Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Grade Roundup: What the experts are saying

Anthony Edwards of the Georgia Bulldogs was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards of the Georgia Bulldogs was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Minnesota Timberwolves, Leandro Bolmaro
The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Leandro Bolmaro’s draft rights. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images ) /

Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Grade Roundup: The Wolves crushed it

There were indeed several draft experts and analysts who believe that the Timberwolves had a great draft night.

FanSided’s own Gerald Bourguet handed out an overall ‘A-‘ for the Wolves’ haul, although he didn’t mince words with his take that the Wolves should have taken LaMelo Ball first.

"LaMelo Ball is the best prospect in this year’s draft class, but Anthony Edwards felt like a better fit … which is why it was weird to see Minnesota then double down on a bunch of guards for the rest of the night, when they could’ve just taken the best prospect there right from the start. To be clear, none of these were bad picks. Bolmaro was a good addition in that range, as was McDaniels late in the first. Even better, the Wolves are bringing Ricky Rubio home after shipping off No. 17 to OKC for the veteran floor general and picks at No. 25 and 28. … Imagining Rubio mentoring Ball is enough to make a Wolves fan wince."

It’s a surprisingly high grade given the sharp criticism, but the majority of the Dunking With Wolves staff agrees that Ball was the best prospect in the draft.

To be clear, it’s unlikely that Bolmaro comes stateside until the 2021-22 season at the earliest, and Jaden McDaniels is a big man. The Wolves obviously felt like Rubio could provide guidance and a defensive edge that Ball wouldn’t be able to, and especially not as a rookie. It would have made even less sense if they ended up with Ball and Rubio on top of D’Angelo Russell.

Elsewhere, The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks graded each first-round pick individually and liked what the Timberwolves did.

He gave the Wolves an ‘A’ for the Edwards pick, calling the former Georgia Bulldog “the player who always made the most sense for them.” Strangely, Tjarks gave Minnesota a ‘B’ for the Bolmaro pick, adding these comments:

"The Wolves must really believe in Ricky Rubio as a leader. They traded for their former point guard on draft night and then selected a young guard from his old European team. Bolmaro is 6-foot-7 and doesn’t have the same defensive chops as Rubio, but he’s smart and a good playmaker with a better jumper than his fellow Barcelona product. He will need to continue improving as a shooter because he doesn’t have the athleticism to build his game around attacking the rim at the NBA level."

It’s pretty clear that this pick had nothing to do with Rubio’s leadership. And even if that comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the analysis of Bolmaro may give too much credit to his jumper and not enough to his defense. Sure, the athleticism may be a bit limiting, but his length and anticipation skills are akin to a wing version of Rubio.

Later, he hands out an ‘A’ for the McDaniels pick, which was much more of a glowing review than many of the other analysts. He notes that the Thunder traded away the ability to draft McDaniels, but OKC essentially traded up knowing that they would get Aleksej Pokusevski and was clearly fine with passing on McDaniels. They agreed to trade this pick before the selection was made.

Tjarks notes that McDaniels was seen as a lottery pick only 12 months ago and he could easily exceed the typical expectations for a player selected at No. 28.

The New York Post graded all three picks together and arrived at an ‘A-‘ for the Timberwolves but didn’t provide much in the way of notable commentary.

Okay, now it’s time to read about the experts who panned the Wolves’ draft.