The Minnesota Timberwolves have made nearly all their preparations for the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night. Although they currently only own one second-round pick in the draft, there is still the chance it could be a busy evening for the front office.
There has been plenty of talk about the Timberwolves pursuing a potential Karl-Anthony Towns trade. Although he is unable to be officially traded until after draft night, the right pieces could fall into place behind the scenes during the draft.
Assuming Timberwolves President Tim Connelly prefers to orchestrate any potential dealings involving KAT after draft night, there are still a number of ways Minnesota can maximize their opportunities on Thursday evening. They do not have nearly as much draft capital to work with as many other teams, but they can still make a few things happen.
There is interest around the league in a few players in the Timberwolves’ rotation. If they play their cards right, they can upgrade their roster even with minimal assets to their name.
Mapping out the ideal NBA Draft night for the Timberwolves:
Step 1: Trade into the first round by trading Taurean Prince and a future second-rounder
Overall, Minnesota seems to be relatively content with where their roster is. They are looking forward to year two of Rudy Gobert and believe the upcoming campaign will be even greater evidence that acquiring him was the right move.
On top of that, their young duo of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels represents the future of the franchise. As long as the talent of those two keeps blossoming, they will be set up for success in a big way.
But the Timberwolves do not want to get complacent. They know that they must continue to surround Edwards and McDaniels with competent role players that complement their skills. One way to accomplish this would be by trading for a first-round pick.
Minnesota will have to get clever if it wants to trade up into the first round, since the front office will presumably not be willing to part with any of their top-tier players. One name that has drawn interest around the league is Taurean Prince, and packaging him along with the 2023 second-round pick or a future second rounder could get the job done for a late first.
Step 2: Draft a shooter with the 53rd overall pick
If the Timberwolves can hold onto their lone second-round pick, there will undoubtedly be several players worth looking at. This projects as a deep draft, and some hidden gems will be there for the taking when Minnesota selects at 53.
One thing the Wolves were severely lacking during the 2022-23 season was adept shooters. At the end of the regular season, Kyle Anderson finished as the team’s leader in three-point percentage if you exclude the players added at the trade deadline. That was certainly not the plan for Minnesota headed into the season.
The team should be looking to add a player who can knock down shots from behind the arc, and preferably one that can contribute sooner rather than later. If they can find an older sharpshooter that has a wealth of experience, they could be looking at a player that finds their way into the Wolves’ rotation from day one.