The night of the 2020 NBA Draft is one Timberwolves fans will remember forever.
Coming into the draft, Minnesota owned the #1, #17, and #33 picks. By the night’s end, Gersson Rosas and the Wolves front office turned those picks into Georgia SG Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves Mount Rushmore candidate Ricky Rubio, FC Barcelona wing Leandro Bolmaro, and Washington SF Jaden McDaniels.
After striking out in a major way in the 2019 NBA Draft by trading up five spots for Jarrett Culver, the Rosas regime certainly curried favor with an (understandably) anxious and uneasy fanbase. They drafted Anthony Edwards from Georgia with the #1 selection, who has unlimited potential as a dynamic scoring wing and can help infuse the franchise with new life and energy after 9 months without live basketball at Target Center.
Perhaps more importantly to some Timberwolves fans, however, Rosas brought home fan favorite - and son of Minneapolis - Ricky Rubio, along with the 25th and 28th picks in Wednesday night’s draft in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the 17th pick and fashion legend James Johnson.
Before diving into Rubio’s impact on the franchise moving forward, let’s take a look back at Minnesota’s night and evaluate each pick.
#1 - Anthony Edwards
Current Age: 19
Measurables: 6’6”, 230 pounds, 6’10” wingspan
Stats (Per 36): 20.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 3.0 turnovers, 3.66 PIPM
Shooting: 40.2% FG, 29.4% 3PT, 77.2% FT, 52% TS, 47.3% EFG
Individual Boards: Jake (2), Tyler (4), Jack (3)
In his lone season at Georgia, Anthony Edwards had to be the playmaker, scorer, shooter, and slasher for a Bulldog team that, frankly, was devoid of high-level talent beyond him. He struggled to play efficiently, largely because defenses were able to pack in the defense, focus on him, and ignore teammates that couldn’t shoot or didn’t pose any type of threat to the defense. He shot just 40.2 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from deep, but those numbers are more reflective of the situation he walked into, rather than the player he is. In Minnesota, D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns will make life easier for him that it ever has been as excellent playmakers who are dynamic scorers at all three levels of the floor consistently. Add Ricky Rubio into the mix and you’ve got three guys whose playmaking, vision, and passing ability will incentivize the freakish athlete to move without the ball in his hands to get the cleanest looks, either from behind the arc or at the rim.
In Edwards, Minnesota is getting a tremendously dynamic scorer who is equipped with all the skills that the league’s most potent offensive threats possess. He can shoot the ball off the dribble as well as any player in the class and routinely converted on wowing pull-up, step-back, and side-step 3s that very, very few 19-year-olds are capable of knocking down halfway consistently. When he isn’t hitting defenders with combo dribble moves into shots off the bounce, he uses his otherworldly athleticism - packed into a 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame - to jet by, or go through, his defenders when attacking the basket. That athleticism comes in handy on the fast break, too, where he consistently terrorizes the rim. When the defense collapses on him, he has shown flashes of playmaking excellence, making complex reads and completing advanced passes to teammates for easy baskets.
So how did Edwards develop into the number one pick in the draft? His coach at UGA, Tom Crean, outlined his tireless work ethic on a Zoom call with reporters yesterday.
Tom Crean on Anthony Edwards:— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) November 19, 2020
"Does he like sit around and watch basketball for 3, 4 hours? Probably not. I think you’d be surprised how few kids his age do. Now 3, 4 hours in the gym. That’s a different story."
Crean: "Never had a guy spend more time in the gym *after* games"
Edwards doesn’t come without his flaws, either. The Atlanta native often fell asleep on defense; he too often got beat on back door cuts, failed to rotate when playing help-side defense, and failed bring the same intensity defensively he could be relied upon to bring on the offensive end of the floor. His shot selection was questionable in several outings, but there is reason to be encouraged by his workout with the Timberwolves.
"First day we walked Ant through our philosophy and shot profile. The next day is his workout. His trainer puts long 2s and midrange shots in. And Anthony stops the workout and says 'Minnesota doesn't take those shots. We're not doing that today"— Key Sang (@Phantele_) November 19, 2020
Not too often you see something like that from the fourth-youngest prospect in the entire draft. Edwards forwent his senior year of high school to make the jump to Georgia a year earlier than most kids his age, which was no doubt a positive in the equation for the Timberwolves front office.
