The best players the Minnesota Timberwolves passed on in the NBA Draft

Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA Draft (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Minnesota Timberwolves,
Minnesota Timberwolves, /

Players Minnesota Timberwolves passed on in NBA Draft: Jamal Murray

Scouting Report. Guard. Providence. 5. 86. Pick Analysis. Kris Dunn. player

Guard. player. 73. Pick Analysis. Kentucky. Jamal Murray. 7. Scouting Report

Jamal Murray, Guard, 2016 NBA Draft

Wolves fans are beginning to feel the wrath of this pick after the Nugget’s 2020 run to the Western Conference Finals.

Jamal Murray has developed into a premier guard in the NBA. He averaged 18.5 points and 4.8 assists this season for the Nuggets and was absolutely pivotal in eliminating the Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Although the Nuggets lost to the eventual champion Lakers in five games in the Conference Finals, Murray and Nikola Jokic had the Nuggets competitive in each game and could have easily stretched the series.

Murray’s talent on both ends of the floor has been crucial in turning the Nuggets into a force in the Western Conference. This is what makes missing out on Murray difficult for Wolves fans to swallow — the Nuggets are a small-market team like the Wolves, but have become a perennial contender by drafting well.

Denver has become a model for the Timberwolves, and it certainly stings for Wolves fans to see a team’s improvement led by a star player they could have easily drafted.

Instead, the Wolves drafted Kris Dunn out of Providence. Coming out of college, Kris Dunn’s combination of size and athleticism definitely contributed to his potential on defense, which was something the Wolves desperately needed.

However, Dunn struggled offensively for the Wolves early on, averaging just 3.8 points and 2.4 assists in his rookie campaign. Dunn never found his footing in Minnesota, and the team decided to sell high on him, packaging him with Zach LaVine and a 2017 first-round pick swap to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls.

Dunn has improved since his time with the Wolves but has never fully reached the potential that Minnesota saw in him that caused them to take him No. 5 in the draft.