The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock.
Having won the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, the Timberwolves have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. While they finished the 2019-20 season with a 19-45 record, second only to the Golden State Warriors for the worst record in the Western Conference, the Timberwolves will be looking to make the playoffs next season on the strength of their one-two punch of D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Who should the Timberwolves select with the No. 1 pick to pair with their dynamic duo? Our NBA.com Staff weighs in.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I do think the Timberwolves should explore trading this pick to find someone who better complements Russell and Towns, but if they do keep it, Anthony Edwards makes a lot of sense.
If we're being honest, this is between Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman. I think there's too much skill overlap between Ball and Russell - they're both at their best with the ball in their hands and neither of them is known for their defence - and drafting Wiseman would almost certainly shift Towns to power forward. Towns can play power forward, but he's much better suited as a centre in today's NBA.
That's not to say Edwards is a no-brainer. There are some questions about him as well, most of which have to do with his shot selection, his passing ability and his consistency on defence. But he has some of the highest potential in this draft class and he's a much smoother fit with Russell and Towns than Ball and Wiseman.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I'm also going to say, Anthony Edwards.
To echo what Scott said, Ball and Russell in the same backcourt would give you an endless well of playmaking, but it's redundant. While Russell could slide over and play shooting guard with Ball running point, they work in similar areas of the floor with a very similar skillset, and neither of them are particularly great defenders.
With Edwards, the Timberwolves would get a scorer that operates differently than Russell does, getting downhill to attack the rim. He can also handle the ball as a combo guard, should Minnesota feel the need to let Russell strictly look to score in some games.
Edwards isn't a knockdown shooter that is going to take the pressure off Towns down low, but there is potential in his jump shot to become a more consistent shooter. Besides, Towns likes to float to the perimeter at times anyway, and that would both open things up for Edwards to get to the basket and makes for a fun pick-and-pop combination.
Edwards is the best fit if they're going to keep the No. 1 pick.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Well, I hope team president Gersson Rosas and GM Scott Layden catch wind of this because I'm saying Anthony Edwards, too.
It's like he's shaping up to be our consensus No. 1.
What separates this draft from the last few drafts of years past is that there really isn't a sure-shot pick that you know is going to be a superstar in the league in due time. That being said, when I compare Edwards with Ball and Wiseman - the other two players considered to be top three picks - I see the fewest flaws in his game, meaning I think it'll translate well to the league.
Last season, I saw Edwards put up 33 points in the second half against a third-ranked Michigan State team, and I was sold on his ability as a scorer. Rookies usually struggle defensively, anyway, so the Wolves, who have a lot of improvement to do on the defensive end, might as well add someone to help fill it up in order to try to outscore opponents.
It'll be fun to watch.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): I think the Timberwolves will package the pick to trade for a player that can help them win now, but if they do select a player from this draft, hear me out ... I say trade down and draft Deni Avdija.
Trading down in a draft that has plenty of question marks is a low-risk move and if the Wolves can acquire another ready-made player from a team desperate for LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards or James Wiseman, getting a point forward like Avdija is the perfect fit next to their core of Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell.
At 6-foot-9, Avdija can pair with Towns in a versatile, modern NBA frontcourt, while taking the pressure off Russell as a primary ball-handler with his ability to facilitate as well as giving their defence a much-needed boost.
LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman overlap with Russell and Towns' skillset and while Edwards is shaping up as the consensus No. 1 pick for good reason, I like the fit of Avdija on the Wolves.
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