What keeps this selection from an A or an A+ is that Minnesota failed to squeeze any additional assets out of the number one selection. On The Ringer NBA Show, Jonathan Tjarks reported that the Wolves had a very high asking price for the top pick and refused to lower it, because they feared Edwards, whom they wanted all along, might slip away from them. There is no doubt that the announcement of Klay Thompson’s serious leg injury (which has now been confirmed as a torn achilles) played in a role in exacerbating that fear, as it would’ve been feasible for Golden State to opt for Edwards over James Wiseman given the circumstances. The story of just how great Edwards will be with Minnesota has yet to be written, but I couldn’t be more excited to start reading chapter one.
#17 - Traded for Ricky Rubio
Rosas actually did it. While many Wolves faithful publicly yearned for Minneapolis’s favorite son to come back home after he was traded to Oklahoma City on Monday, very few envisioned the 30-year-old to actually make his way back to the team who drafted him back in 2009. As one of the pre-draft Rubio trade dissenters, I’ve taken the last 24-plus hours to take a step back and reflect on what a landmark moment this is for the Wolves and how it will affect the franchise moving forward. In a word, I’m elated that the Spanish Unicorn (shoutout to John Meyer, who wrote a fantastic piece on Rubio’s return to Minnesota) is back in Minnesota.
Rubio was acquired to deliver vital leadership to a very young team that is trying to claw back into the playoffs for just the second time in over 15 years. If anyone knows the team, it’s Rubio; he has played more games in a Wolves jersey (353) than any current member of the team. From the moment he first steps foot in the Wolves locker room at Mayo Clinic Square, there will be an immediate connection between the veteran point guard and the franchise’s most important figures.
Rubio is extremely close with Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders, who was an assistant coach when the El Masnou, Spain native first joined the team back in 2011, and he ushered in Karl-Anthony Towns as a rookie with a 28-point, 14-assist performance in a 112-111 victory over the Lakers at Staples Center on October 28, 2015. Despite being older than the majority of the Minnesota roster, Rubio understands the and shares the grief that comes with the transformative loss of a parent to illness with Edwards, Saunders, and Towns.
Anthony Edwards’ mother was taken by cancer.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) November 19, 2020
Ryan Saunders’ father was taken by cancer.
Ricky Rubio’s mother was taken by cancer.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother was taken by coronavirus.
All when they were very young. A sad and unfortunate common bond.
His ability to empathize with Towns, who will be playing with the heaviest of hearts this upcoming season, and with Edwards, who lost his mother and grandmother within eight months of each other in the 8th grade, enables him to connect with them in a way that his other teammates can’t. And that’s real; it matters. Before these guys are basketball players, they are human beings.
In the an interview on the morning of the draft, Crean spent time touching on the importance of where his young superstar gets drafted, because he needs support. “And that scares me, frankly. It scares me that you’ve got to put some time into him, real time into him,” Crean said. With Rubio in the locker room, it will help create an environment that Edwards can thrive in.
On the floor, Rubio brings a steady hand that will be welcomed in the Wolves’ backcourt. After he left Minnesota in 2017, he developed a proven track record of elevating lineups talented young combo guards with Donovan Mitchell in Utah and Devin Booker in Phoenix. All data comes from Cleaning the Glass.
- Rubio on, Mitchell on: +8.9 points per 100 possessions | 93rd percentile
- Rubio off, Mitchell on: +4.2 points per 100 possessions | 79th percentile
- Rubio on, Mitchell on: +8.2 points per 100 possessions | 92nd percentile
- Rubio off, Mitchell on: +6.0 points per 100 possessions | 86th percentile
- Rubio on, Booker on: +6.3 points per 100 possessions | 86th percentile
- Rubio off, Booker on: -6.3 points per 100 possessions | 21st percentile
This bodes extremely well for the prospects of D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, who will both be asked to play alongside Rubio while they share the floor together in the starting lineup this season. Considering that Booker is one of the league’s worst defenders, as is D’Angelo Russell, Rubio’s potential to improve the team’s defense in Minnesota is even more massive than his potential offensive impact.
