Minnesota Timberwolves 2019 NBA mock draft roundup
The Minnesota Timberwolves figure to have some good options with the No. 11 overall pick in the NBA draft.
That is, if they stay put.
There are rumors that Minnesota is trying to trade up in the draft, but that can be easier said than done. So, we’re going on the premise that the Wolves will stay put and select at No. 11. That being the case, who might Minnesota take?
There’s a good mix of players being prognosticated to the Wolves, although a few stand out (we hope you like Gonzaga forwards). Either way, things certainly have changed since the last time we did a mock roundup, after the draft lottery.
We’ve rounded up as many mock drafts we could find to try paint a large a picture as possible. Where applicable, included are predictions for Minnesota’s second-round pick. Also, if we included a mock-er in our earlier roundup, we’ve indicated who that previous pick was as well, just to show how things have change (or not).
Without further ado, here’s who the mock drafters from around the web think the Wolves will take in the first round (and in some cases, second round) of the NBA draft:
Jeremy Woo of SI.com: Round 1 -- Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga. “Suspicion continues to swirl around Hachimura and the Timberwolves at this pick. Hachimura skipped the combine, but did participate in his agency’s pro day at the end of May, dispelling the notion of a hard promise at that point. Many teams now believe he has a commitment somewhere in this range, specifically here. He’s not great from an analytic perspective, which is where a lot of the divide seems to lie, and the counterpoint to the fit here is that Minnesota would seem to be shifting toward a more data-minded approach with Gersson Rosas at the helm. Still, Hachimura fills a positional need for the Timberwolves, possesses strong physical tools and has significantly more room to grow as a scorer.”; Round 2 – Jalen Lecque, PG, Brewster Academy. “Lecque is making the leap to the pros directly from a prep year at Brewster, and showed well enough at the combine to shut it down after one day. His athleticism and flashes of playmaking ability will get him picked in this range as an upside play. I'm personally airing on the side of optimism with him, and a year in the G League will be telling. Minnesota needs guard help long-term.” Previously: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina & Charles Bassey, C, Western Kentucky.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech. “This may seem a little high, but the T-Wolves want to add shooting and toughness, and Alexander-Walker can provide both. He is more comfortable off the ball, and could be a nice piece with Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins on the wing in that he can help space the court.” Previously: Alexander-Walker.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic ($): Round 1 -- Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France). “I think Doumbouya matches up a lot more with what the Rockets tended to value in draft prospects. He’s a long athlete with the potential to play an interesting four man next to Karl-Anthony Towns, with the potential to shoot it from distance and the athleticism to switch defensively and help the big Timberwolves centerpiece with defensive matchups. He’s a bit of a project still because he’s the youngest player in the draft and still developing his feel for the game, but he has a chance to be a legitimate difference maker by the time he hits his prime.”; Round 2 – Admiral Schofield, SG/SF, Tennessee. “Another guy I’d take slightly higher than this, but I think Schofield could legitimately help the Timberwolves next year. Putting him in lineups next to Robert Covington or Dario Saric as the forward next to them could provide some toughness and shooting that would complement either of them.” Previously: Doumbouya & Naz Reid, C, LSU.
Jeff Zillgitt and A.J. Neurharth-Keusch of USA Today: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “The Timberwolves would be a perfect match. Clarke’s lack of shooting ability and true center size would be mitigated by the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns in the Minnesota front court. As Towns spaced the floor and continues to dominate offensively, Clarke could be counted on to provide defensive value and also score efficiency when he gets the ball near the rim. In the right situation, Clarke could be the steal of the draft.” Previously: Jaxson Hayes, C, Texas.
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina. “Little entered college as the reigning MVP of the McDonald's All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic. He looked like a future top-5 pick. But the 6-6 wing just wasn't that great in his one season at North Carolina — mostly, I think, because he got stuck playing behind quality upperclassmen. That said, he's too young and athletic to give up on. Count me as someone who still believes in the natural gifts.” Previously: Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
Reid Forgrave of CBSSports.com: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “This is still my favorite fit in the draft. The idea of pairing Clarke, a defensive force who may be the most freakish athletes in this draft, with Karl-Anthony Towns feels like a match made in heaven. His measurements weren't great at the combine, though, and neither is his age (almost 23). But this feels ideal.”
Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com: Round 1 -- Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France); Round 2 – Jaylen Hoard, PF, Wake Forest.
Kyle Boone of CBSSports.com: Round 1 -- Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “Regardless of whether Minnesota brings Taj Gibson back or not, the front office should strongly consider bringing in a more green, athletic player at the spot. Clarke is exactly that; despite an unimpressive wingspan, he's a phenomenal leaper who can block shots and finish at a high rate around the rim. After overhauling his jumper, he even has some floor-spacing upside with development.”; Round 2 – Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. John’s. “Minnesota can add a big scoring threat in Ponds, who was top-3 in the Big East in scoring each of the last two seasons. His ability to run an offense and operate as a primary initiator is a bonus.”
Ben Golliver of the Washington Post: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “New team president Gersson Rosas needs a long-term answer at point guard, more shot creation on the wings, and plenty of help inside. Clarke, who will turn 23 before the start of the 2019-20 season, would provide immediate assistance on that last front. The 6-foot-8 forward’s ultraefficient finishing, shot-blocking ability and high energy level make him an intriguing complement to franchise center Karl-Anthony Towns.”
The Ringer: Round 1 -- Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga; Round 2 – Terance Mann, SG, Florida State. Previously: Clarke (one round only).
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France). “New Wolves president Gersson Rosas has done well with players out of the French league with the Rockets, but this would be a strong pick for many reasons. He could go in one of the previous two picks. Rui Hachimura would work here if Doumbouya is gone.”
Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Tom Westerholm of masslive.com: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga. “Hachimura’s upside is yet to fully manifest itself, but he has the potential to be a versatile offensive forward with great physical tools. He could be a nice fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns.” Previously: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders: Round 1 – Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga; Round 2 – Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. John’s. Previously: Romeo Langford, SG Indiana (one round only).
Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian: Brandon Clarke, SF, Gonzaga. “Clarke is a high-energy player who excels around the rim and provide immediate help for the Timberwolves. The 6-8 Clarke is a dogged rebounder and rim protector (16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 28.1 minutes a game). Clarke’s presence will allow center Karl-Anthony Towns to spend more time on the perimeter and not banging around under the basket throughout the game.”
Chris Stone of the Sporting News: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina. “The 19-year-old has worked out for Minnesota and could fit in well at either forward spot in lineups with Karl-Anthony Towns. He needs to improve his feel for the game, but length and athleticism can make up for some of that in the interim. Plus, Little is one of the few wing-sized players in this class who has shown legitimate creation potential against quality opponents at some point in his career.” Previously: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports: Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Gonzaga. Previously: Hachimura. “Hachimura embodies the term ‘positionless basketball.’ He’s a hybrid small forward/power forward who defends the perimeter well. Hachimura is a student of the game and will grow tremendously playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.”
NBADraft.net: Round 1 – Nasir Little, SF, North Carolina; Round 2 – Louis King, SF, Oregon.
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report: Round 1 -- Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France). “The draft's youngest prospect, Doumbouya is mostly potential over production, though a 34-point outburst in May strengthened his case. His physical tools mirror Pascal Siakam's, but Doumbouya's shooting appears further along than Siakam's did when Siakam was 18.”; Round 2 – Admiral Schofield, SF, Tennessee. Previously: Doumbouya (one round only).
Tankathon: Round 1 – Brandon Clarke, SF, Gonzaga; Round 2 -- Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. John’s. Previously: Clarke & Ponds.
Drafttek: Round 1 – Rui Hachimura, SF, Gonzaga; Round 2 – Nicolas Claxton, PF, Georgia.
Liam McKeone of The Big Lead: Coby White, PG, North Carolina. “Minnesota needs a point guard, and White is potentially the best in his class, utilizing his blazing speed and an unnaturally quick first step to get by just about anyone on the court. He can grow with franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns and develop his game off the ball (one of the more exciting parts about his game) when Towns works as the primarily ball-handler. It won’t help solve any aspect of Minnesota’s defensive issues, but White is a dangerous offensive option who would prove to be a great complement to the face of the franchise.”
Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media: Bol Bol, C, Oregon.
Rotoworld staff: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech.
NBADraftRoom.com: Round 1 -- Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech; Round 2 – Louis King, SF, Oregon.
Chris Grenham of NESN: Rui Hachimura, SF, Gonzaga. “He’s still a raw talent with plenty of room to improve, especially in the speed and interior departments, but he’s trending in the right direction. A versatile big man next to Karl-Anthony Towns will be tempting for the Wolves. This may be a bit early for the Gonzaga product, but it would be a good fit.”
Zach Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “He’s one of the most pro-ready players in this draft and an analytical darling for his ability to do a little bit of everything. Minnesota has a need in the frontcourt alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and Clarke can help right away, especially on defense and in pick-and-roll situations.”
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer: PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky.
Steve Popper of Newsday: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina. Previously: Romeo Langford, SG Indiana.
Jeff Reynolds of Field Level Media: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France). “Doumbouya is raw and recognized more for his defense at this stage, but Ryan Saunders and the Wolves can buy into a high upside project at this spot.”
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga.
Alex Butler of UPI: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France).
Brad Rowland of UPROXX/Dime Magazine: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “The Wolves may not take Clarke but, simply put, it’s the best fit imaginable for all parties. Minnesota needs an athletic, defense-focused power forward to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. Clarke needs a big, mobile, sweet-shooting center to play next to. Let’s just call this pick in now.” Previously: Sekou Doumbouya, SF/PF, Limoges (France).
David Kay of WalterFootball.com: Round 1 – Mfiondu Kabengele, PF/C, Florida State. “My sleeper of the 2019 NBA Draft, Kabengele put up impressive numbers despite not seeing a ton of minutes at Florida State. He can use his size and strength inside but also has a promising face-up game. The Timberwolves should be looking for depth up front this offseason with Taj Gibson hitting the free agent market this summer.” ; Round 2 – Admiral Schofield. SF, Tennessee. Previous: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG, Virginia Tech & Simisola Shittu, PF, Vanderbilt.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “I understand why there will be some hesitancy when it comes to drafting Clarke. His jumper is not something that can be trusted. He’s 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds and more or less limited to playing the five in the NBA. He’s not a great passer. His efficiency, elite athleticism, shot-blocking feel and basketball savvy should make him a useful player in the NBA, but he needs the right fit. Minnesota is that fit. He can be slotted alongside Karl Anthony-Towns, who will have the size to allow Clarke to guard opposing four and has the perimeter ability to keep the paint from getting too crowded. Clarke will also provide the Wolves with defensive cover, as KAT is not exactly known for his desire to play on that end of the floor. He can step into the league right away and contribute, and for a team that really isn’t that far away from being in the playoffs, there’s value there.” Previously: Clarke.
Josh Weinstein of Sportsnet: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “Minnesota is already set at centre with Karl Anthony-Towns, but concerns over the former No. 1 overall pick’s defence haven’t subsided. Drafting Clarke to play power forward alongside Towns should help mask some of his defensive issues given the former’s versatility and motor on D. The former Bulldog led the NCAA in blocks last season, so attacking driving lanes with him roaming in the paint should give opponents fits on a regular basis. Clarke lacks the typical length of an NBA rim protector, but we feel his high-energy style of play will successfully mask his size disadvantage.”
Chris Fedor of cleveland.com: Rui Hachimura, PF, Gonzaga. “Hachimura left the combine, leading to the belief that he has a lottery promise. The Timberwolves would make sense. The Wolves ranked 22nd in defensive rating. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the league’s most skilled centers. Defense is a different story. Getting a defensive-minded frontcourt partner would be a smart move, and Hachimura has the size, length and skills to complement Towns. This pick could also help replace free agent Taj Gibson.”
Ansar Khan of mlive.com: Nassir Little, SF, North Carolina.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer: Brandon Clarke, PF, Gonzaga. “A defensive power forward/shot blocker to complement Karl-Anthony Towns’ offensive versatility.”
Brandon Clarke – 17
Rai Hachimura - 7
Sekou Doumbouya - 6
Nassir Little - 6
Nickeil Alexander-Walker – 3