Minnesota Timberwolves: NBA Draft notes on Edwards, Okoro, and more

Isaac Okoro of the Auburn Tigers drives to the basket. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro of the Auburn Tigers drives to the basket. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NBA Draft is only a week away. Here’s the latest on Anthony Edwards, Isaac Okoro, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

We’re only a week away from the 2020 NBA Draft, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are at the center of nearly all the rumors.

It isn’t only who the Wolves might take with the No. 1 pick or the No. 17 pick. We’re officially in crazy trade seasons, and real, actual rumors are out there.

Let’s take a look at the latest on a pair of prospects projected to be drafted comfortably in the top 10 of the draft.

Anthony Edwards wants to be drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves

Georgia wing Anthony Edwards is one of the more polarizing players in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Once the Wolves landed the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, seemingly all of the experts were projecting that they would take Edwards first overall. The case is simple: the Wolves have an All-Star big in Karl-Anthony Towns and an All-Star guard in D’Angelo Russell. They’re missing size and potential on the wing.

Edwards is the most physically-gifted wing in the draft and has impressive athletic ability and prototypical size for a two-guard in today’s NBA.

But the issues are also obvious. Edwards isn’t a good outside shooter, doesn’t consistently defend, and has motor issues. Coming from a losing program at the University of Georgia, can he elevate his all-around game to genuinely help his new NBA team?

We’ve already detailed the strengths and weaknesses in Edwards game, but something he doesn’t lack is confidence. He’s been saying for weeks that he wants to be the No. 1 overall pick, and he’s still pushing for Minnesota to draft him.

There’s something to be said for the assuredness and his willingness to say publicly that he doesn’t mind where he gets drafted. Plenty of prospects won’t speak that freely, and it’s refreshing to see.

That said, it seems unlikely that Gersson Rosas and the Wolves front office will take an inefficient offensive performer like Edwards first overall. Perhaps if Minnesota trades back, maybe to Charlotte’s pick at No. 3, and perhaps if Edwards slides, they would take a flyer. But if you’re picking with the first overall selection, you can’t be wrong. And there is plenty to worry about with Edwards.

Isaac Okoro worked out for the Minnesota Timberwolves recently

About five weeks ago, Auburn wing Isaac Okoro tried to make a case that he should be the No. 1 pick, stating that he would be a great fit with Towns and Russell.

While there’s almost no chance the Wolves would take Okoro, who is often anywhere from No. 5 to No. 10 in mock drafts, first overall, he could be a legitimate trade-back target due to his dominant defensive game.

We now know that the Wolves went to Auburn last week to watch Okoro work out.

Okoro’s size and athleticism were no doubt impressive in a workout setting, but keep in mind that he has severe offensive limitations, especially including his jump shot. Surely, Okoro’s agent must have assumed that this particular workout woldn’t hurt his client, as the Wolves would have to trade back from No. 1 (or up from No. 17 ) to pick his client, and he isn’t going to go off the board at No. 1 or be there at No. 17 anyway.

That said, Okoro should immediately be an above-average defender in the NBA, and he would be a solid trade target for the Wolves if they were to find themselves with a pick in the latter portion of the top 10.

Also in the above link: notes from ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Tim Bontemps listing Okoro as “one of the most impactful defenders” in the draft, and “maybe the most ready guy in the draft” according to a Western Conference executive.

Could Okoro be one of the Wolves’ intended targets in the swap that they’re reportedly discussing for Atlanta’s No. 6 pick?

It’s possible, but if nothing else, Okoro’s defensive acumen is clearly of intrigue to Minnesota.

Additonally, it’s encouraging to see both Edwards and Okoro state that they want to be picked first, believing themselves to be A) the best talent in the draft, and B) a solid fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Next. 3 draft trades between Wolves and Hornets. dark

We’ll see what, if anything, comes of these nuggets, but both wings are players for Wolves fans to keep their eye on over the next week.