Minnesota Timberwolves: 2021 NBA Draft target at every possible landing spot

Cade Cunningham of the Oklahoma State Cowboys would be the Minnesota Timberwolves pick at No. 1 in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Cade Cunningham of the Oklahoma State Cowboys would be the Minnesota Timberwolves pick at No. 1 in the 2021 NBA Draft. /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Evan Mobley
Evan Mobley of the USC Trojans would be an option for the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 2 in the 2021 NBA Draft. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 NBA Draft target at No. 2: Evan Mobley

The Timberwolves have a 9.2 percent chance of landing the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft.

If they end up there, the decision becomes a bit more challenging than it would be at No. 1.

The choice will essentially come down to a tough, hard-nosed wing with scoring upside in Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and a versatile, two-way 7-footer in USC’s Evan Mobley. It’s not a no-brainer, and there is a solid argument to be made for both.

However, the scoring touch of Mobley combined with his impressive mobility on the defensive end of the floor would be too tempting to pass up.

It’s hard to believe that less than two years ago, Gersson Rosas and Ryan Saunders were waxing poetic about playing small-ball. Only nine months ago, Saunders floated the idea of playing the 6-foot-4 Josh Okogie at power forward, before following through and experiencing mostly disappointing results.

Enter Chris Finch, who seems to play big lineups as often as possible. Instances of Naz Reid at the 4 skyrocketed under Finch, while McDaniels and Juancho Hernangomez saw time at the 3 — a lineup twist that was never seen under Saunders.

Finch was a lead assistant in New Orleans during the Anthony Davis-DeMarcus Cousins experiment, which mostly worked until injuries derailed the progress in the bayou.

While Mobley isn’t the outside shooter that Towns is nor the low-post scorer, he does everything at least adequately well and carries outstanding all-around touch and sky-high upside. He does everything with fluidity and would mesh extremely well with a skilled big such as Towns.

Defensively, Mobley can guard multiple positions and switch well on the perimeter, which would allow the Wolves to switch coverages and rotate which of their big men hangs back to protect the paint and which big ends up guarding pick-and-roll action.

Mobley is seven feet tall, but he is a better fit at power forward than at center in today’s NBA. A Mobley-Towns frontcourt would still allow Finch to play McDaniels at the 3 and keep Edwards at the 2.

Of course, there’s a case to be made for Suggs, as well…