We are less than two weeks away from an NBA draft that, by the time it is held Nov. 18, will have been delayed from its traditional time by about five months.
That is, quite probably, wayyyyyyyy too much time for everyone involved to be concocting scenarios and imagining what might happen. Thankfully, we will get a resolution soon.
But before we do: Here is a rundown of some of the most interesting chatter relating to the Wolves, the No. 1 pick and what they might do in the coming days:
*The Wolves have tremendous leverage with the top overall pick, but it sounds like one of the three presumed contenders to be that pick — Memphis center James Wiseman — has no interest in playing for the Wolves.
Before you assume it’s because of a history of dysfunction within the Wolves organization or a disdain for winter, there’s a simpler basketball-related reason.
“Wiseman does not want to come to Minnesota because Karl Towns is there,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told Twin Cities reporter Darren Wolfson on a recent podcast. “From what I understand, Wiseman doesn’t even want to do anything with the Wolves.”
Makes sense. It has always seemed to be the least-likely fit for the Wolves if they keep the pick, while LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards check more boxes. And it doesn’t really change their leverage if another team (like Charlotte, picking third) wants Wiseman because they would still have to jump Golden State at No. 2 to make sure they get their guy.
*So, what if the Wolves try to trade the pick — which according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe they seem like they’re trying to do?
Well, they would aim high. But so far, there doesn’t seem to be much indication any of the biggest prizes — Ben Simmons, Devin Booker or Bradley Beal — will be on the move.
The biggest problem the Wolves have is that aside from the No. 1 pick — which is a big asset, but maybe not as big as in some years because this is considered a weak draft — they have limited attractive assets to deal outside of Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
*The dream of many Wolves fans is adding the Suns’ Booker. I had assumed that was a non-starter after Phoenix went 8-0 in the bubble, but on Bill Simmons’ recent podcast — which checks in at a hefty 2 hours, 8 minutes in length — Ryen Russillo indicated Booker wants out of Phoenix and that it’s “the worst-kept secret in the NBA.”
So that’s interesting, but again we run into a matter of trade chips (and whether Phoenix really wants to trade him). Do the Wolves have enough to get Booker? It would probably take a lot of future draft capital (the kind of move Wolvers President Gersson Rosas’ former employer, Houston, often made or attempted to make).
*Lowe had a couple other interesting Wolves nuggets in his latest piece, suggesting the Wolves could try to trade last year’s No. 6 pick Jarrett Culver as part of a bigger deal and that they could look to package their other first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in a lower-level trade for an established veteran.
Culver had a rough rookie season in many stretches, so that could be an attempt to capitalize on his value as a still-developing player.
*Then again, there could be the simplest move: The Wolves use the No. 1 pick, likely on Ball or Edwards, and hope he’s the third piece of the puzzle next to KAT and Russell.
It’s also worth remembering that much of what is being discussed right now regarding big fish like Simmons or Booker could bear fruit down the road even if it doesn’t happen right now.
Last year Rosas had a relatively quiet first six months on the job, signing a bunch of rotation players — just one of them, Jake Layman, to a deal longer than one season — before making a boatload of roster-altering deals at the trade deadline.
The biggest among them: getting Russell from Golden State after a free agent pursuit the previous summer came up short.
You’re likely tired of being told to be patient on multiple fronts. But that might be the most important thing for now.