Minnesota Timberwolves draft picks of the last 10 years: Where are they now?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 21: Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 21: Ricky Rubio #9 of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JANUARY 30: Zach LaVine #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2014 Draft

The 2014 draft was also conducted by Flip Saunders, and it involved a long-standing rumor that the Wolves wanted to grab raw-but-talented UCLA guard Zach LaVine at No. 13 before the Phoenix Suns could get him at No. 14.

As it turns out, the Wolves did get LaVine, and Saunders confirmed after the draft that he’d had his eye on Zach for quite some time.

LaVine was exciting as a rookie, splitting time between each guard spot while averaging 10.1 points and 3.6 assists per game. He wasn’t a very good shooter yet, however, and his defense was horrendous.

Saunders passed away before LaVine’s sophomore year in the league, and Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell moved LaVine into more of a backup point guard role. He kept getting better, shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc and demonstrating improved decision-making skills.

It was the first part of LaVine’s third season, played under his third coach in Thibodeau, when LaVine appeared to be making real strides on both ends of the floor. Over the first 47 games of the season, he averaged 18.9 points per game with shooting splits of .459/.387/.836 and stretches of solid play on defense.

But LaVine tore his ACL in early February and was lost for the season. Then, on draft night, he was shipped to Chi-town with Dunn and a pick in the exchange for Butler.

LaVine recovered in time to play in 24 games for the Bulls in 2017-18 but clearly wasn’t himself. Then, he struggled with more injuries in 2018-19 but recovered to average a career-high 24.7 and 4.5 assist points per game on splits of .467/.374/.832 — also the best of his career.

His defense improved, too, and there’s hope that he could turn into a reliable everyday player soon. He’s still just 24 years old, and while he’s overpaid for his production at this point, there’s still some project-ability in his game.

Later in the 2014 draft, the Wolves picked Glenn Robinson III at No. 40 and a pair of other players later in the second round, each of whom were sold for cash. Robinson was an intriguing prospect out of the University of Michigan and seemed to be a savvy pick.

Ultimately, Robinson III was waived midway through his rookie season after appearing in 25 games in Minnesota and was picked up by Philadelphia. Then, after three seasons with the Pacers, he appeared in 47 games (starting 18) with Detroit in 2018-19.

Robinson III remains an inconsistent offensive player — he shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc in his first three seasons as a pro but just 29 percent last year with the Pistons — and a solid defender. He’ll likely keep getting opportunities in the league, but it wasn’t a horrible decision by the Wolves to release him back in 2015.

Given the return the Wolves got for LaVine, this draft was overall a decent one, although the only dividends it continues to pay today are whatever value one might assign to LaVine’s role in acquiring Butler, which in turn turn helped acquire Robert Covington and Dario Saric, which in turn helped the Wolves trade up for Jarrett Culver.

Got all that? Let’s move on to 2013.