The Minnesota Timberwolves boast four draft picks in the 2022 NBA Draft, scheduled Thursday (starts at 7 p.m. Central, ABC and ESPN).
While it’s highly unlikely the Timberwolves utilize all of their draft picks, because of roster restrictions, it’s still worth looking at the type of talent they could bring in with each pick.
After a regular-season record of 46-36, good for seventh in the Western Conference, the Timberwolves won a play-in game against the Los Angeles Clippers, but lost to the Memphis Grizzles in a first-round playoffs series in six games.
Minnesota already has some key parts — guards D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards and center Karl-Anthony Towns. It seems Towns finally bought in on defense and Edwards is every bit the star everybody expected him to be when he entered the league.
Adding to the supporting cast will be key for the Timberwolves.
As such, BetMGM Sportsbook has the Timberwolves listed as 30-1 to win the Western Conference next season and 66-1 to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the playoffs. It might be a long shot, but with some smart drafting and one or two tweaks to their rotation, the Timberwolves have the chance to build on their impressive season.
Unfortunately, Minnesota sports betting is not currently legal. It failed to gain traction in the last legislative session.
Legislation passed the House, but the addition of state racetracks to the bill killed it in the Senate.
Odds for No. 1 Overall Pick in NBA Draft
Who Might Be Available at No. 19
Let’s take a look at a couple of logical options for the No. 19 pick.
TyTy Washington, Kentucky, Point Guard
Russell will be entering the final year of his current contract once the new season begins, and given the rumors swirling around about his immediate future, it makes sense that the Timberwolves begin to look for his long-term replacement.
Outside of Jaden Ivey, who is expected to be a top-five draft pick, Washington is viewed as the best point guard in the class, given his shiftiness, court vision and ability to play off-ball.
Edwards is projected to take on a more prominent ball-handling role next season, so somebody like Washington, who can thrive with or without the ball, makes perfect sense with the 19th selection.
Walker Kessler, Auburn, Center
The NBA is slowly moving away from its infatuation with small-ball line-ups, and with the recent success of the Boston Celtics, it’s easy to see why.
Naz Reid has been an fantastic understudy for Towns in recent years, but adding some size on a cost-controlled deal would give Minnesota opportunities to trot out double-big lineups, or provide some high-upside cover for Towns when he takes a breather or misses games throughout the season.
Kessler, a 20-year-old big man, provides short-roll playmaking, vertical spacing, and some reliable rim protection, making him a potential steal.
Who Might Be Available at No. 40
Options for the No. 40 pick include:
David Roddy, Colorado State, Power Forward
Roddy has rapidly improved his 3-point shooting ability throughout his three years in college, going from 19.5% as a freshman to 43.8% in his third season.
That type of rapid improvement and floor spacing could make Roddy an intriguing prospect in the early parts of the second round – especially if he projects as somebody that can come off the bench and provide spacing in spot minutes.
Jean Montero, Overtime Elite, Point Guard
Montero is one of the most intriguing names in the NBA draft, though he has fallen down most analysts’ big boards since the start of the season.
Regardless, Montero possesses impressive quickness, some high-level passing, and a solid handle. However, there are questions about how he will handle the jump in talent in the NBA.
If the Timberwolves do draft him with the 40th pick, he will likely spend most of next season in the G-League.
Who Might Be Available at No. 48
Options for the No. 48 pick include:
Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga, Point Guard
Nembhard is a four-year college player. They often come into the league with a little more polish on their game, but a far lower ceiling.
If the Timberwolves are looking for some reliable production off the bench, on a cost-controlled deal, Nembhard might be worth a closer look.
At 6 feet 4 he has solid size for his position, a smooth jump shot, and does project to be one of the most NBA-ready options available in the second round. But of course, teams always want to select someone based on what they become, and Nembhard might not get much better than he is right now.
Jabari Walker, Colorado, Power Forward
Let’s get this out in the open from the get-go, Jabari Walker is one of the best shooters in this years draft class – especially from a form standpoint.
The 6-8 forward shot 48% from the field, 40% from 3-point range and 78% on free throws in two seasons at Colorado. However, Walker does project to be a single-skill player coming out of college, as his playmaking, ball-handling, and defense are all works in progress.
But, in terms of taking a flyer on a late second-round selection, he could be a solid developmental option with upside down the line.
Who Might Be Available at No. 50
Finally, options for the No. 50 pick include:
Dominick Barlow, Overtime Elite, Power Forward
Barlow is another member of the Overtime Elite, meaning he hasn’t been battle tested against elite-level competition.
However, with the 50th pick in the draft, you’re selecting purely on upside, and Barlow has that in bunches. The 6-9 forward can also play some center, has a solid low-post game, can stretch the floor, has reliable handles, can run transition and defends at a reasonable level.
If there was ever a low-risk, high-reward draft selection, Barlow would be it.
Orlando Robinson, Fresno State, Center
Robinson doesn’t project as an impactful NBA player at this point and there’s a very real possibility that he goes undrafted.
Still, the young big-man can hit 3s, orchestrate an offense from above the perimeter and provide some interesting low-post playmaking too.
Yet, with limited defense and very little athleticism for a player of his size, Robinson could end up being a career third-big on the bench type of guy – but with the 50th pick in the draft, that’s not a bad career to carve out.