If Isaac does end up being the pick, for what it’s worth Paul Sabin of ESPN Analytics says Isaac would be the biggest steal of the draft (especially going at No. 7).
“Isaac has the top projected statistical plus-minus (SPM) for his first five years in the NBA, according to our model, which gives him a 64 percent chance to play at the level of a bona fide NBA starter or better,” Sabin writes. “Isaac has the third-best adjusted defensive rebounding percentage in this draft class and a 55 percent adjusted effective field goal percentage, which is as good as any other small forward in this draft class. His college stats are most similar to those of Otto Porter, who was selected No. 3 by the Washington Wizards in 2013 and was a key piece for a team that finished a win away from the Eastern Conference finals this season.”
That’s not to say everyone things Isaac — who is considered more of a long-term prospect — will head to Minnesota.
Here’s a look at mock drafts from all around the web following Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery:
Andrew Lynch of FOXSports.com: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Wolves will need to be patient with Isaac. He has all the tools to become one of the NBA’s next best scorers, but he needs to gain some upper-body strength and let the game come to him on offense. While someone like Jayson Tatum is far more polished, Isaac seems like a Thibodeau-style pick in this year’s draft — assuming the Wolves don’t trade the selection on draft day.”
Jeremy Woo of SI.com: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “Thanks to their recent run of draft luck, the Wolves have the luxury of not needing another franchise-caliber stud. In Isaac, they get a player with a solid floor and the potential to bring great value. He’ll be the first to tell you he needs to pack on muscle, and Minnesota can bring him along slowly in hopes he’ll evolve into a floor-spacing, rebounding jack-of-all-trades that can give Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins plenty of space to operate.”
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Timberwolves could take Isaac, play him with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and now we’re talking about something with potential. Minnesota would then have a core of Isaac, Towns, Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio — some nice pieces that could soon have the Timberwolves advancing in the NBA Playoffs.”
Chad Ford of ESPN Insider: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Wolves have been high on Lauri Markkanen for a while, and he’s a good fit. But the upside of Isaac will be too much to pass up, especially for a head coach like Tom Thibodeau, who needs to find a way to improve team defense. While Isaac might be further away than some of the other prospects on the board, his ability to guard four, maybe five positions on the floor should be great for Minnesota.”
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, FR. “There are concerns about Monk’s size (he’s 6-3), and whether he will be able to defend bigger shooting guards in the NBA. But his ability to create shots and his efficiency from the perimeter make him a worthy risk.”
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Timberwolves are stocked with young talent in past rookies of the year Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. But Isaac is a very good defender and can play multiple positions.”
Adi Joseph of USA Today: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “No player in this class has as much defensive potential as Isaac. That plus his positional versatility make him a nice fit with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, as the Timberwolves are one of the few teams in the lottery with two established building blocks.”
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Minnesota Timberwolves see taking Jonathan Isaac as a way to improve defensively, given his potential to block shots and switch onto the perimeter. His strengths are ideal for whoever will take the floor between Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Isaac also demonstrated the unselfishness to defer and the ability to capitalize on what the defense gives them, having shot 59.3 percent from two-point range during his lone season at Florida State. Isaac isn’t ready to start taking over games, but between his defensive versatility and offensive potential, he deserves top-five consideration.”
Sam Smith of the Chicago Bulls official site: Jason Tatum, SF, Duke, FR. “They probably most need a power forward to complement Karl Anthony-Towns. And they’ve got some good wing players, but he may be too talented to pass up as many had him a top five in this draft. He also could enable the Timberwolves to cash in one of their other young stars in trade for a top veteran.”
Reid Forgrave of CBSSports.com: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, FR. “A streaky shooter who, when he’s on, is impossible to stop. While his unimpressive size may become an issue in the NBA, he makes up for it with some of the most explosive athleticism in this draft. The Wolves already have a crowded backcourt – but they could use a knockdown shooter like Monk.”
Rod Beard of the Detroit News: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Wolves had another disappointing season, after figuring to make the jump to the playoffs with the nucleus of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. They’ll need a veteran to help pull it together, but another lottery pick won’t hurt, either. Isaac’s versatility on defense will be too good for them to pass up, as they have enough offensive firepower.”
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “Wolves are stocked with young talent, so Isaac could develop slowly.”
Ari Kramer of Newsday: Lauri Markkannen, PF, Arizona, FR. “Markkanen’s 130.2 offensive rating ranked second among players used in at least 20 percent of their team’s possessions this past season. The 7-footer projects as a prototypical stretch-four, who can beat you from deep (42.3 percent), the mid-range (42.4 percent) and the foul line (83.5 percent). He converted 69.5 percent of his attempts at the rim, a number that could rise as he adds strength.”
Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “The Wolves are loaded with young talent and can afford to take the best player available but Isaac (No. 1 pictured) fills a need for a wing shooter. He’s a versatile 3-and-D player capable of playing multiple positions.”
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “Isaac is raw, but his physical tools make him one of the most enticing long-term prospects in this draft. At 6’10, he has quick feet and long arms, a combination that enables him to defend the perimeter and protect the rim. He also shot 35 percent from three-point range this season. The hope for the Wolves is that he’ll be able to defend right away while his offensive skill set takes time to develop.”
Daniel O’Brien of FanRagSports: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “Isaac is an upside and defense-based selection for the T-Wolves. Few humans on the planet have his combination of towering size (6-11, 7-1 wingspan), fluid athleticism and budding skills. He didn’t stuff the stat sheet for Florida State last year, yet he’s a mid-lottery pick because he has noticeable multi-positional traits. He’ll give Tom Thibodeau lots of lineup flexibility because he can guard both wings and power forwards. In fact, there’s a great chance he’ll successfully guard small-ball 5’s and switch onto guards in pick-and-rolls. While Isaac doesn’t have advanced ballhandling skills, he has a promising future in Minnesota’s system. He can attack closeouts, smoothly execute pull-up jumpers and of course finish way above the rim.”
Rob Dauster of NBCSports.com: Lauri Markkannen, PF, Arizona, FR.
Paul Banks of the Washington Times and David Kay of The Sports Bank via WalterFootball.com: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, FR. “Monk is an elite-level scorer who can stroke it from deep, but also get to the rim. The Timberwolves could use a scorer to bring off the bench. An athletic frontcourt player like Jonathan Isaac would be another option.”
Sean Kane of Comcast SportsNet: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State, FR. “I’m not as high on Isaac as others but he’s worth the gamble here for Minnesota. Isaac’s big selling point is his defensive versatility — he’s able to guard multiple positions on the perimeter and in the post. His offensive consistency concerns me but it shouldn’t concern Minnesota too much with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins already on the roster.”
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, FR. “Doesn’t do much outside of shoot, but he’s got unlimited potential in that department. This has to be a playoff team … right?”
Matt Goul of cleveland.com: Lauri Markkannen, PF, Arizona, FR. “Minnesota has numerous assets, so there is not one spot they must address. … Markkanen provides a stretch power forward. He led Arizona in 3-point shooting and rebounding, was second on the team in scoring and became a third-team All-America choice by The Associated Press.”
Fred Kerber of the NY Post: Lauri Markkannen, PF, Arizona, FR. “ESPN college analyst Jay Bilas, at the lottery, called Markkanen ‘the best big man shooter in the draft,’ mobile with a quick release.”
Connor Riley of SEC Country: Lauri Markkannen, PF, Arizona, FR.