Anti-Rubio Wolves fans are quick to point out that he is a rather lackluster 32.8 percent career 3-point shooter, which, yes, is a disappointing figure. What if I told you that over the past three seasons, he’s shot 37.5 percent from deep on 675 attempts while playing in more spaced-out offenses similar to Minnesota’s? Or that Rubio shot 38.7 percent (72nd percentile) on catch-and-shoot 3s last season? Those clips should give you hope that he will find the bottom of the net from behind the arc more consistently than he did in his first stint with the Timberwolves.
The downside of acquiring Rubio is that he will be difficult to deploy with both Jarrett Culver and Josh Okogie on the floor together, because of their lack of 3-point shooting. If either one of them takes a step forward from deep this year (it would be hard for them not to), their ability to play with Rubio will make this a far more versatile team that could very feasibly find themselves in the think of the playoff hunt in April and May.
Here is the official trade that brings Rubio home:
- Ricky Rubio
- Leandro Bolmaro (via NYK)
- Jaden McDaniels (via OKC from LAL)
- James Johnson
- Aleksej Pokusevski (via MIN)
- 2024 second-round pick (via MIN)
- Immanuel Quickley (via MIN from OKC)
- 2023 second-round pick (via MIN from LAC through DET)
- Rights to Mathias Lessort (via MIN from LAC)
- Daniel Oturu (via NYK from MIN)
The opportunity cost of this trade for the Wolves is damn near zero. They gave up James Johnson, who is an objectively worse player than Ricky Rubio, and the 17th pick to move back 8 spots, and acquire a second first-round pick on top of that.
Darren Wolfson on Wednesday floated that the Wolves were interested in selecting Jaden McDaniels at #17 if there were no trade options, and they got him at #28, instead. Whether you appreciate the products or not, the process that brought them here is very commendable. That process is also very likely to yield the Wolves better long-term results than what holding onto Johnson and #17 would have, considering the team’s selection at #28.
I can’t wait to see Ricky back in a Wolves jersey. It rips my heart in half that he won’t get the same thunderous homecoming uproar Kevin Garnett got back in 2015, but watching him play will be oh so sweet.
#23 - Leandro Bolmaro
Current Age: 20
Measurables: 6’7, 180 lbs, 6’8 wingspan
Stats (Per 36): 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.5 turnovers
Shooting: 26.8% FG, 19% 3PT, 89.3% FT, 47% TS, 31.7% EFG
Individual Boards: Jake (21), Tyler (NR), Jack (35)
As a draft-and-stash selection, Leandro Bolmaro will likely wait a year or two to join forces with fellow Argentine Pablo Prigioni in Minnesota. Bolmaro’s upside primarily resides in his ethereal playmaking skills. Given the combination of speed and size at 6-foot-7, he is one of the draft’s more unique playmakers. Bolmaro makes incredibly advanced reads for a 20-year-old and can make any pass that is required of him with ease. He is very shifty and at his best when he can combine his handle and speed to get downhill and deliver passes to teammates for easy looks.
In the open floor, he punishes undisciplined transition defenses with his touch, vision, agility, and crafty finishing ability. On defense, Bolmaro is extremely solid for his age. He excels at the point of attack thanks to his lateral quickness, length, and effort navigating screens and hand-offs. Bolmaro rotates well and is disciplined when playing either on or off-ball.
The biggest knock on Bolmaro is that he can’t shoot the ball well at all. He has shot just 27.9 percent from deep in three seasons of professional basketball. While he has great touch around the rim on floaters and runners, it hasn’t translated beyond the free-throw line, and it will need to if Bolmaro wants any chance at being an impactful player in the NBA. If the shot does develop (a big if), he will be a very intriguing point-forward whose size, speed, and playmaking will allow him to keep defenses on their heels that can make defenders pay for giving him too much room to operate.
He won’t be a member of the Wolves organization until at least the 2021-2022 season (which very well may not be in play), which is a good thing for Minnesota. The Timberwolves need all the roster spots they can get for bringing in a veteran shooter and veteran big man, as well as for up-and-coming players like Naz Reid, Jordan McLaughlin, and Jaylen Nowell. Remaining with Barcelona in the EuroLeague will be good for this development; the opportunity to play in the second-best league in the world is likely more conducive to a better transition to the NBA when compared to the G-League.
