James Wiseman could be a fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves

James Wiseman of the Memphis Tigers could be a Minnesota Timberwolves target in the 2020 NBA Draft. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
James Wiseman of the Memphis Tigers could be a Minnesota Timberwolves target in the 2020 NBA Draft. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, James Wiseman
MEMPHIS, TN – NOVEMBER 5: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers looks to pass the ball. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) /


Besides helping on defense and improve the rebounding percentage, James Wiseman can be a big difference-maker offensively. The Timberwolves are one of the worst teams when it comes to scoring in the paint off of cuts. While he’s obviously a fantastic 3-point shooter, Towns only cuts on 4.2 percent of his possessions used.

Wiseman would be a welcome addition from Day One both as a pick-and-roll big and a cutter with his size, athleticism and catch radius. This would be a huge boost to D’Angelo Russell, who had the benefit of playing with a rolling big in Jarrett Allen in his only All-Star season.

Russell is not an ultra-athletic point guard by NBA standards and struggles generating scoring on drives to the basket and without a good rolling big, He’s has only generated 7.8 drives per game in the 12 games with the Wolves. Meanwhile, with the Nets last year, Russell averaged 12 drives per game with Allen allowing Russell the freedom to drive and also was an assist option on lobs.

Russell’s inability to beat his man to the basket with frequency limits the team somewhat when it comes to generating good ball movement with drive-and-kicks, so having an elite pick-and-roll big man would really help. Besides Russell, Wiseman would help Towns as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, or a player such as Jarrett Culver, who looked really good at using his roll-man in college.

Another category where the Wiseman can really help the Wolves is the fast break. Even though the Wolves are one of the fastest teams in terms of pace, they are also one of the worst in scoring in the fast break.

Considering that the three best teams in the league are also the best in scoring fast-break points that’s a category that shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, fast-break points are one of the most important categories in today’s NBA; the Warriors were the best in the league at it in three of the last five years. Wiseman as an athletic rim-runner would really help by beating slower bigs down the floor and be a Hail Mary-type option like Anthony Davis is for LeBron James.

Wiseman as a rim-running big might be viewed as a limited upside player but there is a reason he is projected so high in the draft.  If you look at his high school tape you will find much more.  Wiseman is a skilled big man that can also dribble, pass, and shoot.  Wiseman’s highlights include him shooting threes off the dribble, taking the ball coast to coast, and driving to the basket right and left from the perimeter and even playmaking for others.

Check out Wiseman’s Shammgod move on this drive to the basket and spin move during the SLAM Summer Classic.

This is something I would expect to see from D’Angelo Russell, not a 7-foot-1 big man. If the motor is anything close to Garnett’s, Wiseman is clearly the best choice for the Wolves.

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Whether the Wolves get lucky in the draft lottery or not, we know for sure that Rosas is not afraid to make a deal when he wants a player. Rosas traded up to the No. 6 pick from No. 11 last year, so if Wiseman is his guy (and he should be), this team could be a whole lot more fun to watch next year.