Concerned about the Timberwolves trades diluting roster? Don’t be

Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

How will the Minnesota Timberwolves finish assembling their roster for the 2022-23 NBA Season? Well, that’s quite a question, isn’t it? After all, the Timberwolves draft is merely the first chapter of the story. But if you were looking for a thrilling debut by Minnesota Timberwolves President Tim Connelly, you were likely not disappointed. He engaged in a series of trades that weaved back and forth, positioning the team to make picks for their most highly valued players.

But with so many trades back and forth, who can say how well the team did? Not so much from the players chosen, but in the inherent value of the NBA Draft picks traded away, compared to the NBA Draft picks acquired?

Whenever an NBA team engages in the strategy of trading multiple NBA draft picks, there is the fear of whether or not the team walked away with more or less value than their original draft positions.  What do we know about the Minnesota Timberwolves draft? Well, we know that the team began the night with the following draft picks:

Round One

Pick 19

Round Two

Pick 40
Pick 48
Pick 50

What did the team end the night with? Well, after trading back, selecting, then trading back up, then more trades, the Minnesota Timberwolves emerged with selections at the following picks:

Round One

Pick 22
Pick 26

Round Two

Pick 45
Pick 50

For this discussion, we will ignore future second-round picks.  So for the answer we seek, we turn to NBA Sense and their website’s draft pick trade simulator. For this exercise, we lop off the future second-round picks as picks that we are simply unable to quantify at this time. We know that the Timberwolves’ position in their future second-round picks did drop by one pick through the course of the evening.

But if you compare the 19, 40, and 48 picks to the 22, 26, and 45 picks used, you will find that the Timberwolves actually improved their value in the 2022 NBA Draft significantly by a factor of over 16 percent.  That is likely the impact of the future second-round pick converted into present-day value.

Of course, any draft analysis focuses on the players selected, and we won’t know their value for several years. But if you were concerned that the Timberwolves gave away value in the 2022 NBA Draft, you can put those fears to rest now.

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