They own a powerful pick.
This draft has been considered to have two players that are safe picks: Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams.
Since Williams does not particularly fit with the current Timberwolves roster, VP of basketball operations David Kahn has been on the phone lines inquiring into the value of the pick.
He has reportedly received a bunch of offers, but the 'Wolves have made it clear that they are not afraid to keep the pick.
Let's take a look at five scenarios that could play out on draft night and the impact those would have on the team's future.
Scenario: Minnesota trades the second pick for a veteran and/or another pick.
Rumors that still appear to be alive (according to HoopsWorld.com):
- Andrew Bynum for the second pick and Michael Beasley
- Roy Hibbert and the 15th pick for the second pick
- Marcin Gortat and the 13th pick for the second pick
- Andrew Bogut and the 10th pick for the second pick
Impact: Every trade that the Timberwolves have been rumored in has felt like it is not quite enough. Gortat is good but might not be worth Derrick Williams. Bynum is great, but he has injury problems and Beasley is sacrificed as well.
If David Kahn makes a trade, he needs to make sure that he is getting a proven player, while ensuring that what they get is a piece for the future.
Most of these remaining options include viable centers for the future. In each case, aside from the Bynum trade, Minnesota continues to build around Love, Beasley, and Rubio with solid pieces surrounding them.
This core could develop into a solid playoff team down the line.
Still, they would likely never contend for a championship unless Beasley takes monstrous steps to improve his game.
Kahn does need to win now, however, and one of these deals would help them approach 30 to 35 wins next year.
Scenario: Minnesota trades its second pick for either two picks in the 2011 NBA Draft or a pick in this draft and a future pick.
Some possible suitors include:
- Utah Jazz (No. 3 and No. 12 for No. 2 and assets)
- Cleveland Cavaliers (in an attempt to get Derrick Williams at No. 2)
Impact: If the Timberwolves are set on leaving the 2011 NBA Draft with Enes Kanter, this is the most beneficial scenario.
By selecting him with the second pick, Minnesota completely neglects the ability to exploit the power of being in the top two.
If the Timberwolves move down a few spots and add another pick, whether in this year's draft or a future pick, they can get a guy they covet in Kanter, while maximizing the use of an asset.
This would not give the Timberwolves immediate success, unless Kanter is better than we think, but would add to a core that could grow together.
Scenario: The Timberwolves forgo one of the "top two" and select Enes Kanter.
Impact: This scenario could eventually play out exactly like the previous one. If the Timberwolves were to move down and add an asset, with David Kahn at the helm, it is unlikely they will capitalize on the added asset.
Still, fans would much rather have taken a chance on a pick or player than wasting the second pick on Kanter.
If the 'Wolves select Kanter with the second pick, they will not reach their goal of improving immediately next season.
Rather than approaching 30 or 35 wins, they will likely be stuck in the 20-to-25 win range.
Scenario: The Cleveland Cavaliers select Kyrie Irving first overall, then Minnesota selects Derrick Williams second. Then, either during or in the weeks following the draft, Minnesota deals Williams for a veteran of some sort.
Impact: Minnesota makes a risky move in this scenario, but avoids wasting an asset.
There is always the chance that offers get even worse after draft night, so if this scenario happens, Minnesota needs to try to trade him on Thursday.
If David Kahn could be confident enough to trade Williams and turn him into a proven veteran, fans would be ecstatic.
They have been clamoring for veteran help, and the organization has responded by searching for one.
The Timberwolves would get better in the short-term if the acquired player can heavily contribute.
Minnesota may lose a future star in Williams, but wins, and wins in a hasty fashion, are what this team is looking for.
Scenario: The Cleveland Cavaliers select Kyrie Irving first overall, then Minnesota selects Derrick Williams and keeps him.
Impact: Possible disaster could result from this scenario.
The only way that Williams works with the current 'Wolves roster is if Michael Beasley accepts a sixth-man role down the road.
People that watch Beasley would agree with the fact that it would take a large change of heart for him to turn back into a role player.
Williams cannot be selected to ride the bench for the majority of his rookie contract.
So Beasley would need to be traded either before the upcoming season, or after this year.
Williams and Beasley on the same roster will never work for the long-term.
If Minnesota can find a way to add Williams and get something back for Beasley (i.e. back into the 2012 NBA Draft), a core of Love, Williams and Rubio would have fans very excited.
It may not mean immediate success for this organization, but a clear plan for the future would finally be in order.
Scenario: The Cleveland Cavaliers surprisingly select Derrick Williams first overall, then the Timberwolves select the coveted Kyrie Irving.
Impact: The arrival of Ricky Rubio will have more than the normal amount of Timberwolves fans tuning into the NBA draft on Thursday night.
Many of these fans will not be devout followers that know this team well. So, if this scenario were to happen, there would be a definite collective verbal outrage among these fans.
After hearing about the impending greatness of their new Spanish point guard, these fans would wonder why the team has just selected yet another point guard.
Eventually, they would see that, in this scenario, Irving will be traded.
The problem is, teams will know that Minnesota is planning on moving this pick. They will be able to manipulate the 'Wolves into a potentially disastrous deal.
So, if the Cavs shake up the night and select Williams, Minnesota should attempt to quickly move the second pick in the alotted time. This is why they need to be thoroughly prepared for Thursday night.
Hopefully, in this scenario, the 'Wolves can add a pick and a substantial veteran.
In this case, Minnesota would inch closer to the goal of winning as soon as possible.