Tonight is the night.
For Wolves fans, it carries a Christmas-like appeal. It’s been a decade since we’ve tasted the playoff basketball, so we’ve looked forward to a Thursday night in late June to placate our desires.
Of course, Wolves fans have been anything but soothed by nearly all Timberwolves drafts since the Kevin Garnett Era concluded. Even the best one (Ricky Rubio!) came with a cruel twist of unimaginable idiocy (Jonny Flynn over Stephen Curry). It’s an unbelievable example of just how impossible it’s been to walk away from an NBA draft with a good feeling.
Alas, this year does not necessarily promise to be any different. There’s the added possibility and intrigue of a potential Kevin Love trade, although Flip Saunders has allegedly backed off on this possibility in recent days. On the one hand, the Wolves should be able to get maximum value for Love right now. On the other, there hasn’t really been a trade rumor leaked that should make Wolves fans feel good about the prospects of trading away their superstar.
It seems more likely than not that Love will remain a Timberwolf through tonight’s festivities, but anything could happen. It’s likely that Saunders has contingencies in place, depending on which players are available at specific slots. For example, if Aaron Gordon is there at #6, perhaps it would trigger a Love-to-Celtics swap. If Nik Stauskas is on the board at #13, maybe the Wolves tell Golden State that their interest in Klay Thompson has waned.
Then again, Saunders apparently panicked last year in trading down and drafting a player that he reportedly had red-lined from the draft board, meaning that he was not to be drafted under any circumstances.
In other words, we have no idea what is about to happen. And that’s part of the fun. If you set yourself up with those expectations, it’s a great ride. That said, here is my worst-case/best-case/dream-case scenarios for this evening:
Worst-case but very realistic scenario, in order from worst to least-worst pick the Wolves could make at #13:
Best-case but still realistic scenario, in order from least-good to best option:
Dream scenario that won’t happen but is realistic for the #13 pick (in no particular order):
It’s more likely than not that the Wolves finish the night with one of the above ten players on their roster. And it’s even more likely that it will be one of those first seven names listed.
Of course, trades are a very real possibility. Stay tuned to DWW for any breaking news throughout the day.