While I have a ton of faith in Wolves assistant GM Gianluca Pascucci’s international scouting and Sachin Gupta’s analytical sign-off on Bolmaro, his selection was a poor use of assets. Bolmaro, who was 35th on my big board, very likely would’ve been available just two picks later at 25 and potentially even at 33. Because of this, I don’t understand why the Wolves traded up in front of the Pelicans (who have a gluttony of playmakers following the Jrue Holiday trade), acting as the Bucks, to select Bolmaro. I understand Minnesota not wanting to pick again at 28 and 33, but the latter could’ve been flipped for a future second in 2023 (a draft in which second-round picks become much more valuable with the pending elimination of the one-and-done rule) or packaged with Omari Spellman for a veteran role player. Desmond Bane, one of the draft’s best shooters (and ninth on my big board) was still available, as was Xavier Tillman Sr (14th on my board), who is one of the draft’s most versatile bigs on both ends. Both were still available and would’ve been much, much better selections in my view than Bolmaro. Roster spots undoubtedly factored into this decision, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it.
(Our own Tyler Metcalf will have much more on the Bolmaro selection tomorrow morning, so stay tuned).
#28 - Jaden McDaniels
Current Age: 20
Measurables: 6’10, 184 lbs, 6’11 wingspan
Stats (Per 36): 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.6 blocks, 3.7 turnovers
Shooting: 40.5% FG, 33.9% 3PT, 76.3% FT, 51.5% TS, 46.9% EFG
Individual Boards: Jake (28), Tyler (19), Jack (37)
Jaden McDaniels has the potential to be one of the five best players in this year’s NBA Draft. He has freakish athleticism at 6-foot-10, the handles and shot of a guard, and incredibly intriguing defensive range and mobility. The flashes he displayed on both ends of the floor for Mike Hopkins’s Washington squad were impressive, and certainly predictable when you factor in that he was a consensus top-five recruit in the 2019 high school class. That five-star ranking is evident on the court in that he is immensely talented, but also in that he got used to being the best player on the floor in high school. In high school, McDaniels was able to play hyper-aggressive defense to block shots, cause deflections, and create turnovers; he did plenty of those things at Washington, but it didn’t come as easily to him.
So, why did he fall all the way to #28, you ask? He has significant maturity issues. No other prospect in this year’s class took himself out of games more because of foul trouble than McDaniels. Even though he is already foul-prone because of how aggressive he is on defense, McDaniels often committed frustration fouls when things didn’t go his way, which he had a tendency of compounding into technical fouls when he couldn’t control his emotions. I had McDaniels all the way down at #37 on my board, despite watching 10 of his games throughout the season and in my pre-draft scouting, largely because of his maturity issues. I thought his attitude would scare teams off and sink his stock, because it can be extremely difficult to change a prospect’s mindset, attitude, and overall work ethic.
When I think about McDaniels, I think about Jarred Vanderbilt. Both were five-star talents in high school, but had disappointing freshman seasons that hurt their draft stock, and are athletic as hell. Both should have been entered the draft process ready to work their tails off for whomever took a chance on them. Rosas has consistently praised Vanderbilt for his work ethic and mindset since his arrival in the Malik Beasley/Robert Covington trade back in February.
Josh Okogie, who was in Minneapolis for most of the summer with Vanderbilt, has taken Vanderbilt under his wing and infused that same infectious positive energy in him that they bring to the building every day to get better. If Okogie is able to do the same with McDaniels, look out.
He can also operate in the PnR as a BH.— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) November 19, 2020
• 77th % w/ .863 PPP as the PnR BH
• 82nd % w/ 1.111 PPP in pass out scenarios
• Shooters shot 57.1% on 21 attempts*
• 91st % passing to roll man*
• 57th % on kick-outs to spot-up shooters*
*small sample size
Defensively, the two function similarly. Both are long, athletic, rangy players who can switch up and down, + help on the backside of the defense, which are all big needs for the Wolves. Offensively, McDaniels is a perimeter player that can handle, shoot it, and initiate offense, while Vanderbilt is primarily a PnR roller w/ some playmaking upside. Vanderbilt could be in line to play some serious minutes in the Wolves front court this season, less than a year after being acquired. Let’s hope McDaniels can find himself on the same trajectory.
