Reason II: Two first-round prospects for the cost of two second-round picks
While the ability to ‘know’ how well any prospect will perform and/or fit is still years away, there is a way to get a sense of how effectively the Timberwolves selected compared to where their prospects were projected to be selected. So before we start ticking and tying out those comparisons, keep in mind that the Minnesota Timberwolves entered the 2023 NBA Draft armed with one late second-round pick.
For starters, the Timberwolves selected Ignite forward Leonard Miller in Round 2 of the 2023 NBA Draft with the 33rd overall pick. So how does that compare to his projection? Well, truth be told, Miller was projected to be selected 15th overall by CBS Sports, 20th overall by Tankathon, and 23rd overall by ESPN. Those are all Round 1 grades on a player who the Timberwolves were able to name in Round 2. But it gets much better than that.
Best defender late in Round 2?
While the current state of UCLA G Jaylen Clark was that of a second-round prospect, that was after the impact of his Achilles Tendon injury. Before his injury, Clark was well on his way to projecting as a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft:
By the end of the night, the Minnesota Timberwolves spent two second-round draft picks but emerged with two first-round talents. Does that mean that both players will be gobbling up minutes in the rotation from the start of the season?
Not at all. But it does mean that the talent pipeline is full of talent to work with and develop for the future once more.