The NBA Draft is quickly approaching and the Minnesota Timberwolves will have plenty of options when the No. 11 pick rolls around on June 20.
The options don’t all promise to be great, but they will exist. Being bumped down one spot as a result of the Los Angeles Lakers jumping up fourth certainly stings, but it might not impact the quality of player they select by that much.
Here are four “best case scenarios” for the Wolves in this month’s draft. To be clear, there are plenty more likely scenarios than the ones listed, but these are more of the high ceiling, low floor variety.
– Coby White falls
It’s no secret that the Wolves need backcourt help. Jeff Teague is in the final year of his contract, Tyus Jones is a restricted free agent, and Derrick Rose is an unrestricted free agent. Even if the Wolves do re-sign Jones/Rose, the point guard of the future still might not be on the roster. Jones might very well project as a solid backup in the NBA, and Rose isn’t getting any younger.
White has been projected by most to go somewhere between sixth and eighth, but what if – for some unknown reason – he drops all the way to the Wolves at 11? That could give the Wolves one of the steals of the draft.
White can do everything that’s needed in a point guard in today’s NBA. He’s an effective shooter from 3-point range, can play at a really high level of speed, and is big enough to be an effective defender of point guards. He might not be as fast as Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, but he’s be a tier below that in terms of court speed. He’d be a really good pairing with Karl-Anthony Towns. While he might not be a day one starter, he could be a future all-star.
– Sekou Doumbouya develops
Doumbouya is one of the more intriguing guys in the draft this year. He most recently played professionally in France and is coming to the NBA despite not turning 19 until early next season. He’s been compared recently to Toronto’s Pascal Siakim, but he’s got a way to go to reach that ceiling.
Doumbouya has a very raw skillset, but could turn into a star if it all clicks for him. That’s the gamble the team that selects him is taking. He could be great and a franchise changing player, or he could flame out. Either one is possible. There’s no telling how he’ll react to being in an NBA setting until he actually gets with a team. He very well may be a star, but it’s going to take some time to get there.
– Kevin Porter Jr. is worth the trouble
Let’s start with the trouble. He was suspended indefinitely while at USC in January and missed two weeks. He was suspended for “personal conduct issues” and it’s not been revealed what those were as of this writing. That’s troublesome and it could be enough for some teams to take him off of their draft boards completely. That’s impossible to know one way or another. But whatever team does get around the character concerns could be getting a pretty good player.
Porter Jr. has a terrific physical build for the NBA at 6-foot-6 and carries a 6-foot-9 wingspan and has the ability to shoot the 3-pointer (41% during freshman season). Porter Jr. might be a guy that would normally go in the top five-to-seven if not for the baggage. Maybe he’s worth the gamble at 11.
– Reaching (?) for Tyler Herro
Herro spent one season at Kentucky and started all 37 games that he played in. He averaged 14 points a game, which isn’t much of anything to write home about, but there’s reason to believe that he’ll be better at the NBA level than he was at Kentucky.
Herro has the potential to be one of the best shooters in this draft. He only shot 35% from 3-point range in college, but his 93% mark from the free throw line suggests that he’s a better shooter than he showed from the floor at Kentucky.
Herro might be a bit of a reach at No. 11, but if he develops into the shooter that he projects to be, it would be a great fit for the Wolves.