Minnesota Timberwolves updated future NBA Draft picks

Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves were not armed to the teeth when the team prepared to select a long rookie with their second-round draft pick, a pick that would not occur until 52 other rookies had been selected.  While that certainly did not offer a great deal of optimism to inspire Minnesota Timberwolves fans, it was not the way the evening turned out.

Anticipating a Timberwolves trade, we urged fans to tune in to view the 2023 NBA Draft, as the live event is always more thrilling than a post-draft recap. Thankfully, the Minnesota Timberwolves and President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly did not disappoint.

The Timberwolves worked the trade phones and ultimately landed a trade for the 33rd pick, a trade that was better than even we had hoped for.  So the Timberwolves were able to pry the 33rd overall pick from the San Antonio Spurs on draft night for two future draft picks.

Two second-round picks, one in the 2026 NBA Draft and one in the 2028 NBA Draft seem to be a small price to pay for a pick that is the equivalent of one first-round pick. Still, it is a pair of draft picks that are no longer in the possession of the Timberwolves, and as such are no longer going to benefit the team in the future.

So what does this mean for the Timberwolves future NBA draft picks?

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Future Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft picks

  • Year       Rd   Draft Picks               New Additions
    2024        1   MIN 1st
    2024         2   No 2nd                      Lesser  WAS or MEM 2nd
    2025        1    No 1st
    2025         2    No 2nd                     2nd Utah
    2026        1    lesser MIN/UTA
    2026        2   lesser MIA/SAS/IND 2nd Utah (traded to Spurs)
    2027        1    None
    2027        2   None
    2028         1   MIN 1st
    2028         2   MIN 2nd (traded to Spurs)
    2029         1   None
    2029         2   MIN 2nd

That means that the Timberwolves’ future draft picks now consist of:

2024 – One first-round pick (MIN), one second-round pick (least of WAS/MEM)
2025 – One second-round pick (UTA)
2026 – One first-round pick (least of MIN/UTA), One second-round pick (least of MIA/IND/SAS)
2027 –  No draft picks
2028 –  One first-round (MIN)
2029 – One second-round pick (MIN)

So in the end, the Timberwolves did not take pay a premium to land a 2023 NBA Draft pick in Round 2 that was nearly a Round 1 pick (and certainly yielded a Round 1 projected player), Ignite forward Leonard Miller.

And the Timberwolves actually are in a better place today than they were a year ago after the Rudy Gobert trade. The Timberwolves recouped three second-round picks by trading away D’Angelo Russell and converted those picks into the equivalent of a first-round rookie in the 2023 NBA Draft.  From that alone, the Timberwolves have improved their roster in 2023, and have an additional pick in Round 2 to use in the future.

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If you aren’t on board with Tim Connelly yet, just hang in there. He will win you over eventually. And if you are on board with Tim Connelly, you can just kick back and enjoy the ride.