Thanks to Draft Lottery reform, despite finishing with the league’s third-worst record, the Minnesota Timberwolves had the same odds of getting the no.1 pick as did the Warriors – 14%. The ping-pong balls were in their favor, and the Wolves now get pole position to get that third star next to Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
As happy as Wolves fans can be, two reality checks will hit real soon. The first one is the fact that this is one of the worst drafts to land the no.1 pick. Considered to be one of the weakest drafts in recent history, the 2020 draft class doesn’t have an obvious franchise guy – something you expect the no.1 pick to be. But, if KAT is that franchise cornerstone, and Russell showed potential to be a top 3 guy on a playoff team, the Wolves may be fine.
The other thing going through every Wolves fan’s mind is their terrible draft record. Minnesota has been one of the worst run franchises in the past few decades, and nothing demonstrates that like their draft record. Take a deep breath, Wolves fans.
|Year||The Wolves selected||The very next pick|
|2008||OJ Mayo||Russell Westbrook|
|2009||Jonny Flynn||Steph Curry|
|2010||Wesley Johnson||Demarcus Cousins|
|2013||Shabazz Muhamed||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|2014||Glenn Robinson III||Nikola Jokić|
Glass half full here is that since May 1st, Gerson Rosas is in charge in Minnesota. Rosas started his front office career under legendary Houston GM Carroll Dawson and became one of Daryl Morey‘s closest partners once Morey took over the Rockets front office. Highly respected, Rosas has a reputation for finding talent.
Actually, there’s a third reality check that might prove to be unfortunate. As with everything else, COVID-19 significantly changed the draft process. Teams can’t bring guys in for workouts; they only get tape and a limited time to get to know the players through video calls. Most executives say they’ll miss the personal time the most – hanging out with a player, seeing if he shows up on time, how does he act around different people, what’s he like over dinner? The only thing you can cling to here is that we may get a Gladwelian revelation that less information somehow led to better decisions.
The NBA Draft is scheduled to be had on Friday, October 16th. Here come the mock drafts.