Did Timberwolves Tim Connelly draft too well? Walker Kessler thinks so

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

When the Minnesota Timberwolves traded back from their 19th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to claim two first-round picks, there was a lot of excitement. This was the first NBA Draft for Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, and his reputation as an NBA Draft whisperer had preceded his arrival.

The Timberwolves were on the hunt for a rim-protecting center, and defensive upgrades. Connelly wasted no time stepping up and putting his mark on the Timberwolves roster, as he opted for Auburn center Walker Kessler with the 22nd pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. Waker Kessler is 7-foot-1, 255 pounds, and checked all of the boxes for the Timberwolves’ roster needs. But weeks later, Kessler was one of the players packaged to ship off to the Utah Jazz for NBA All-Star veteran center Rudy Gobert.

The problem is pretty simple. Walker Kessler was the first selection of Tim Connelly for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he nailed it. But by immediately trading the rookie center, all of the benefits of that selection were passed on to the Utah Jazz.

And folks, he has some serious upside:

We pointed out the struggle of the Minnesota Timberwolves in this conflicting scenario. Walker Kessler became the one who ‘got away’ from the Timberwolves, and any upside he shows throughout his NBA career will come back to haunt the Timberwolves.

Well, the ghosts are howling at Target Center now. Walker Kessler put up 20 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. He put up the type of game for the Utah Jazz that the Timberwolves hoped to trade for with the acquisition of Rudy Gobert.

The Timberwolves lose a thriller at Target Center. Perhaps worse, the outcome and performance of Walker Kessler only add fuel to the raging debate of whether the Timberwolves needed to trade for center Rudy Gobert in the offseason.

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