Timberwolves

What Does A December Start Mean For The Timberwolves?

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj (USA TODAY Sports)

It’s Draft Month, baby!

It’s November. It feels like whenever we get to a new month, everyone goes, “Wow, I can’t believe it’s already BLANK MONTH. Time sure does fly!”

But this feels different. Maybe it’s the pandemic. Maybe it’s because you’ve been getting in political arguments with your uncle on Facebook. Maybe it’s because you’ve drank your fridge dry over the last week with election coverage. Whatever the reason, here we are just two months before 2021 and just over two weeks away from the NBA Draft.

We haven’t learned much about what the Wolves will do with the No. 1 pick, but the odds would tell us that the pick will be Anthony Edwards. With the Malik Beasley situation, this seems even more probable.

Let’s get to this week’s topics:

What Does The James Wiseman Report Mean?

Earlier this week, Brian Windhorst reported on Darren Wolfson’s podcast that Memphis big man James Wiseman has no interest in being drafted first-overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wiseman is part of the three likely players, along with Edwards and LaMelo Ball, who most consider the top options to go first overall.

So, what should the Timberwolves make of this?

This probably says more about Wiseman than it does the Timberwolves. Obviously, it’s more attractive of a situation to be drafted by Golden State, a team that needs a big man, rather than by a team that would be doubling down on one.

It always seemed unlikely that the Timberwolves would draft Wiseman in the first place, but Minnesota is a sweet spot if both the Warriors and the Hornets, who draft third, want Wiseman. Let the best bid to trade up to the top spot win. Could the Wolves get Charlotte’s third pick and a lottery protected 2021 first-round pick? What about someone like P.J. Washington to fill in the hole at power forward?

Don’t think of this as “nobody wants to play with the Timberwolves.” Instead, think of it as a big man who doesn’t want to be overshadowed by another big man and would rather play on a team with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. We’d probably feel the same way if we were Wiseman.

The Start Of The Season Is Coming… 

Just about a month after the NBA season finished in Orlando, the NBA and the NBA Players Association has agreed that the 2020-21 season will start right before Christmas. This has to do more with the broadcast rights than anything else. It came down to money.

The early start to the season is a catch-22 for the Wolves.

On one hand, this is a team that hasn’t played since March because the Wolves were one of eight teams that wasn’t in Orlando. Unlike the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets, the Wolves are probably rusty rather than beat up. They want to get back on the court playing competitive games.

The bad news, however, is that December start would ensure that there would be no fans at Target Center. Even if the season started in January or February, it felt like the NBA was holding out hope for some sort of vaccine, which was still a stretch but not impossible. With cases soaring over the last week, it seems like the state of Minnesota is on the verge of another shutdown.

The league is willing to punt on having in-person attendance if it means the broadcast rights stay intact.

That’s not great for a franchise that has already laid off a chunk of workers and had many others leave voluntarily this offseason.

An Early-Guess At The Team’s 2020-21 Depth Chart

What will the team’s depth chart look like heading into the 2020-21 season?

Let’s assume that the Wolves draft Edwards first overall and bring back Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez and Jordan McLaughlin.

This would be my best guess:

  • PG – Russell, McLaughlin, FREE AGENT/ROOKIE
  • SG – Beasley, Edwards, Culver, Nowell
  • SF – Okogie, Layman, Evans
  • PF – FREE AGENT, Hernangomez, Johnson, Spellman
  • C – Towns, Reid, FREE AGENT/ROOKIE

There has been speculation on who could get traded on draft night. If the Wolves bring back Beasley (which is a big if given how this offseason has gone) and draft Edwards, that really crowds up the shooting guard spot for Minnesota. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Wolves deal Culver after a disappointing rookie season on draft night.

That’s all I’ve got this week! We’ll have a mailbag in next week’s article as we approach the draft!

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Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj (USA TODAY Sports)

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