Timberwolves trade 48th pick to Pacers for a 2026 second

Tim Connelly, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Connelly, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves were expected to be wheeling and dealing on draft night. After all, the consensus of many NBA pundits seemed to settle on the Timberwolves trades throughout the night to be more about trading for veterans than swapping 2022 NBA Draft picks like trading baseball cards. But then the 2022 NBA Draft arrived, and the Timberwolves, guided by the newly hired President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, executed the first chapter of their offseason strategy.

By the time the Minnesota Timberwolves arrived at their 48th overall pick of the draft, the team had already:

Pick 19 – Traded to the Memphis Grizzlies (plus future 2nd) for picks 22 and 29
Pick 22 – Selected Auburn C Walker Kessler
Pick 26 – Acquired from Houston Rockets (via Dallas) – Selected Duke SG/SF Wendell Moore
Pick 29 – Traded to the Houston Rockets (plus future 2nd)
Pick 40 – Traded to Charlotte Hornets
Pick 45 – Acquired from Hornets (plus 2023 2nd from NYK) – Selected Memphis F Josh Minott

The Timberwolves were down to their last two picks but had already landed a full draft night’s draft class by this point. So the pressure to choose another player gave way to the need to pile up future draft assets.

So the Timberwolves picked up the phone and agreed to trade their 48th overall pick to the Indiana Pacers in an exchange reported by CBS Sports to take on the following pieces:

While this appears to be an exchange of low-value draft picks, there is more than meets the eye in this trade. What do I mean?

Well, the Pacers are a team that has regressed for two straight NBA seasons, and they entered the 2022 NBA Draft with picks at 6, 31, and 58.  While the Pacers added the 48th overall pick, the team emerged with four rookies.  Of course, the Indiana Pacers are rumored to be having a fire sale of veterans:

So their future outlook is not exactly bright and sunny right now.  While they could conceivably turn the ship around in two years, they didn’t exactly have a lot of luck in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery.

That likely pushes back any chance of getting back to the NBA Playoffs by a year or two optimistically.   If the Pacers have future bad luck, or miss on their draft picks in the meantime, the 2026 second-round pick could be nearly as valuable as a late first-round pick.

Trending. Minnesota Timberwolves draft versatile Memphis F Josh Minott at 45. light