2 Late first-round draft options for the Wolves

The Timberwolves hold their first-rounder this year. Here are two players projected in the late first round that may fit their needs.

Providence v Marquette
Providence v Marquette / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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As the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to stay atop the standings this season and are focused on a playoff run, the 2024 NBA draft is only three-and-a-half months away. While the team's current success is undoubtedly a cause for celebration, smart organizations always keep an eye on the future, and this year's draft presents intriguing opportunities for the Timberwolves to bolster their roster for sustained success.

With their own first-rounder in hand, albeit late in the round, the Timberwolves will need to address the gaps in their rotation. Given the Wolves’ current salary cap situation, finding contributors at rookie-level salaries will be necessary for the long-term success and continuity of the team. Here are two late-first-round candidates that could make an impact on the Wolves’ rotation going forward:

2. Tyler Kolek | 6’3, Marquette, Senior, PG, 22 years old

Tyler Kolek, Devin Carter
Providence v Marquette / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Selecting a point guard might seem unnecessary for a team that recently extended Mike Conley’s contract. However, the Wolves lack a clear plan at the point guard position for the future. The impending free agency of Monte Morris and Jordan McLaughlin also adds risk to the quality of the backup point guard role going forward. 

Tyler Kolek of Marquette is a compelling option to address this need. As a 22-year-old senior, Kolek brings experience and a plug-and-play maturity to the league. Averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 assists per game at Marquette, he has demonstrated high-level playmaking abilities and court vision.

With one of the best passing and playmaking skillsets in the draft, his ability to orchestrate the offense and facilitate scoring opportunities for his teammates could provide valuable depth and stability to the Wolves' backcourt rotation. 

With Anthony Edwards anchoring the future of the Wolves as a ball-dominant scorer, it’s likely that the future of the point guard position belongs to a playmaking distributor, and Kolek certainly fits the bill. 

Bleacher Report's latest mock draft places Kolek at pick 42.