It’s been a long time coming, but the NBA Draft Lottery is finally happening this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by the great Rachel Nichols. The Minnesota Timberwolves are tied for the highest odds to land the number one overall pick.
Making the playoffs just once since their Western Conference Finals run in 2004, the NBA draft lottery has been Wolves’ fans biggest event every year. 2020 is no different.
President of Basketball Operations, Gersson Rosas, is virtually sending D’Angelo Russell to represent the Wolves’ 14% chance to land the #1 overall pick. The lefty hopes to bring some lottery luck to a snake-bitten franchise.
Should the Timberwolves get a top-three pick (it would be really bad luck if they didn’t), what is the best option for Rosas and Ryan Saunders?
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) August 18, 2020
Big Game Hunting
The Pack already has two bonafide stars in Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. Don’t forget, the Wolves also have the restricted free agent rights on budding star in Malik Beasley. The former Florida State star averaged 20.7 points and 3.5 three point makes in 14 games, after coming over from the Denver Nuggets.
Rosas has already shown his willingness to be aggressive and the Wolves have the ammo teams are looking for when dealing a star. Here are three trade options for the Timberwolves on NBA draft night.
The Devin Booker situation in Phoenix reminds me a lot of the DeMarcus Cousins situation in Sacramento. The Suns tried to make the playoffs in the “bubble” but not even an 8-0 record could save them from the cut-line.
Was this the Suns last chance to convince Booker to stay in Phoenix? Possibly. They have a decent future, but I’d argue there is a better future in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Booker is already best friends with Russell and Towns and would make the Timberwolves unguardable on offense. He’s an effective scorer from all levels and lights-out from behind the arc.
Devin has been a star since entering the desert, averaging 26.6 points per game in back-to-back seasons. Of course, the Wolves still need to get better defensively, but adding Booker (if the price is right) would be too good to pass up.
Devin Booker’s season:
30.5 PPG – 6.0 APG – 4.9 RPG
Only 23 years old…salute to Devin Booker on a great season ? pic.twitter.com/FVXWkvL51M— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 14, 2020
Booker is tied up for another five years, however, and might be hard for Rosas and Co. to fit under the salary cap. But man, would he look good in blue and green.
Since he entered the draft out of Oklahoma, I have wanted Buddy Hield in a Timberwolves uniform. Hield was a polarizing draft prospect, but never seemed to excel in New Orleans. He was eventually traded to Sacramento. Ever since becoming a King, Buddy has exceeded expectations, averaging a career-high 20.7 points per game a season ago.
Is Hield a star? Maybe not. Would Hield make the Timberwolves a better team? Absolutely. One thing the Timberwolves have never had is a lights-out shooter, something Hield would provide immediately. This past season, the former Sooner made almost 4 shots from deep per game.
This would be an intriguing move to make for the Timberwolves. It would cost less than Booker and would help Russell spread the floor offensively. I’d look long and hard at Hield this offseason, especially if the Wolves don’t love anyone they see in the top-3.
Buddy Hield this season:— Al ?? | (@ThybullyBall) August 14, 2020
19.2 PPG 4.6 RPG
42.9% FG (16.1 FGA) 39.4% 3PT (9.6 3PA) 84.6% FT (1.6 FTA)
Played 72 games. Started in 44 of them
271 made threes this year. Good enough for 11th in All Time threes made in a single season.
Ben Simmons is the exact opposite of the two players mentioned above, which might be a good thing. While Booker and Hield would make the Timberwolves exponentially better on offense, Simmons would make the T-Wolves exponentially better on both ends of the floor.
In his career, Simmons has averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. The Australian product has shot 50 percent or better in each of those three seasons. Granted, almost every shot is from inside the paint.
The 6’8″ point guard is a nightmare for
smaller normal-sized guards to defend. Defensively, Simmons is averaging just below two steals per game in his three-year career. He can effectively guard all five positions.
Why would the 76ers trade Simmons? The “process” hasn’t lived up to expectations and new GM Elton Brand didn’t draft Simmons. So, if the Sixers get blown away with an offer or really like someone in the front of the draft, they could be inclined to move the former first overall pick.
Even if the 2020 NBA Draft isn’t as strong as last year’s, the Timberwolves could make a move for a star of their liking. But let’s get lucky in Thursday night’s lottery, first.
Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan