From: Las Vegas
Sam Vecenie's (The Athletic) final mock:
11. Minnesota Timberwolves — Sekou Doumbouya
6-9 forward, 18 years old, Limoges (France)
One of the persistent rumors of the pre-draft cycle from those within the industry is that Rui Hachimura has a promise, and that it’s from the Timberwolves. Maybe that proves to be the case on draft day and I’m overthinking things. But this persistent rumor dates back to the combine, where current president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas had been on the job for under two weeks. Call me skeptical that Rosas would have promised a player without going through a pre-draft process, and then continued to go through the pre-draft process by bringing in additional prospects such as Nassir Little and Doumbouya, all the while having assured the Timberwolves draft slot to Hachimura? Something just doesn’t line up there, at all. I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but it would be unlike any other pre-draft process where a promise has been involved that I’ve heard of. Maybe Rosas is playing chess while the entire basketball industry is playing checkers here, but I’d find it all very weird.
UPDATE: During his press conference on Tuesday, Rosas clearly and cleanly articulated his thoughts on promises: “We don’t promise players. Every organization has different strategies, different approaches. That’s not something we do.”
I think Doumbouya matches up a lot more with what the Rockets tended to value in draft prospects. He’s a long athlete with the potential to play an interesting 4 man next to Karl-Anthony Towns, with the potential to shoot it from distance and the athleticism to switch defensively and help the big Timberwolves centerpiece with defensive matchups. He’s a bit of a project still because he’s the youngest player in the draft and still developing his feel for the game, but he has a chance to be a legitimate difference maker by the time he hits his prime.