NBA

Why the Minnesota Timberwolves Have Two First-Round Picks in the 2020 NBA Draft

Since the Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery back in August, speculation on who the franchise will take with their second-ever No. 1 pick has run wild. And just so you’re not sitting there wondering who their first-ever No. 1 pick was, it was Karl-Anthony Towns back in 2015. But we digress.

The Timberwolves certainly have a big decision to make at No. 1. While certainly not the strongest NBA draft class in history, there are a number of solid options out there and Minnesota is obviously in a position to be able to choose from all of them. But the No. 1 pick isn’t the only selection the Wolves in the first round in 2020 as they also have the No. 17 overall pick. So where did that one come from?

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a choice to make at No. 1

Heading into the NBA draft lottery, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a 14% chance to win the No. 1 pick, which tied for the highest odds with the Golden State Warriors, who will pick second on Wednesday night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who fell to No. 5.

While most believe the Timberwolves will select LaMelo Ball with the first pick, it’s not quite a done deal. The biggest problem is that none of the top prospects in the 2020 NBA draft are a perfect fit in Minnesota. So the Wolves might just take the best player available and many think that LaMelo is that player. But don’t be surprised if the Timberwolves use the No. 1 pick on Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards.

With D’Angelo Russell already on the roster, Minnesota may choose to go the shooting guard route and Edwards is clearly the best player at that position in this draft.

How did the Minnesota Timberwolves get the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NBA draft?

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As mentioned, the No. 1 pick isn’t the only selection the Minnesota Timberwolves have in the first round of the 2020 NBA draft. They also hold the No. 17 pick, which came to them in a series of deals.

In July 2019, the Nets and Hawks engaged in a deal in which Atlanta received Allen Crabbe, the draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2020 while Brooklyn acquired Taurean Prince and a second-round pick in 2021.

Then, in February 2020, there was a four-team trade involving the Timberwolves, Nuggets, Hawks, and Rockets in which Minnesota acquired three players from Denver as well as Evan Turner and that lottery-protected pick from Atlanta. So that’s how the Wolves ended up with the No. 17 pick.

As for who they’ll use it on, that’s anyone’s guess at this point. The Wolves may still choose to trade that pick for all we know. If they do choose to hang onto it, Vanderbilt’s Aaron Nesmith could be an option, as could Arizona’s Josh Green or Villanova’s Saddiq Bey.

The Wolves also have the No. 33 pick in the 2020 NBA draft

Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves logo | Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

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In addition to their two first-round picks, the Minnesota Timberwolves also have the third pick of the second round, the No. 33 overall pick.

The 2020 NBA draft begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific on ESPN. The draft will be conducted from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, and all selections will take place virtually.