The Minnesota Timberwolves need to find players that could find themselves in the rotation eventually. An experienced All-American guard could be the pick with their second-round selection.
Payton Pritchard does a lot of things well — things that would fit the Minnesota Timberwolves well. He seems to be the prototypical late rotation point guard. He could eventually become a high-level backup but should be able to carve out an NBA role to start early in his career. He is an elite-level shooter. On over six attempts per game, Pritchard averaged over 40-percent from three during his senior season.
Pritchard brings average athleticism but is crafty and uses his skills very well, becoming a great three-level scorer for Oregon this past season. He also improved as a passer each of his four years in college and should continue to do so at the next level.
Pritchard is a very poor defender, though. Despite averaging over one steal per game each of his four years at Oregon, his defensive awareness and perimeter capabilities were nothing short of inconsistent. If he can hone in on the defensive end and become an even better decision-maker, it is hard to see Pritchard failing at the next level.
Fit on the Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves may not be the best fit for Payton Pritchard. That said, he has a lot of likable traits that will likely translate to the NBA level. His combination of shooting and passing could pair well with most players, although his defensive downfalls may make him less playable next to fellow backcourt players D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.
Pritchard is a great pick-and-roll guard and would be an excellent pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. That said, again, his defensive woes could very well greatly outweigh any positive impact he brings offensively. The Timberwolves would need to surround Pritchard with high-quality defenders that could limit the negative impact he has — and at that point, I’m not sure having Pritchard on the team would even be worth it.
The Timberwolves own three picks in this year’s draft. Two in the first round (for now, depending on whether the Nets remain in the playoffs) and one in the second. The team has numerous needs and hitting on each of their draft picks (should they not trade any) will be absolutely crucial. Payton Pritchard is a high-floor player that has two very good traits, with his shooting and all-around facilitation.