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2014 NBA Draft Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

Jun 25, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

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Picks: 13, 40, 44, 53

Needs: To maximize Kevin Love’s value. More than anything else, that’s Flip Saunders’ top task. That might mean trading Love, or it might mean drafting the player who convinces Love to stay in Minnesota beyond next season. Certainly, keeping Love long-term is the Timberwolves’ ideal outcome, which is why they might pursue the latter path.

Trade possibilities: Obviously, Love trades are at the forefront of the discussion. By trading him draft night, Minnesota can get picks immediately and get a one-year head start on rebuilding. But by keeping him, the Timberwolves preserve the possibility, no matter how unlikely, of their best-case result – Love having a change of heart and staying.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Timberwolves sell a second rounder or two. Does Saunders, a longtime coach who many believe became Minnesota’s president just to become coach, really have a firm grasp on the late second round?

Predictions: The Timberwolves don’t trade Love. They draft Gary Harris or Adreian Payne, both of whom played at Michigan State for Tom Izzo, Saunders’ old buddy. Minnesota has a solid starting lineup, and either of those two would add nice bench depth.

Bonus prediction: It won’t be enough to convince Love to stay.

  1. campcouch - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Since 2007(the Garnett trade), the T-Wolves have had the rights,drafted or under contract a few notable players. Chandler Parsons,Norris Cole,Nikola Mirotic,Gerald Green,Kosta Koufos, pre-injury Brandon Roy,Trey Burke (traded for Shabazz Muhammad) and Al Jefferson. The best move so far was trading OJ Mayo for Kevin Love. That’d be a pretty solid team in the Western Conference today. Hopefully they make the right decision for once. I know hindsight makes doubters into geniuses,but their scouts and GMs failed the franchise by not doing their homework on these players.

    • bobby2478 - Jun 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      precisely right. biggest risk is that they still don’t know how to judge talent, and/or develop and keep the talent they do get. so draft picks are still risky for them as they have one of the worst track records in the league in regards to the draft.

      for them it makes more sense to get young, somewhat proven players rather than the crap shoot that is the draft if they are going to trade love. if they had a solid track record with the draft then getting a bunch of first round picks might be of value. i simply don’t trust the wolves to turn those picks into anyone of value though.

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