The Timberwolves drafting a point guard in October is very likely to occur for three reasons:
- This class is point/lead guard heavy. If you average the rankings of the The Ringer, The Athletic and ESPN’s Big Boards, 17 different players who profile as a lead guards show up in the top 30 of at least one of those Big Boards.
- The Wolves have three top 33 picks — their own first round pick (that will fall somewhere between 1 and 7); Brooklyn’s first round pick (currently slotted at 16th); their own second round pick (33rd overall). While one or multiple of those picks could be traded, simply, the current volume suggests a mathematical likelihood of a guard being selected.
- Point guard is a position of need. The Wolves have 13 players under contract for next season (10 of which are on guaranteed deals), yet only one of those players is a point/lead guard. That player, of course, is D’Angelo Russell. Jordan McLaughlin, Russell’s primary backup post-trade deadline, will be a restricted free agent this fall. Malik Beasley can function as a lead guard, but he is also set to be a restricted free agency. James Johnson is under contract for next season, but he functioned more as a point forward after coming to Minnesota.
Acknowledging these realities make analyzing this draft’s crop of lead guards particularly important. And with where Tyrese Maxey and Kira Lewis Jr. have been projected to go, their value may intersect comfortably with the 16th overall pick that the Wolves own via Brooklyn.
On this week’s episode, Will DeBerg (assistant coach, University of St. Thomas) and I reviewed the film we watched of these two prospects — and discussed how we perceive them to fit in the NBA, and specifically on the Timberwolves.
(If you can’t access the Spotify player, click here to listen to the latest episode.)
What do you feel the team’s need for a point/lead guard might be? Is investing a first round pick in what will likely be a backup to Russell be a wise use of resources?
To help answer those questions, here are a few tables that contain the statistical tracking data of the lead guards who played domestically from this class, according to Synergy Sports: