2023 NBA Draft: Best and worst of Round 1 for Minnesota Timberwolves

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves enter the 2023 NBA Draft with one pick in Round 2. That is not exactly the type of draft pick arsenal that makes NBA headlines, as a general rule. But the Timberwolves are not insulated from the rest of the NBA. In fact, the Timberwolves will face a renewed level of competition from those teams who choose wisely in the draft.

The annual NBA Draft is a time for hope, for optimism, a moment in time when struggling teams are the toast of the NBA. And as expected, those teams that landed the top picks in the draft are getting plenty of positive press

The worst of Round 1 for the Timberwolves

From the Timberwolves’ perspective, any marked improvement for a competitor is bad news for the Timberwolves. But one of the worst news items for the Timberwolves was not draft news but was news from the trade front that flashed into the headlines as the 2023 NBA Draft neared, was the trade of Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors.

Why is this bad news? The Warriors are a solid team that competes in the NBA Playoffs each year. Acquiring a veteran star like Chris Paul on a stacked Warriors roster is a tough development for the Timberwolves when it comes to earning a playoff berth in the 2023-24 NBA season.

The best of Round 1 for the Timberwolves

How can we assert that the Timberwolves sat out Round 1, and yet still have positives to discuss? Sometimes it’s not what the Timberwolves do, but what this team did not do. The Minnesota Timberwolves did not panic and did not scramble to trade established players in the hope of a chance to get better.

There were plenty of NBA rumors that surrounded a number of Minnesota Timberwolves players, and those included the top stars on this roster like Karl-Anthony Towns, as well as the rotational role players like Taurean Prince and Naz Reid.

Thankfully, none of those scenarios came to pass on draft night. Instead, the Timberwolves held fast, allowing other teams their moment in the spotlight. If your team does not hold the first overall pick, the value of those picks, and the chances of success, drop rapidly.

The Timberwolves hold two number-one rookies on the roster right now, who are now seasoned veterans. The inevitable path in the NBA is that once a rookie plays through their rookie contract, they get paid huge stacks of cash. While rookies who are drafted now have several years of affordable play, inevitably, they will sign for the max and supermax deals that change the dynamics of their team’s financial outlook.  The Timberwolves are at the max/supermax deal chapter of their roster.

Hot. NBA Draft: Red Hot Timberwolves topics for next 24 hours. light

Let’s not be in such a rush to start over. The Timberwolves may not be in the spotlight during the 2023 NBA Draft. But from the first tipoff of the 2023-24 NBA season, the lights go on for the Minnesota Timberwolves.