There are many Minnesota Timberwolves fans who are, at a minimum, nervous about the lack of future draft picks for this team. But some are to the point where they are already up in arms over the lack of picks. Already, because the lack of picks will not even begin to impact this team until the end of the 2022-23 NBA season.
While I can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly restore those picks that have been traded away in fair exchange, perhaps we can refocus a bit, and reframe what the goal of those draft picks truly is. The NBA Draft is not the goal, nor is the goal about accumulating draft picks. The NBA Draft event is to afford NBA teams a systemic and orderly process to add new talent to the roster each year.
Here is a news flash for you. The Timberwolves already have a jump on the matter. Have you been keeping track of Luka Garza lately?
And in the past three games, he has been red hot. He has averaged:
15 minutes / 13 points / 4 rebounds / 0.3 blocks / 0.3 steals
As far as his shooting, he is 61.9 FG% / 25.0 3Pt% / 92.3 FT%
Garza gets Timberwolves going in 2023
Those are not preseason stats. Those past three games have been against the Milwaukee Bucks (25-13), the Denver Nuggets (24-13), and the Portland Trailblazers (19-18). In each of the past three games, Garza has ended with a +/- of (-1), (+11), and (+15) respectively.
Garza is not a polished piece on the Timberwolves roster just yet. But like any young player, he is quickly developing with playing time. While he has only averaged 7.1 minutes in 10 games played, he has proven to be vital to the team. In fact, backup center Naz Reid has not played for the Timbewolves since a hugely disappointing loss to the Detroit Pistons.
Garza has picked up the slack, and the team, by coming off the bench to help the Timberwolves go undefeated in 2023. And as we’ve seen above, he has done so against the NBA’s, and the NBA Northwest Division’s best teams.
The Timberwolves remain three games under .500 and outside of the NBA Playoff picture for the time being. But Luka Garza is getting hot, and at just the right time to help the Timberwolves climb the rankings.
Best of all, the Minnesota Timberwolves added Luka Garza without using a single draft pick.