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.