The Draft Outlook for the Minnesota Timberwolves
*Photo via AP
With the first pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select…. For fans, hearing these words will be bittersweet. It is a reminder of a dismal 2014-2015 campaign and yet offers a glimmer of hope for the future. Let’s make no mistake about it, the first pick of the 2015 draft is a glimmer. The next Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James is not expected to come out of this class. After drafting future All-NBA Rookie Second Teamer and 2015 Slam Dunk Champion with last year’s pick (Zach Lavine), the T’Wolves still managed to beat the Knicks out for the worst record last year. Barring a blockbuster draft day trade, T’Wolves fans can only hope for a glimmer. A so-called light at the end of the dismal tunnel that has plagued this organization since their only Western Conference Finals appearance many moons ago.
1.Karl-Anthony Towns - Kentucky
Profile- 6’11” 255 lbs
Notable stats- 2 quadruple doubles
While there has been some chatter surrounding the T’Wolves first pick, I think, and hope for T’Wolves fan’s sanity, that it is only chatter. Towns would be the perfect padawan for an aging KG, who is, probably, entering into his last season. Don’t let the stats fool you, 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, this is a man-child! It is important to remember that Towns played on the most talented team in the country and because of this, only averaged 21 minutes a game. In an age where traditional centers are a dying breed, Towns will certainly fit into the new generations of centers prowling the NBA hardwood. In my opinion, for the T’Wolves, Towns is who you take.
2.Jahlil Okafor - Duke
Not too long ago, Okafor would have been the first pick, without question. However, in today’s game in which stellar guard play, and versatile big men are the trends the NBA is moving towards, that is not the case. Part of the chatter has been surrounding taking Okafor at one or trading with the Lakers and grabbing him at two. Furthermore, if the T’Wolves take Okafor, either at one or two, look for them to pick up Tyus Jones later in the first round or with the first pick of the second round, which the T’Wolves have. While Okafor fits better into Flip Saunders scheme, Towns fits better with the talent. Okafor should be able to put up immediate points for the team that lands him, but do count on him to add much value on the defensive end.
The last bit of chatter surrounds former first-round pick Ricky Rubio. While there are conflicting reports surrounding the validity of the T’Wolves desire to trade Rubio, if they end up being true then D’Angelo Russell becomes a viable candidate for the T’Wolves. While I think Towns is the safest bet of the three, big men have a long history of breaking down. If the T’Wolves did decide to take Russell, I would speculate that they trade down and acquire some low post help in the swap