ORIGINAL: David Levine
Six of my favorite team drafts
6. Minnesota Timberwolves — Gersson Rosas did a heck of a job in his first draft as a president of basketball operations. It was known throughout the NBA all week that the Timberwolves were looking to move up to try to augment their backcourt, and they did just that with the Phoenix Suns by moving up to No. 6 from No. 11 for just the price of Dario Saric. Saric is useful, but the team had to make a decision on paying him next summer that it may not have been all that comfortable with. And the difference from No. 11 to No. 6 in this draft was pretty large. They ended up taking the No. 5 player on my board, Jarrett Culver, who profiles extremely well next to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins due to his ability to create shots, pass, defend, and play an unselfish, smart brand of basketball. In the second round, they took one of my favorite second-round prospects in Jaylen Nowell, who I’ll write about later on. Finally, on the undrafted free agency market, they signed Naz Reid to a two-way deal, a smart move that I think fits really well schematically with what they’ll look to do from a floor-spacing perspective as well as a defensive perspective in playing drop pick-and-roll coverage with David Vanterpool moving over from Portland. Overall, just some smart moves from Rosas that are a mix of solid in addition to being low-risk and high-reward.
Favorite second-round picks
6. Jaylen Nowell — If there was one player that I wish I had ranked a touch higher on my big board immediately after filing it on Monday, it was Nowell. I just think his mix of three-level scoring and shooting ability — and skill for getting to his pull-up game — is going to translate well to the spaced-out floor of the NBA as a bench scorer. Good solid pick here for the Timberwolves, and I bet he makes this team and sees some minutes off the bench.
Best undrafted players (rank on my final big board)
2. Naz Reid (34) — Reid’s athleticism was the main reason noted for his drop on draft night, something that is reasonable as it’s hard to see how he could currently stick with guards on the perimeter defensively. Per a source, he had a couple of chances to be picked in the 50s, but ultimately declined so that he could choose his spot, which he did immediately after the draft with Minnesota on a two-way deal. Minnesota is a spot that makes a lot of sense because they will particularly value Reid’s ability to shoot above the break 3s at the center position, and thus help space the floor for everyone else. This is an upside pick. Reid is super skilled, with the ability to dribble, pass and shoot from the center position at a high level. If the Wolves can focus in on his body and help him drop some of the weight that anchors him down currently, he has a genuine chance to stick in the NBA as an undrafted free agent.
If I get this right teams called to say we want to draft you, but he said please don't and they passed.
This doesn't make any sense. Teams make their picks and then call the players. Few teams call a player and say, do you want to play for our organization. I find this very hard to believe.