The Wolves drafting McDaniels at 28 seems to signal that they believe they can get the best out of him as a player and a person. That is significant because Rosas has spoken publicly multiple times about how the team spends a ton of time evaluating each prospect as a person, including who they spend time with and are influenced by, in addition to who they are as a player. While situations like the ones the Wolves have with McDaniels are interesting case studies, they still have a real, significant chance of never working out. But Rosas is willing to take the risk and I respect that. In a piece by Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer, Rosas touched on why these bets are important:
“We need talent in the stage that we are in. Getting guys that are more ready to play in the NBA and get us marginal wins has a limited ceiling. I’d love to be in a situation where we are winning 50 games a year and are in the playoffs. We aren’t there yet. We have to take bets. We have to take developmental projects. We have to take the highest upside.”
We’ll see how this bet turns out, but it earns a B+ from me, especially considering the home-run potential, and that they felt comfortable selecting him at 17 if they didn’t move off of it. I expect McDaniels to start in Iowa in order to build confidence as a player and work on the emotional aspect of his game, but don’t be surprised if he’s in the regular rotation by the end of the season.
Overall Draft Thoughts + Grade
The Rosas regime made a much better impression in their first draft as a fully complete front office than an incomplete team made last year in selecting Jarrett Culver. Edwards and McDaniels are insane athletes with sky-high potential, but will need some work before they are able to be fully activated and empowered as NBA players. Bolmaro is a long-term play with a very unique skillset that has a place in the NBA, but would be far more useful if it came with a jumper.
The Ricky Rubio acquisition is far more impactful and meaningful than a nostalgic reunion of old friends. He will move the needle for this team on the floor, but especially in the locker room, which is paramount for a team that is trying to build a winning culture and is in desperate need of high-quality veteran leadership. This shrewd, zero-opportunity cost trade with short-term and long-term benefits exhibits just how capable this front office is when all parts of its evaluation process perfectly work together to create an optimal outcome.
The combination of the Rubio deal, trust in the Edwards as a prospect (who should benefit greatly on and off the floor from having Rubio on the team), and smart, calculated home-run swing for McDaniels greatly outweighs my dislike of the Bolmaro pick, and has me excited about both the short-term and long-term future of the Wolves, which is all you can ask for on draft night.
Free Agency Preview
I’ll keep this short and sweet: the Timberwolves need more veteran leadership, depth up front, and shooters on the wing. Rubio is the only player on the roster age 30 or older and you need veterans in the fold in order to compete at a high level in games that matter most. Rather than take a deep dive into individual players who I’d like to see the Wolves go after, I’m going to list out a few players in each bin of need, with a few thoughts on why each would be useful in Minnesota.
But first, a couple notes.
The Wolves have extended qualifying offers to Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez, which means a few things:
1) Both players will be restricted free agents, enabling the Wolves to match any offers extended to them by other teams.
2) The Wolves will operate as a team over the cap, allowing them to use the mid-level exception. Based on whether salary projections for this upcoming season have the Wolves as a team paying the luxury tax or not, the team will receive either the tax-payer MLE ($5,718,000) or the non tax-payer MLE ($9,258,000). The MLE can be split up and used on multiple players or used in its entirety on one player. My prediction is that they will receive the full, NTP MLE ($9,258,000).
3) Both are eligible to be signed-and-traded.
Because the team is operating as a team over the cap, it also receives the bi-annual exception (BAE) of $3,623,00 to use to sign players.
The Wolves will likely target players via regular trade (involving Jarrett Culver, Omari Spellman, and potentially Jake Layman), MLE, BAE, and sign-and-trade.
Danilo Gallinari - Gallo is a rock solid shooter who has 12 years of experience in the NBA. He is a career 38 percent 3-point shooter who has shot north of 40 percent from deep in each of his last two NBA seasons. He is well-traveled, and has made the playoffs four times in his career, more than any player on the Wolves. Gallinari would bring much-needed shooting, perspective, and experience from being around some one of the game’s best leaders in Chris Paul in Oklahoma City last season. He would have to be signed-and-traded for.
Jeff Green - Green had a huge resurgence last year with the Rockets and would fill a huge defensive need at the 4 next to KAT that could also pack an offensive punch that adds to a team with serious offensive firepower. Green has played in 72 playoff games for six different franchises and is as tough as they come. The opportunity for a larger role in Minnesota could be enticing to a vet with plenty left in the tank. Green is an unrestricted free agent who will surely be looking for a new home after James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s recent trade requests. Green is likely to commend a salary in between $5M-$7M.
