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Targeting Future Wolves: Big Man Edition

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If the Wolves want to draft a big man, who makes sense for them?

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Missouri vs Georgia Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the draft target series here in Canis Land. There is now just one sleep before draft night.

We’re going to analyze a different position group based upon who does and does not make sense for the Timberwolves to target with their first pick. This time it’s the bigs. Of course, this is a complicated task, so here are a few of the ground rules that we’re going to be abiding by:

  • Fit matters. I get the Best Player Available approach. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just to throw a bunch of talent together and hope it works out. In the Timberwolves case, they have a few very specific needs. EiM does a nice job of explaining what I’m getting at in his piece, here. Additionally, this draft has very little separation from the mid-lottery through pretty much the end of the first round. Among players with similar talent levels, it makes no sense to not take fit into account.
  • We’re going to try to be as realistic as possible. The most likely scenario is going to be picking at 11, but the idea of trading back is legitimate. Therefore, we’ll consider players who should be available at pick 11 as well as who they might target if they did trade back to the latter half of the first round.
  • We want your input, too. I’m not going to pretend to be as adept as covering the draft as the old DraftExpress was. The draft is largely a crapshoot. Let’s hear your ideas/thoughts in the comments. If you think my ideas are dumb, feel free to go right ahead and roast me.

Alright, let’s dig in.

The first bullet point hits on why “fit matters,” yet in the four previous editions of this column, we’ve been happy to take BPA. That changes here. Karl-Anthony Towns is going to be playing 32-36 minutes a night for the foreseeable future. It makes no sense whatsoever to invest high draft capital on a guy who’s going to max out at 12-16 minutes per night. That’s going to be a common theme.

Out of Range

None

First Round Prospect — Stay Away

Jaxson Hayes, Bol Bol

While both of these guys are talented and intriguing, this really comes down to what we hit on beforehand. It has nothing to do with these guys as prospects. They very well could be the BPA at 11, especially Hayes, who’s mobility and explosiveness is very intriguing. The issue is that the 11th pick is the Wolves best asset at the moment, and it wouldn’t be efficient to allocate said asset for a player who will never be more than a 15 mpg guy behind your All-NBA level big man. Outside of Rui Hachimura, this is one of the few outcomes at the 11th pick that would make me throw my phone through the television.

Pick 11 Target

None - see above

Trade Back Targets

Goga Bitadze

It’s hard to tell exactly what Goga’s range is in this draft. He won’t be in play for Minnesota at 11, but maybe Charlotte considers him at 12? He’s been mocked into the low 20s as well, so he could, theoretically, be on the board if the Wolves did trade back. If the Wolves made a play for him, he would add shooting, first and foremost. That’s the big appeal with Goga. At 7’ with a fluid stroke, you could do worse in the latter half of the first round than a big who can shoot AND provide solid rim protection.

Jontay Porter

Porter would be a longer term play due to his current knee injury, but he’s an incredibly skilled big man who, in my opinion, would be worth taking a flier on in the second round. He can shoot (36.4 3P%) as well as pass (3.3 assists per-36) and projects to be a average to above-average defender in the NBA. If the Wolves want to take a big man (hopefully not), Porter would be a fine option to take in the second round.

Comment below to tell me where I went right or wrong, or if there’s anyone I missed that you would like the Wolves to consider.