Minnesota Timberwolves: Has their draft decision already been made?

Deputy Commissioner of the NBA Mark Tatum (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Deputy Commissioner of the NBA Mark Tatum (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

There has already been a rumor that the Minnesota Timberwolves may have already made a draft promise with the number 11 pick, but to who?

In the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the number 11 overall pick. While there are many promising prospects they will have to choose from, there has already been word that Minnesota already knows who they plan on taking.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, there are rumors that Rui Hachimura had received a promise from Minnesota that they would select him with the number 11 overall pick. This rumor came to light when Hachimura shut down workouts and meetings with teams recently and people began to question why.

If this does happen to be true, how does he fit on the Minnesota Timberwolves?

Rui Hachimura is a 6’8 forward out of Gonzaga who has shown incredible growth every year of college. As a freshman, Hachimura did not play much, mainly due to the fact that Zach Collins, now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, was also on the roster at the same position.

In his first season of college basketball, he produced 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 4.6 minutes per game. He was the fifth ever Japanese-born player to play in an NCAA Division I basketball game.

In his sophomore season, we saw his first true jump in improvement. Hachimura averaged 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game. Although he had a breakout year, he was still extremely inefficient shooting from deep at just 19.2 percent on the season.

In his third season with Gonzaga, he once again showed he was able to improve on his weaknesses, specifically the 3-point shooting. After the horrible 19.2 percent 3-point shooting in his sophomore season, he drastically increased it to 41.7 percent in his third season. He also averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while playing 30.2 minutes per game.

The fact that Hachimura has a proven track record of developing his game year after year should be promising for NBA teams. Anything he struggles with on the court has been fixed through hard work and dedication in the offseason.

His only problem making the leap to the NBA may be his size. At just 6’8, Hachimura is slightly undersized to play the power forward position. He is certainly physical enough to play the position but may fit better as a small forward.

Upon being drafted, Hachimura will become the third ever Japanese player in the NBA, as well as the first to ever be drafted in the first round. When it is all said and done, he has the chance to be the best Japanese-born basketball player ever.

If the Minnesota Timberwolves did actually promise Rui Hachimura they would draft him at number 11, he would fit nicely on the currently constructed roster. Whether it be alongside Karl-Anthony Towns at power forward or behind Andrew Wiggins at backup small forward, he should be able to contribute immediately.

With his ability to shoot the 3-pointer reliably as well as the athleticism to hold his own on the defensive end, Hachimura will make an impact on both ends of the court.

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With this being just a rumor, you have to take the information with a grain of salt. Based on Minnesota’s draft needs, however, making this pick would not be surprising whatsoever. We will find out in under a month if this rumor comes to fruition.