2023 NBA Draft: Timberwolves trial a sextet of rookies

AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo by STAN HONDA / AFP) (Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo by STAN HONDA / AFP) (Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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2023 NBA Draft Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves draft Justyn Mutts
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

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You have to love the name fit of forward Justin Mutts from Virginia Tech with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wolves? Mutts? Never mind . . .

This 6-foot-7 230-pound forward actually clicks all of the boxes, but that comes with a price. He can score, he has solid off-ball offense, and he plays better-than-average defense. The biggest flag with Mutts is that he is not as aggressive as you might like to see. He is unselfish with the basketball, which could be a solid quality on the star-studded Timberwolves roster. But the search for the open shooter makes him vulnerable to turnovers.

If he can get trust his shots more, and limit turnovers, he has the making of a solid NBA player.

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Finally, we come to power forward Race Thompson from Indiana as the sixth and final rookie to try out for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is another marvelously named player, and standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 235 pounds, he is the tallest prospect of this group. While still athletic, he is not as athletically gifted as some. Still, that has not impacted his basketball production.

He can score, work in the paint, rebound, and has some defense. He is a versatile forward, playing both small forward and power forward. But, as a rookie, that could extend his NBA learning curve beyond one season to truly unlock his potential.


It’s pretty clear that the Minnesota Timberwolves group of rookie tryouts covered a wide range of skill sets and positions on the basketball court. The Timberwolves should be rock-solid in terms of their starting five, and even the Timberwolves’ bench should be in relatively good shape. So while the Timberwolves may enter the 2023 NBA Draft armed with only one pick in Round 2, there is no true pressing need right now.

Will the Minnesota Timberwolves find an impact player in the 2023 NBA Draft? As long as you are not looking for an NBA Sixth Man Award winner in his rookie season, I think that it is certainly possible. The Timberwolves are not just drafting for the 2023-24 NBA season, but for the years that follow.

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So, who’s it gonna be?  Stay tuned.