Timberwolves Notes: Saunders, Draft, Martin, Garnett

It has been nearly two months since the Timberwolves won the draft lottery, but no clear favorite has emerged for the No. 1 pick, coach Ryan Saunders tells Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. The most commonly mentioned names are Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, Memphis center James Wiseman, Dayton power forward Obi Toppin and point guard LaMelo Ball, who most recently played in Australia.

“A lot of players are interesting to me, a lot of them,” Saunders said. “Like I said, we’re open. This draft has a number of very talented players and we’re a group that is very open-minded.”

Minnesota holds not only the top pick, but also Nos. 17 and 33. There’s a lot of evaluation to be done before the November 18 draft, but Saunders said it has been slowed by coronavirus-related restrictions that placed a ban on in-person workouts.

“Can’t do any of that. It has been a lot of Zoom meetings and interviews and then just evaluating,” Saunders said. “We do a lot of work, and we have a number of people in this organization, (assistant general manager) Gianluca Pascucci, he does a lot of work with our draft. These guys are putting together a great plan and a great step-by-step process to what we’ll do.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • As one of eight teams not invited to Orlando, the Wolves didn’t get the benefit of seeing how their roster would come together after a pair of significant trades at the February deadline, Hartman adds in the same story. Saunders said an offseason priority will be finding players who fit comfortably with D’Angelo Russell, who played just 12 games for Minnesota after being acquired from Golden State, and Karl-Anthony Towns“That was one of the things that was so disappointing about not playing late in the season because we felt we were going to be able to do more things with some of the other guys that we acquired around (Towns),” Saunders said.
  • After landing a two-way contract with the Wolves last season, Kelan Martin is working to expand his game, writes Ben Stinar of Forbes. Martin was a star at Butler, but had to play overseas and go through the G League to get an NBA opportunity.
  • Kevin Garnett was in Minneapolis this week, but refused to comment on a potential sale of the Timberwolves, according to Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. In July, Garnett expressed an interest in purchasing the team as part of a group of investors.
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11 thoughts on “Timberwolves Notes: Saunders, Draft, Martin, Garnett

  1. Sillivan

    According to Las Vegas, Wolves are the worst team in the west.

    According to defensive efficiency, no Wolves are in the top 200 in the nba last year.

    The No. 1 pick will have to be the top defender.

    • hiflew

      According to the actual won-loss record, the Wolves were not the worst team in the West. Vegas odds are really nothing more than what gamblers believe which teams will be best.

  2. Sillivan

    Salary projection from me.

    current team salary $96 million for 8 players
    Beasley $12M a year
    Juan 8M a year
    No 1 pick 11M a year
    No.17 pick and 33 pick 5M
    2 undrafted players 2M

    Total team salary = 134 Million – pay potential repeater tax

    Do not use MLE

    • x%sure

      An inducement to trade down, but there are other methods.
      I think a regular tax?— not a repeater yet

  3. hiflew

    “the Wolves didn’t get the benefit of seeing how their roster would come together after a pair of significant trades at the February deadline”

    I still don’t see why teams couldn’t get their rosters together without the involvement of the NBA bubble. Why couldn’t the Wolves front office have a bubble in Minnesota at the arena? That place has enough space that all the players and coaches and possibly even their families could have sequestered there for a 2-3 week training camp. All you would have had to do is convert offices or conference rooms into living spaces. Might not have been luxurious living for 3 weeks, but they are getting paid millions of dollars so I think it would have been okay.

  4. The Howler

    Those teams that were excluded may not play a competitive game for a year. Who knows what shape these guys will be in when they start back. Creating 2 team minibubbles may be a good idea for scrimmages.

    • hiflew

      It’s the player’s job to stay in shape. If they can’t do it, that is their problem. Teams have 17 guys on the roster, not to mention a few G League or free agent guys they could have invited to fill out a camp so they could easily put together enough for a scrimmage. A 24 man sequestered 3 week training camp could have been put together fairly easily. In fact, they could have done it more than once. It could have kept everyone going and allowed them to get exclusive eyeballs on the non rostered players that might be worth a look in the future.

      I get that it is a hardship, but this whole year has been hard on a lot of people. It’s not like the NBA, or anyone else, has had a lot of experience at dealing with a situation like this.

      • x%sure

        ? You do know camps were not up to the teams; the league and union had to approve. All they had to do was be fair.

  5. masisk33

    Im telling ya. Take Wiseman #1 overall.. He will be worth it for the rim protection alone.

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