3 draft prospects who could fall to the Timberwolves at 53

Jalen Pickett, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Jalen Pickett, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports /
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The NBA Draft is just one day away, and time is ticking down for teams to make their choices on which prospects to bring in. The Minnesota Timberwolves do not currently possess a first-round selection, but there is always the chance they could acquire one on or before draft night.

With rumors of several teams being open to trading their lottery picks, Minnesota would likely end up with a high pick if they choose to deal away Karl-Anthony Towns in a draft night trade. But if they stand pat, the Timberwolves’ only current selection in the 2023 NBA Draft will come at 53rd.

There is always plenty of talent to be found in the second round of the draft. Just look at Nikola Jokic, who was drafted 41st overall in 2014 and just took home the Finals MVP award. Of course, the Timberwolves cannot expect to pick up as rare a talent as the Joker, but they can still find a hidden gem. There are a few lesser-known players they should be keeping their eyes on.

1. Jalen Pickett, Penn State

One player for Minnesota to keep an on eye is Penn State point guard Jalen Pickett. Last season, he guided the Nittany Lions to an NCAA tournament appearance after an improbable run in the Big 10 conference tournament.

Leading Penn State in points, rebounds, assists and steals for the season, Pickett showed he has a well-rounded skillset that could lead to a future in the NBA. Weighing in at 210 pounds and standing 6-foot-4, he already has decent size to be a ball-handler at the professional level.

Pickett shot the ball well enough with 51/38/77% shooting splits to have solid scoring potential at the next level. At 23 years old, he is the kind of grizzled veteran that may adapt to the style of play in the NBA quicker than his peers.

In general, players who are very versatile like Pickett have a low chance of being a bust. He would provide good value at 53rd overall, and could prove to be an excellent replacement if the Timberwolves decide to move on from Jordan McLaughlin.