Minnesota Timberwolves: Will the Wolves draft the best player available?

NBA Draft prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
NBA Draft prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota TImberwolves, LaMelo Ball
Potential Minnesota Timberwolves prospect LaMelo Ball. /

Depending on where the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first pick lands in the draft, will they take the best player available regardless of position?

It’s the age-old question: should teams draft for positional need or target the best player available on the draft board? Needless to say, the Minnesota Timberwolves have a big decision to make in the 2020 draft.

Not many teams that finish the previous season with .297 winning percentage would deviate from the “best player available” model. After all, by definition, teams picking near the top of the draft are devoid of NBA-caliber talent, and more talent is better, regardless of position.

The Wolves might still fall into that category, but they also only got 35 games out of their best player and only one game with their best two players playing together. As currently constructed, this team would certainly win more than 30 percent of their games over the course of an entire season.

There are clear holes on the roster, however: perimeter defense, permanent solutions at starting power forward and backup point guard, and, as always, 3-point shooting from the wing position.

Overall, the Wolves rotation already has far more long-range shooters than ever before; the starting lineup will likely feature at least three above-average 3-point shooters in Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Malik Beasley.

But the best two defensive wings on the roster are Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, who are both below-average shooters. Starting power forward Juancho Hernangomez is a restricted free agent and may or may not be back, and backup big James Johnson only has one year left on his deal.

In a perfect world, the Wolves would add a starting power forward or a 3-and-D wing. Perhaps they’ll trade back and pick up Dayton’s Obi Toppin to fit the need at the 4, or grab one of several 3-and-D candidates, including Florida State’s Devin Vassell or Villanova’s Saddiq Bey.

The Timberwolves’ first first-round pick will land somewhere between No. 1 and No. 6, and drafting any of the aforementioned players could be a reach, depending on which higher-ceiling players the Wolves are reaching past.

Let’s take a quick look at some oo the potential “best players available” that the Wolves may end up taking in the draft, even if they aren’t the perfect fit with Minnesota’s current roster.