We went into the draft with a narrowed group of players who we expected the Timberwolves to consider taking, but the top of the board didn’t exactly go according to what many expected.
Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray are sharpshooters, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss are versatile, potential-laden big men, and Jaylen Brown is an athletic wing. Ultimately, Kris Dunn, the point guard from Providence, fell and was drafted by the Wolves at fifth overall, but not before numerous trade rumors were flying around as teams tried to trade up to land Dunn.
After Boston reportedly turned down offers from the Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls (presumably among others that were not leaked), the same deals were reportedly offered to the Timberwolves at #5.
The 76ers’ offer, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! and The Vertical, included Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington, and the 24th and 26th picks in the draft in exchange for the fifth pick, which, of course, ended up being Kris Dunn.
More from Dunking with Wolves
- The dream starting 5 for Minnesota Timberwolves 5 years from now
- Anthony Edwards’ latest accolade is a great sign of things to come
- In an OT thriller, Team Canada snatches Bronze from Team USA
- Timberwolves start, bench, cut: Mike Conley, Shake Milton, Jordan McLaughlin
- Which Timberwolves roster additions have upgraded the bench?
With the 76ers’ offer, the team would have been able to bring in a rim protector that could play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and a shooter off the bench. They also potentially could have packaged the two picks together to move back in to the top-20 to select a guy like Wade Baldwin IV, the second-ranked point guard prospect in the draft after Dunn.
The Bulls’ offer, similarly to the Sixers’ offer, was centered around Kris Dunn.
Chicago would send Jimmy Butler but also requested Zach LaVine, but the Timberwolves were offering Ricky Rubio.
Opting to not accept the Bulls offer, including LaVine but keeping Rubio, could be the one major regret from the 2016 NBA Draft for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
How does a starting lineup of Rubio-Wiggins-Butler-[free-agent]-Towns sound? Don’t get me wrong; I am in love with the potential of Zach LaVine as a future star in the league, but Jimmy Butler is a current star; he is a two-time All-Star and a three-time All-Defensive Team honoree.
The hesitancy and inability to complete either of these trades bring up questions about how new head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau views this team.
Essentially, what the refusal to give up LaVine over Rubio signifies regarding the views of the front office is as follows: LaVine + Butler > Rubio + Butler. I’m not sure what it is that Zach LaVine shows behind closed doors that convinces everyone around him that he should be a starting NBA point guard, but whatever it is, he should bust it out on the court because the front office does not appear committed to Ricky Rubio being a main part of this team going forward.
After everything was said and done, the Timberwolves stayed put and the only change to the team was the addition of our new point guard, Kris Dunn.
The team will undoubtedly be active in free-agency as it looks to fill needs on the team, but look for them to continue be active in the rumor-mill regarding trades, specifically those including Ricky Rubio.