Timberwolves Rumors: NBA execs believe Ball will go No. 1

Potential Minnesota Timberwolves prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
Potential Minnesota Timberwolves prospect LaMelo Ball. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

The next in a series of Timberwolves rumors linking LaMelo Ball to Minnesota comes from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have clearly been exploring every potential option with the top overall pick. ESPN’s NBA Draft expert Jonathan Givony mentioned in his most recent article [subscription required] that some front offices around the league are working as though they expect Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball to be the first overall pick.

This is the one of many Timberwolves rumors to link Ball to Minnesota, with the first being Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman’s article in September.

Another interesting note is that Givony stated multiple teams may be willing to make the move up to the top pick to select ball. Those teams include the Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Chicago Bulls.

Unlike the Bulls and Pistons, the Thunder do not possess a top-10 pick but would likely be willing to part with future picks in order to make such a trade happen. So whether the Timberwolves keep the top selection or move on from it, it seems as though Ball is the clear favorite – despite recent reports of his stock possibly falling.

The fit between Ball and Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell would be an interesting one. It would likely mean Russell moves into a more offball, scoring role while Ball would take on much of the playmaking duties. Adding another interesting perimeter player alongside Karl-Anthony Towns would also be fun, to say the least.

Regardless, having to high-level passers would be ideal, especially with just how good Ball seems to be at that skill. If the pick is moved to one of those three teams, however, the package in return could vary depending on who the deal is made with.

Chicago’s offer would likely include the fourth pick in addition to either a rotational player or combination of future picks – the same goes for the Pistons. A Thunder trade would be more interesting, though – especially with the abundance of future draft capital they currently have.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves need to improve their immediate rotation – and Ball could be a crucial part of the framework of the team moving forward. That said, it will be interesting to see if general manager Gersson Rosas believes the same thing.