NBA Teams have five minutes to make their first round picks on draft night.
“The [Team X] are on the clock” is a phrase that us basketball junkies are familiar with before seeing that clock tick down from 5:00. This year, it will be the Minnesota Timberwolves – my beloved Timberwolves – that will be the first team on the clock.
The fun thing is that the Wolves have actually had the most time “on the clock”. If we’re going back to the NBA Draft Lottery back on October 20, the Minnesota Timberwolves will have had a total of approximately 129,600 minutes on the clock to make this precious decision of selecting the first pick of the draft.
As the clock keeps ticking down, it seems like the Wolves might still not even be sure how to make this first move. If they seem to not know 100% what they’re going to do yet, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I do either.
But I am going to try to play it out in my head how things might go down. Here we go.
“The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock.”
**NBA Draft Chime**
“With the first pick of the in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select… James Wiseman from the University of Memphis.”
This isn’t happening.
Despite whatever case former Wolves player and coach Sam Mitchell makes about the intrigue of Wiseman and Karl Anthony Towns playing together or whatever the Wolves actually say about planning to take the big man, this isn’t happening.
The Wolves already have Towns who is comfortable playing the 5. There’s no reason to clog up their spacing with another big man in the middle. Offensively, it might be able to work around with Towns ability to shoot the long ball, but the defense will be an issue.
Defense is something that the Wolves will need to work hard on fixing this offseason and Wiseman would only make things complicated by taking playing time away from Naz Reid. Wiseman is definitely a physical specimen that could develop into really good defender down the road, but that’s way down the road. Sticking the youngster (who will need much to learn about playing defense in the NBA) next to Towns (who has defensive issues of own) won’t make anyone’s lives easier.
The Wolves want to win now (their words, not mine) and Wiseman doesn’t feel like the best answer.
But you know what? I’ve seen the Wolves draft three point guards in the same draft (one moment of silence for the great 2009 David Kahn Draft), so it wouldn’t completely blow my mind if they drafted James here.
However, it wouldn’t exactly be – ahem – wise, man.
**NBA Draft Chime**
“With the first pick of the in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select… Anthony Edwards from the University of Georgia.”
This would be the simplest and most logical thing to do.
Edwards checks off all the right boxes on the list of things the Wolves need on the court. He’s a big wing with All-Star potential as a scorer. Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver are solid on defense, but these Timber-pups need another scorer to help out their All-Stars, Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Malik Beasley finished the season on a high note with the Wolves, but may or may not have spent the offseason just plainly high (among other things), so another wing option is highly needed.
The fit is there and he’s saying all the right things, too.
From Stephon Marbury bolting from to Ricky Rubio initially fond of the Minnesota’s cold temperatures, it was a bit refreshing as a fan to read this Anthony Edwards quote:
“I’m not going to play basketball in the snow. So, I’m not worried about it,” he told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears.
That’s good to know! It might only be that the kid just know what to say when the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being drafted first overall in the NBA is on the line, but it’s still good to know.
However, it’s not all bells and whistles with Edwards. With all the physical tools and confidence he has, his motor and consistency is usually in question. He’s also not barging into the NBA with a long list of winning records. And Minnesota is fed up with losing.
Minnesota feel like their window to win is wide open. I can’t really figure out why, but if that’s the case, Edwards might be the best straight up pick selection that moves them closer to their title aspirations.
**Twitter notification ringtone**
“The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a trade for the [XX] pick and [put in add ons] for the No. 1 overall pick in this draft.” – @wojespn
This… was supposed to be possible.
In 2015, the Wolves won the draft lottery for the first time ever in franchise history and it felt good. There wasn’t much suspense to the Wolves picking Towns with the historic pick. It was down to only Towns, Russell, and maybe a bit of Jahlil Okafor, and the Wolves eventually ended up getting two of those players anyways.
Winning the draft lottery in 2020 has felt a bit less intriguing. There are some really good players, but cream of the crop isn’t as enticing as in the recent years. Edwards, Wiseman, and LaMelo Ball are cool… but they are completely way ahead of their peers.
That’s why the Wolves haven’t been shy about slapping the “For Sale” sign on their prized asset. If I were running the team, I would also not mind losing out on picking first in this draft in exchange for picking from a number of solid wings talents and the possibility of getting another role player.
Their only problem is that there aren’t a lot of buyers in the market this year. Not at that price anyways. Everyone is operating on the same understanding that this isn’t a top-heavy draft, so not many teams are going to play along and help the Wolves get out of this easily.
Still, the Wolves are going to need as much help as they can get around their stars. Trading down a bit for a role players who can contribute immediately like Deni Avdija or Saddiq Bey would help out a lot.
No one is going to help the Wolves figure that out though.
**NBA Draft Chime**
“With the first pick of the in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select…LaMelo Ball from the Illawara Hawks.”
This is the sexy move.
There’s a lot to not like about potentially picking LaMelo Ball.
His shooting was not impressive in the NBL. His defensive effort left a lot to be desired. And, of course, there’s the Lavar Ball in the room. Papa Ball has kept his volume down recently, but you never know when he might come back into the picture and how it might affect the team. This also would feel a bit similar to trading for Stephon Marbury on draft day back in 1996 as a big name, bit city point guard who might bolt as soon as he can.
But I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be excited to see LaMelo play for the Wolves next season. It’s just not easy to have a chance at getting a player with Ball’s exciting style of play along with his “swagger” just to bring a little more excitement into the mix.
His skill set might overlap with lead guard Russell, but it’s a guard-heavy league now a days. It can’t be that hard to figure it out right?
“Timberwolves acquires Devin Booker in mega-trade including No.1 Pick” – ESPN Headline
This would be the best thing ever to happen in the entire history of the Timberwolves franchise next to the day they drafted Kevin Garnett but hell would probably have to freeze over for it to happen.
It’s no secret that Towns and Russell wants to play with Booker and that Booker feels the same way. He even “reportedly” wants to leave the Suns, which only fueled hope in the heart of Wolves fans waiting for this tag-team trio to come true.
It’s all a bunch of false hope.
Booker had just signed a massive 5-year, 158 million dollar extension with the Suns and led the Suns to a perfect record in the NBA bubble. As you will all know by the time you are reading this, the Suns have also made a splash to trade for seasoned vet Chris Paul just to make sure Booker knows that they are planning to start racking up the Ws. Booker is basically untouchable and even if there was a deal that could force the Suns to hear things out, the Wolves don’t have the on their hands right now.
The only reason I’m putting the trade-for-Booker scenario into the mix of trying to figure out what the Wolves are going to do is just because… I still honestly have no clue. The team has kept most of their thought process close to their chest which leaves us to start imagining about wilds things like Devin Booker in a pre-season media photoshoot with KAT and DLo.
I do know one thing though. The Wolves are on the clock and I can’t wait to what they do when that NBA Draft chime sounds off.