Minnesota Timberwolves: The 2018 NBA Draft was a success for the Wolves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 01: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 01: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Despite a disappointing 2018-19 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a fair amount of luck when it came to finding young talent to add to the roster this year.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have three players currently on their active roster (not counting two-way player Jared Terrell) that were eligible to be drafted last June.

Josh Okogie was selected with Minnesota’s first-round pick while Keita Bates-Diop was chosen with the team’s second-round pick. Cameron Reynolds was added from the G League following the All-Star break after he had gone undrafted out of Tulane last summer.

While the trio lacks a player with obvious star potential, all three have the potential to be highly successful role players for the franchise for years to come.

Josh Okogie

The youngest of the bunch, Okogie, is also the player with the most potential.

At the tender age of just 20, Okogie has already proven he can guard the elite guards throughout the league. Josh’s high-energy and effort continue to provide the Timberwolves the defensive spark that they otherwise lack.

Okogie’s shooting and scoring numbers are not impressive, but his shooting form seems to be intact. As the season has progressed, Okogie has shown that his NBA IQ is improving, as he is often seen making the right play on offense and is forcing things less than he was early on.

A full NBA offseason focused on ball-handling and long-distance shooting could land the rookie an even more prominent role for next seasons Timberwolves.

Keita Bates-Diop

At age 23, Keita is one of the older rookies of his class.

Bates-Diop’s experience level helped him land the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year, but concerns about his age and athleticism caused him to slip to the early second round of the draft.

While the former Buckeye struggled to find playing time early in the season with the Wolves, Bates-Diop has slowly begun to carve a bench role out under Ryan Saunders.

At 6-foot-9, Keita has a great NBA body type. While his play has been up and down, Bates-Diop could also benefit from a big developmental summer. Minnesota should feel good about the potential return on investment with their second-round pick.

Cameron Reynolds

Like Bates-Diop, Reynolds is also one of the older players of the NBA’s freshman class. At 24, Reynolds went undrafted and had to earn his chops in the NBA G League before finally being signed to a 10-day contract in Minnesota.

Seeing the potential in the left-handed-wing, the Timberwolves ultimately signed Reynolds to a multi-year deal. If Cameron can continue to grow as a 3-point shooter and tighten up on the defensive end, Minnesota may have found themselves another competent wing rotation player.

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The Timberwolves hope to have added three solid role players to the squad this season. While all of their play has been up and down, that is to be expected of players new to the league. If any, or ideally all, of these rookies can make significant progress on their all-around games this summer, Minnesota’s depth will suddenly look a lot more solidified.