The 2020 NBA Draft is in the books, and it’s time to issue an initial grade for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ performance.
The Minnesota Timberwolves entered the 2020 NBA Draft with three picks in the top 33. They ended the night by making three picks in the top 28.
The Wolves stood pat at No. 1, taking University of Georgia wing Anthony Edwards. Then, Gersson Rosas and Co. got creative, shipping the No. 17 pick and James Johnson to Oklahoma City for former Wolf Ricky Rubio and pick Nos. 25 and 28.
The Wolves weren’t done maneuvering, sending No. 25 and No. 33 to New York for the right to make a selection at No. 23.
While drafts certainly can’t be entirely graded on the morning after, we’re going to do our best. It’s fair to examine the value that each pick brought back, and while we won’t know the full picture of an individual player’s career until much later, we can at least take a stab based on where the Timberwolves’ roster stands today.
Grading Minnesota Timberwolves picks in the 2020 NBA Draft: Anthony Edwards
The Minnesota Timberwolves were reportedly on the phone, continuing to have trade conversations surrounding the No. 1 pick up until submitting their selection to the league office.
After nearly three months of deliberation, the Wolves ultimately took the player who many thought was the obvious pick dating all the way back to the days following the lottery. That sentiment continued into October, and except for brief moments in the past couple of weeks when both LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman seemed like legitimate options, NBA analysts as a whole seemed to think that Edwards would be the eventual pick.
Ultimately, the Wolves opted to take Edwards, the player who Rosas later described as “head and shoulders” above any other prospect in the draft.
Edwards was clearly the best positional fit, standing 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan and the ability to guard multiple positions. But his defensive struggles at Georgia were real, and his collegiate shooting splits (field goal/3-point/free throw percentages) of .402/.294/.772 were less than inspiring. Add on top of that potential motor issues at both ends of the floor, and there’s a reason why he wasn’t a consensus top prospect.
But still, Edwards’ size, athleticism, and ceiling on both ends of the floor are what made him the top pick for Minnesota. If Edwards plays hard and accepts a third-wheel role on offense, he could be a positive contributor in relatively short order.
If not, we could be looking at Andrew Wiggins 2.0, and that should be a scary thought for Wolves fans.
Edwards was the best fit and arguably the best prospect on the board, and he also is likely to retain the best trade value moving forward. Even if many of us at Dunking With Wolves would have gone a different direction, this pick is certainly defensible.