The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the more intriguing young teams in the NBA.
They have two cornerstone players in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell and a young coach in Ryan Saunders.
The Wolves also have some young role players that could develop into solid players in Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie, Juan Hernangomez, and Jarrett Culver.
2019-20 Regular Season Stats
M. Beasley – 14 gp, 20.7 pts, 5.1 reb, 1.9 ast
J. Hernangomez – 14 gp, 12.9 pts, 7.3 reb, 1.3 ast pic.twitter.com/WUzf3ZuK1W
— Timberwolves Nation (@TWolvesNationCP) October 29, 2020
Minnesota also has the 1st, 17th, and 33rd picks in this year’s draft.
This will be an important draft for Minnesota.
If they can hit on the first pick and find another gem later in the draft, they could be set for years to come.
The Wolves’ biggest problem the past few years has been on the defensive end.
They gave up 117 PPG this past season and allowed opponents to shoot nearly 48% from the field.
Towns and Russell are both borderline elite offensive players.
However, neither is garnering any votes as Defensive Player of the Year.
Russell is a career -1.4 in Defensive Box Plus/Minus and Towns is a wash at 0.
The T-Wolves need to find prospects that can help shore up a defense that allowed the 3rd most points per game in the league last year.
1. Anthony Edwards
At #1, the Wolves should look no further than Anthony Edwards.
Is Anthony Edwards the NBA’s next great scorer?
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 16, 2020
The 6’3″ guard out of Georgia is a potentially perfect fit next to Towns and Russell.
Edwards is a three-level scorer who has room to grow even further by improving his jumper and bettering his offensive IQ.
While he was occasionally uninterested on the defensive end at Georgia, he has the size and athleticism to become a lock-down defender.
Edwards checks nearly every box the Timberwolves should be looking for in a wing.
Adding consistency to his jumper would make him a dangerous spot-up threat along the perimeter.
His athleticism would also make him dangerous off the dribble or bounce and in transition – something the Wolves loved to get into last season.
They played at the 3rd fastest pace in the NBA last year.
Anthony Edwards college tape. pic.twitter.com/CiECYKl7Fn
— ThrowbackHoops (@ThrowbackHoops) October 30, 2020
Edwards’ athletic ability and size could turn him into a menace on the defensive end.
He would handle tougher defensive assignments to allow the Wolves to hide Russell.
While he is on the shorter side for an NBA wing, his size and strength (225 lbs) will help him overcome those shortcomings.
Pairing Edwards with Culver, the #6 pick from last year, could give Minnesota two solid defensive wings.
2. Devin Vassell
Matt Norlander of CBS Sports currently has Vassell going 18th to the Mavericks.
If available at 17, the Wolves should pounce on the 6’7″ wing from Florida State.
He averaged 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes while guarding 1 through 4 in college.
Devin is not going to win any dunk contests with his athleticism, but his length and disruptiveness should allow him to contribute immediately.
Vassell also hit on 41.7% of his 168 three-pointers in college, pointing to his potential as a perimeter threat to surround Russell and Towns.
Added shooting would be a welcome addition to a Timberwolves team that shot 33.6% from deep last year – 3rd worst in the Association.
An exciting sophomore season showcased Devin Vassell’s 3-and-D skillset.
What can he bring to the NBA?
— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) October 21, 2020
Weighing in at 195 lbs, he has plenty of room to add strength to his wiry frame.
Bulking up would allow him to better handle bigger wings and smaller forwards.
Playing under Leonard Hamilton at FSU should help Vassell acclimate more quickly to the NBA’s style of play.
Drafting a 3-and-D wing who can impact the game immediately would be an ideal draft selection for Minnesota at #17.
3. Jahmi’us Ramsey
At pick 33, the Timberwolves should be hoping Ramsey falls to them.
He may be gone by then because of his shooting ability and potential on the defensive end.
Minnesota may need to trade up a few spots to nab Ramsey, but it would be worth it.
Jahmi’us Ramsey is only 19 and has serious two way tools. He’s different than other prospects I’ve showed because he has their same shooting, and athleticism with defensive up side. Please check him out @Vivek pic.twitter.com/3GFnTADUin
— Kings Next Level 👑🏀💜 (@KingsNextLevel) October 24, 2020
The Texas Tech freshman made nearly 43% of his 3s during his one year at college.
Ramsey is a solid athlete who can add strength to his 6’4″, 195 lb frame – similar to Vassell.
He averaged 0.7 BPG and 1.3 SPG while playing solid on- and off-ball defense in Chris Beard’s system.
The Wolves will desire Jahmi’us for his potential three-level scoring ability and solid wing defense.
He will also be able to grow and develop alongside the two centerpieces, Towns and Russell.