Potential Timberwolves draft targets to watch during March Madness

Baylor Bears guard Kendall Brown shoots a three point basket. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Baylor Bears guard Kendall Brown shoots a three point basket. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves
Baylor Bears guard Kendall Brown dunks against the Norfolk State Spartans. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves own all of their future first-round draft picks. Even though the team will at least be in the play-in tournament this year, it’s the right time of year to get caught up on prospects.

Potential Timberwolves draft targets to watch during March Madness

NCAA Tournament games are often overrated in evaluating NBA Draft prospects. People who don’t watch college basketball all year tune in and make broad assumptions based on one performance because the games “matter more,” but the one-off nature limits the legitimate takeaways.

However, it is still a time to see the top prospects go up against above-average competition, and you absolutely can learn something about the players on teams that make extended runs. With plenty of NBA prospects prominently featured in this year’s tournament, the Minnesota Timberwolves should be tuning into the madness.

The Wolves are trending well on the season, which means they will enter this draft under two rare circumstances for the franchise: Their pick will likely fall in the late-teens, and they don’t have a glaring need to fill on the roster. They can take the best player available.

That being said, the team could look to add versatile forwards and big men, two positions where injuries have exposed some depth concerns. Let’s look at some players participating in the tournament who could be Wolves targets.

Kendall Brown and Jeremy Sochan, forwards, Baylor

It seems the Timberwolves are going to feel the impact of switchable defensive wings over the next few weeks with Jaden McDaniels out with a high ankle sprain. Plus, Taurean Prince will be a free agent this offseason, so it’s definitely an area Minnesota should bolster. Brown and Sochan are perhaps the two best examples of that archetype in this draft, and you can watch them play alongside each other.

Both Brown (6-foot-8) and Sochan (6-foot-9) have the size, length, and athleticism to hold up when guarding different positions, but they’re also developmental projects due to questionable jump shots. Brown’s numbers look alright (38.9 percent from three, 70 percent from the line per Sports Reference), but his are questions of form and volume. Sochan, on the other hand, has concerning 29.2/57.5 percent splits, so there’s plenty of work to be done there.

Despite that, Sochan is elevating up boards because his flashes of ball-handling and offensive creation add to his already tantalizing versatility. Brown, meanwhile, lacks aggression on offense and will float through games without adding much of anything on that end despite elite athletic traits.

Due to their talent and age — both are freshmen — it’s very possible both are gone by the time Minnesota makes its selection. If either is around for the Wolves’ pick, though, they could benefit immensely from going through the development system that has McDaniels improving with each passing day.