Welcome to another edition of Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Corner. This time, we take a look at centers.
By the beginning of the 2020 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves will certainly have a remodeled roster.
Of course, center isn’t necessarily the position they’re targeting. But that being said, there is one player that could make the Wolves frontcourt a problem for many teams in the NBA for years to come.
Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Corner: Center Edition
After the departure of Gorgui Dieng, the Wolves were left a little dry at the 5. In an injury-riddled season for Karl-Anthony Towns, who only played in 35 games out of a possible 64, undrafted big man Naz Reid became the primary center for the Wolves. To his credit, the rookie out of LSU certainly made the most of his minutes, proving he can be reliable stretch-5.
While Towns is a certified star at the 5, adding depth to the position in the draft to pair with KAT would solidify the frontcourt on the defensive side of the ball.
Isaiah Stewart, Center, 6-foot-9, Washington Huskies
NBA Comparison: Montrezl Harrell
Isaiah Stewart is a high-motor center out of Washington who might drop into the second round despite his potential as a 19-year-old. Stewart is a 6-foot-9 center with a ridiculous 7-foot-4 wingspan and he uses his length to make a difference.
During his freshman year, Stewart posted a line of 17 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. He grabbed 86 offensive rebounds and blocked 68 shots in his 32 games at Washington while shooting 57 percent from the field and 77.4 percent from the line. His high percentage from the line shows his potential to develop his shooting from beyond the arc.
The 19-year-old could slip to the Timberwolves at No. 33, the third pick in the second round. At that pick, Stewart would be a steal. The Timberwolves need frontcourt depth, and ideally depth that excels on defense. Stewart could provide just.
James Wiseman, Center, 7-foot-1, Memphis Tigers
NBA Comparison: Hassan Whiteside
Out of high school, Wiseman was highly touted as a potential No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
While he still may very well be the first pick, it’s far from a sure thing. Wiseman only played three games with Memphis because of his unfortunate eligibility battle with the NCAA.
During those three games, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks. He also shot 76.9 percent from the field and 70.4 from the line. Though it’s a small sample size, Wiseman’s game speaks for itself.
He stands 7-foot-1 with a 7-foot-6 wingspan. Pairing Wiseman with Towns would absolutely solidify the frontcourt defensively, allowing KAT and D’Angelo Russell to run the offense.
There is certainly a question mark surrounding Wiseman in this year’s draft because of his limited time in college. That said, he is still projected as a top-5 pick, which speaks to his talent and untapped potential.
Draft Corner: Center Edition
Now, let me paint you a picture of a new-look Minnesota Timberwolves lineup.
Russell, Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie, Towns, Wiseman. This lineup would not only be explosive offensively, but it would also be solid defensively.
Josh Okogie would guard opposing team’s best guards while Wiseman would matchup against opposing big men, leaving Russell, Beasley, and Towns to run the offense.
Regardless of having a generational talent at the 5, the Timberwolves remain in talent acquisition mode. That means they will take the player they deem best available.
If Wiseman is there, look for the Wolves to try and solidify their frontcourt as the best in the game by taking the best player on the board.