Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking top Wolves’ draft picks of the 2010s
No. 4 to No. 1: Draft Steals
4. Zach LaVine (No. 13 pick, 2014)
Notables passed on: TJ Warren (No. 14), Adreian Payne (No. 15), Jusuf Nurkic (No. 16)
Like many others on this list, LaVine ended up becoming a trade chip three years after the fact, but he was probably the biggest trade chip of them all.
LaVine has always been a very gifted scorer. He averaged an efficient 18.9 points per game in his last season with Minnesota and has since upped that average to 25.5 points per game in Chicago.
Despite playmaking and defensive deficiencies, LaVine is a high-impact scorer who has certainly outplayed his draft slot at No. 13.
3. Gorgui Dieng (No. 21 pick, 2013)
Notables passed on: Mason Plumlee (No. 22), Tim Hardaway Jr. (No. 24), Rudy Gobert (No. 27)
Dieng’s minutes and role fluctuated seemingly month-to-month throughout his seven-year career with the Wolves, but he was beloved by teammates and fans, always produced when called upon and had a few stretches of outstanding play at the center position.
He has seemed to fit in great with the Memphis Grizzlies thus far and should have plenty of productive seasons left in Memphis, or elsewhere if all goes right.
2. Tyus Jones (No. 24 pick, 2015)
Notable passed on: Jarell Martin (No. 25), Larry Nance Jr. (No. 27), Montrezl Harrell (No. 32)
This year in Memphis, Jones’ field goal percentage went from 42 to 46 and his 3-point shooting went from 32 to 38 percent, both with a similar volume of attempts from a year ago. He’s still a great defender and ranks among the league leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Although Jones moved on from Minnesota last summer, he was an awesome pick at No. 24 and was extremely impactful in his five years with the Wolves.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns (No. 1 pick, 2015)
Notables passed on: D’Angelo Russell (No. 2), Jahlil Okafor (No. 3), Kristaps Porzingis (No. 4)
Towns quickly became the face of the franchise in Minnesota and was clearly the correct choice back in 2015, despite some of the defensive question marks that have plagued him throughout his career. He is a transcendent offensive talent, with the ability to put up 40 points on any given night, and has one of the best 3-point strokes we’ve ever seen from a center.
For two-thirds of the one full season Towns played with another All-Star in Jimmy Butler, the Wolves were a top-five team in the Western Conference. We all know how that ended, but besides that one season (and the fiasco of a handful of games during the next season), Towns simply hasn’t had enough talent around him to be competitive.
Minnesota may not be ready to turn the corner just yet, but with Russell, Malik Beasley and a top-seven pick in tow, they seem to be heading in the right direction.