Marcus Morris Sr. - Morris grew up in Philly and has carried that with him for his whole career. He isn’t afraid of anyone, or telling them how he feels. That accountability would be not only a huge boost for rookies Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, but also for Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. He can space the floor at the 4, guard 2-5, and has a track record of excellent 3-point shooting (44 percent) in his 45 career playoff games. Morris is an unrestricted free agent who last played for the Los Angeles Clippers. He is a sign-and-trade candidate.
Derrick Jones Jr. - DJJ can absolutely fly. The 2020 Slam Dunk Champ is also one of the league’s more underrated bench forwards, because of his excellent team defense off the ball and consistent competitiveness on that end of the floor. On offense, he functions as a roll man in the PnR who is slowly developing a corner 3-point jumper that is looking better as he works on it. He comes from the Miami Heat, whose rotation has prerequisites of defensive excellence and all-out effort all the time in order to be included. Jones Jr. is an unrestricted free agent that is likely to receive a contract north of $5 million per season.
JaMychal Green - Green is a hard-nosed, defensive-minded 4 who can also shoot the 3. He has played a pivotal role for the LA Clippers for the last year and change after being traded by the Memphis Grizzlies. He is a career 37.4 percent 3-point shooter who is a smart big defender in the PnR. Green communicates well on both ends and would be a seamless fit next to KAT in the starting lineup, or next to Naz Reid off the bench. The Montgomery, Alabama native rather surprisingly declined his $5 million player option, so he will be an unrestricted free agent and could be in the market for a raise.
Mason Plumlee - Plumlee is a traditional 5 who offers zero floor spacing of any kind, but he is an excellent rebounder and a rock solid defender in the PnR and on the interior of the defense. He sets great screens to free up shooters as well as in the PnR on offense, has great hands, and finishes well around the rim. He is an unrestricted free agent likely to receive a veteran’s minimum deal.
Justin Holiday - Holiday is a 6-foot-6 wing that shot the ball exceptionally well for the Pacers last season (40.5 percent on 4.5 attempts per game). He excels as a multi-positional defender both on and off the ball who figures to have several contending suitors looking for a cheap 3-and-D veteran. Holiday has played in just 9 playoff games in his nine NBA seasons, but has plenty of experience. He is an unrestricted free agent who will likely have to be paid nearly the full MLE in order to persuade him out of playing for a contender.
Danuel House - House was a key part of the Rockets’ super small-ball lineup that was very effective until the playoffs. At 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, House can guard 2-4 and rebound well for a player who spends most of his time on the perimeter. He is a career 37 percent 3-point shooter who dominated in the corners for Houston this past season. House is conditioned to take analytically-friendly shots, and is exactly the type of player Rosas seems primed to go after. House is under contract for two more seasons, carrying an average annual salary of $3.8 million, and would have to be traded for.
Grayson Allen - Allen was fantastic for the Grizzlies last season. He shot 40.4 percent from deep on 7.1 attempts per 36 minutes. With Memphis drafting Desmond Bane, Allen could potentially be had for the right price. The former Duke Blue Devil has excellent form, is a terrific athlete, and is a great point-of-attack defender who moves his feet very well and would fit seamlessly in a Minnesota’s up-and-down system. Minnesota needs another shooting guard that can shoot and defend, in case Jaylen Nowell doesn’t pan out, and Allen fits the bill. He is under contract this season, with a team option for next season. Allen would have to be traded for.
As free agency draws closer, I would keep an eye on Jarrett Culver and Malik Beasley. Culver’s game has significant overlap with that of Okogie and Beasley, but he has the most trade value and could net an impact veteran and future pick that might be more useful to Minnesota than his talents. Beasley’s name has already been connected to the New York Knicks in trade talks, and given his current legal situation, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he isn’t back in Minnesota this season, despite Gersson Rosas’s public statements about wanting him back.
We’re in for a wild weekend one way or another, but we will have a much clearer picture of what the Wolves will look like next season on the other side of it. I can’t wait to see what happens and to see the new-look Wolves take the floor in just over a month.
Until then, buckle up and enjoy the ride!