Is there any chance that the Minnesota Timberwolves take Memphis big man James Wiseman in the 2020 NBA Draft?
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the NO. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and most analysts think that the Wolves will take one of two players: guard LaMelo Ball or wing Anthony Edwards.
James Wiseman is a big man who played in just three games for Memphis this year and has a skill-set that is often compared to Karl-Anthony Towns profile when he was at Kentucky.
Would the Wolves really consider picking a player who has such striking similarities to their best player?
Is there any chance the Minnesota Timberwolves draft James Wiseman?
There hadn’t been any real Wiseman-to-Minnesota chatter until the past few days when a report from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie within his Mock Draft 8.0 (subscription required) suggested that the Wolves are, at the very least, doing their due diligence on the Memphis big man.
Vecenie also reports that there is suddenly “real enthusiasm” from teams regarding Wiseman, given that his size and athleticism should give him a fairly high floor.
But teams aren’t supposed to be looking for “high floor” players with the top selection in the draft, and that’s exactly where the Wolves are sitting.
Not only that, Wiseman is a legit seven feet tall and while he has solid shooting mechanics and clearly possesses NBA-ready scoring touch, there has been no demonstration of any range to this point. It’s more likely than not that Wiseman extends his shooting range to the NBA 3-point line at some point in the not-too-distant future, but it isn’t going to be in 2021.
If the Wolves had Wiseman in the fold, it would effectively keep them from playing the 5-out offense that Ryan Saunders prefers. Otherwise, Wiseman would be relegated to being Towns’ backup.
Wiseman should be able to step in and patrol the paint from Day One, swatting shots and grabbing rebounds at an effective rate. He should also be a strong screen-setter and roll man and will wreak havoc on rim-runs in transition. For those reasons, there isn’t any reason for Wiseman to fall out of the top three or four selections in the draft.
But he isn’t a synergistic fit for the Wolves, and definitely not at No. 1.
The only way that Wiseman ends up in a Timberwolves uniform is if the Wolves were to trade back to a spot later in the top 10, only to have Wiseman fall into their laps. At some point, his combination of high-floor and high-upside would have to be attractive to a team still trying to accrue as much talent as possible.
In other words, don’t count on Wiseman donning a Wolves jersey anytime soon — regardless of the pre-draft chatter.