Timberwolves trade monumental package for Rob Dillingham: Instant reaction, analysis

The Minnesota Timberwolves surprised everyone by making a massive trade with the Spurs for Rob Dillingham on draft night.
Rob Dillingham
Rob Dillingham / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Minnesota Timberwolves came into the 2024 NBA Draft with just one first-round selection in the 27th-overall pick. But when the eighth-overall pick that originally belonged to the San Antonio Spurs came around, a massive trade was announced.

The Wolves traded with the Spurs to acquire their pick, University of Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham. In return, Minnesota will be sending San Antonio their 2031 unprotected first-round pick, as well as a 2030 first-round pick swap (top-1 protected).

This move was a massive surprise, as there had been no chatter of the Timberwolves looking to move into the top 10 of the draft. Instead, Minnesota will now be adding a quick and skillful scoring guard. Dillingham is young and his game is raw, but he has the upside to grow into an extremely useful rotation player.

Going into this draft, the Wolves were looking for additional scoring power in the backcourt after striking out at the trade deadline. Before the halfway point of the first round, they have already made a huge move toward accomplishing their goal.

The Timberwolves fixed their scoring problem with Dillingham

The truth is, the Timberwolves were hurting for more on-ball scorers to put next to the all-world talent of Anthony Edwards. All year, pundits pointed to Minnesota's low scoring numbers as a problem that could hamper them in the playoffs. When the postseason came around, they actually became a surprisingly efficient offense, rolling through the Suns and edging out the defending champion Nuggets as well.

But when they ran into a Mavericks team loaded with big wings possessing strong defensive ability in the Western Conference Finals, the Wolves were left up the river without a paddle. They struggled to consistently score all throughout the series, which doomed them in close-game scenarios late in the fourth quarter, and led to multiple close losses.

It was always clear that the Timberwolves needed to add more scoring power this summer, but the path toward achieving that was murky from the start. Minnesota is still extremely limited when it comes to financial flexibility, but one option they had to working around that was by adding NBA-ready talent in the draft.

That is precisely what they did by making a bold move for Rob Dillingham. The value of the picks they surrendered make this a considerable haul to give up, but it will be worth it if the quick young guard is able to live up to his potential and provide a scoring punch off the bench in Minnesota.