. For a Minnesota team looking to take the next step defensively, drafting the NCAA’s Defensive Player of the Year could make some sense. Even if that means playing Kessler alongside a super-skilled 7-footer in Karl-Anthony Towns. Kessler is a force as a rim protector but brings strong pick-and-roll finishing ability and even some potential as a perimeter shooter. Kessler is a steady offensive presence with his ability to catch difficult passes, hammer home lobs, finish with touch around the basket and make good decisions out of short rolls, which should make him a good fit in Minnesota’s offense.
Blake Wesley (19.3 y/o) | 6’4″ Center | Notre Dame
Wesley is the first one-and-done prospect to come out of Notre Dame. He is one of the best passers out of the pick-and-roll and has the confidence to get a shot off at the end of the shot clock or when the game is on the line. Wesley is still young at just 19 years old and has a ton of upside as a budding shooting guard in the league.
Nikola Jovic (19 y/o) | 6’11” Forward | Serbia
SB Nation (NBA Staff)
The Wolves need to be aggressive with their first of four picks on draft night. Swinging for the fences by selecting Nikola Jovic — a 6-11 shooter who is the sixth-youngest prospect among the top 50ish players — makes a ton of sense. Minnesota needs more size and length on the wing. They also need more shooting around Karl-Anthony Towns, to ensure maximum spacing that both Towns and Anthony Edwards can leverage into easier scoring looks. Jovic fits the bill. His smooth, consistent stroke led to him shooting 35.6% from deep in the Liga ABA (I would be surprised if he didn’t improve upon that in the NBA). He showed a willingness to attack close-outs and make good reads from there.
TyTy Washington was the only player who was mocked to the Minnesota Timberwolves in multiple drafts. All of the others chose different prospects. Washington would be a nice fit. But again, it’s impossible to know whether or not Tim Connelly sees him as the best option.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan