As the second Monday of November rolls on, the number of days until the 2020 NBA Draft officially hit the single-digits mark. With only nine days remaining until the first major milestone of the upcoming 2020-2021 NBA season, let’s quickly recap some of the latest rumors and stories flying around the Association.
Winners or Losers?
Quick refresher: it was eighty-two short days ago that the Minnesota Timberwolves achieved something they had never done before — move UP in the draft order by winning the 2020 NBA Lottery. What a great moment for the franchise...
And yet, almost everything you’ve read since that fateful August evening has made it appear as if the Wolves somehow left that virtual Thursday night hangout as losers rather than winners, which was once again echoed by this Monday morning tweet from Jeff Goodman:
Just got off phone with an NBA GM. He echoed overwhelming sentiment from NBA execs:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) November 9, 2020
“The teams at the top are desperate to try and trade down, but there just isn’t much value with the top few picks this year. I wouldn’t want to be Minnesota and have to pick No. 1 this year.”
Listen — I get it. We all get it. Shitting on the Minnesota Timberwolves is one of the easiest things you can do in sports, primarily because most of that shitting is well deserved.
But this tweet — and this overall #take — continues to be hilariously idiotic. You’re trying to tell me that it’s somehow a bad thing to have the first selection in something? As I’ve written before, this draft has more of a “pull-tabs” vibe than a “Powerball” vibe, meaning the grand prize at the top isn’t nearly what it has been in previous drafts (i.e. Zion Williamson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, etc.).
And yet, this tweet from Goodman implies that just because the “prize” at the top isn’t worth as much, that other GM’s “wouldn’t want to be Minnesota and have to pick No. 1 this year”...? That’s flat out absurd.
And again... I get it! If this was a Zion-type draft, the Wolves could simply set their out of office for a few months, sign into Zoom next Wednesday five minutes before the draft starts, and just scream their pick into their AirPods. That would have made all of this much easier and probably saved some mild anxiety attacks for people who follow and cheer for the team.
But would this sentiment still be the same if the New York Knicks or Golden State Warriors had won the lottery? Can you, a Wolves fan, really support the idea that you’d much rather be sitting here with the fifth overall pick rather than the first? How does that even remotely make sense in a league that is built upon competitive advantages, asset acquisition, and superstar talent?
I don’t know — maybe I’m the crazy one here. The Timberwolves do not deserve the benefit of the doubt from anyone until they actually turn this around. That’s fine. I 100% agree. But to continue to float this “narrative” that other GM’s pity Minnesota and would rather select lower in the draft continues to defy modern logic and highlights the incompetence of other executives around the league.
Edwards or Bust?
As it stands nine days out, I *think* the general consensus among Wolves fans is that they want Gersson Rosas to somehow, someway find a trade partner to move back in the draft and acquire additional assets (players, picks, etc.). With that said, it seems like at least one anonymous front office executive believes as I do — if Minnesota cannot find a deal that makes sense, the most logical alternative is to simply take Anthony Edwards.
Front office executive with a Lottery team on the #Timberwolves: "I would take Edwards."— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) November 9, 2020
My opinion: He does fit the roster the best. So, if a trade with Charlotte or anyone else can't come to fruition, roll with him. Can always trade him later, if need be. https://t.co/28FIZ9q81j
While ANT is far from a finished product, I’m dumb enough and naïve enough to have fallen for the latest scouting videos and the footage that came from his Klutch workout a few weeks back. He’s not a perfect fit for this roster (then again no one at the top really is), but if Minnesota truly cannot get a team like Charlotte or Detroit to bite on moving up, I think Edwards’ athleticism, age, and overall “potential” make him the perfect fallback plan (feel free to yell at me down below as to why Edwards is NOT the ideal contingency plan).
More Than an Athlete
The other major news from Monday morning was this tweet from Shams Charania detailing the NBA’s recently announced Social Justice Coalition Board:
Sources: NBA Social Justice Coalition Board:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 9, 2020
Governors: Micky Arison, Steve Ballmer, Clay Bennett, Marc Lasry, Vivek Randadive
Players: Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley, Sterling Brown, Donovan Mitchell, Karl-Anthony Towns
Coaches: Lloyd Pierce, Doc Rivers
Despite everything that Karl-Anthony Towns and his family has gone through in 2020, it’s pretty amazing to see how involved KAT has become in his community and with things like this surrounding social justice. It’s moments like this where I myself have to reflect back and remember that Towns is still only 24-years old (his birthday is this upcoming Sunday), and yet the maturity he continues to show in moments like this far exceeds his age in years.
As we draw closer and closer to the 2020 NBA Draft, we will continue to monitor and report on any news surrounding the Timberwolves and the league as a whole. Meanwhile, have a great rest of your Monday and a fantastic week overall.