Report: T-Wolves Haven't Made Decision on No. 1 Pick; Ball, Edwards 'In the Mix'November 17, 2020
The Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to reach a decision about what they'll do with the No. 1 pick in Wednesday's 2020 NBA draft.
According to The Athletic's Sam Vecenie, Minnesota has narrowed its focus, with LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards "in the mix" if they keep the selection:
"Over the last 24 hours, the tide has shifted a bit to where I think Edwards is a bit more likely than Ball. Essentially, the conversations boil down to this: do they take the guy who fits better on this roster in Edwards, who can clearly slide into the 2-guard spot? Or do they take Ball, who probably has a bit more upside?"
Vecenie played down the likelihood of the Wolves taking James Wiseman, who appears destined for the Golden State Warriors or Charlotte Hornets.
President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas spoke with reporters Monday and said the team continues to field interest in the top overall selection:
Timberwolves PR @Twolves_PR
Gersson Rosas also joined local and national members of the media this morning ahead of Wednesday night’s draft. “Where our picks are at, we have received a lot calls and a lot of opportunities. It is good because you have options,” Rosas says of the draft positions. https://t.co/AQ4IepLVWS
In some years, Minnesota's uncertainty could be a smoke screen to persuade trade suitors to pony up and make a big offer. From the moment the Timberwolves won the draft lottery, though, nobody has been sure what they'd do.
Many regard Ball as the best player available, but he's not so good to as ignore the fit concerns in a backcourt that already has D'Angelo Russell.
In his final mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected Edwards to be the choice, writing how the former Georgia star could emerge as the third scoring option behind Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Edwards averaged 19.1 points, but his 29.4 percent clip on three-pointers and 2.8 assists per game raised concerns about his NBA ceiling. The presence of Russell would at least eliminate the need for the 6'5" guard to operate as a playmaker.
Of course, some will reasonably argue Ball should get the nod because you take the best player available and figure out the rest later. The 19-year-old averaged 6.8 assists in 12 NBL games, showing off his instincts as a distributor.
Considering the Timberwolves' 2021 first-rounder is only top-three protected thanks to the Russell trade, Rosas is under some pressure to make this draft count and land a player who can help the franchise make meaningful steps toward the playoffs.