Well, the NBA draft is now upon us and we’ll soon find out who the Minnesota Timberwolves will select with the No. 20 overall pick.
(Yes, for this exercise we are presuming Minnesota will stay at No. 20.)
The last time we took a look around the web at mock drafts, guard was a favorite position from prognosticators when predicting the Wolves’ pick.
Not much has changed in a month as far as position — guard is still the popular choice, although the names have changed a bit, with two players being mocked to Minnesota more than others.
That doesn’t mean a forward isn’t being mocked to the Wolves, there’s a few of those as well. In fact, in the mocks we searched 13 different players were projected to Minnesota.
(Note at the end of this article you can see a final tally of selections).
So who will have it right? Check the mocks below and come back after Minnesota picks. One thing we can guarantee — plenty of people will be wrong.
Now, onto the mocks!
David Aldridge of NBA.com: Kyhri Thomas, SG, Creighton. “You think Thibs could get behind a guy who was Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East this season after being co-DOPY as a sophomore? Thomas is a fierce, next play competitor at the two who stayed at around 40 percent on threes as a junior, while tripling the number of attempts he shot from his freshman season. The Wolves could definitely use some firepower coming off the bench with Jamal Crawford expected to opt out of the last year of his deal and explore free agency. Thomas could handle that and likely more early in his career.”
Jeremy Woo of SI.com: Round 1 — Troy Brown, SF, Oregon. “Tom Thibodeau rarely gives rookies much leeway to begin with, but with some emphasis on winning sooner than later and after drafting a project last year in Justin Patton, it’s fair to reason the Wolves could find more immediate utility at this spot if they move it, unless there’s a player they love. If they stay put, adding a versatile wing like Brown who can help relieve pressure on their stars with his defense could be intriguing. While he can be too passive offensively, Minnesota as constituted is a situation that wouldn’t require him to score much out of the gate. If his three-point shooting can improve, he could deliver some value..”; Round 2 — Devonte Graham, PG, Kansas. (Previously: Round 1 — Donte DiVincenzo, G, Villanova; Round 2 — P.J. Washington, F/C, Kentucky.)
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova. “DiVincenzo was barely on anybody’s immediate NBA radar before he made five 3-pointers and scored 31 points in the national title game against Michigan. But thanks to that effort, and a tremendous week at the combine, the 6-5 guard is now considered a likely first-round pick. On the season, DiVincenzo averaged 5.3 3-point attempts per game and made 40.1 percent of them. That’s great and something that suggests he can be a bouncy two-way player and weapon on the perimeter. And the fact that he comes from the winning culture Villanova provides can’t possibly hurt.” (Previously: DiVincenzo.)
USAToday’s Jeff Zillgitt, Sam Amick and Michael Singer: Dzanan Musa, F, Croatia. (Previously: Chandler Hutchison, G, Boise State.)
Hoops Hype: Troy Brown, SG, Oregon. “Brown is a versatile guard with promising upside that would add depth to their current backcourt. His ability to play multiple positions adds to his value. Brown needs some time to develop but would benefit from learning under Minnesota starting 2-guard Jimmy Butler.” (Previously: Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami)
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News: Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State. “Bates-Diop is a combo forward with some size — he measured 6-8.5 at the combine with a wingspan of 7-3.25 — and was the Big 10 Player of the Year this season, when he averaged 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. The Wolves badly need perimeter shooting, and they could dangle this pick in a trade as a means to get it.” (Previously: Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech.)
NBADraft.net: Round 1 — Troy Brown, SG, Oregon; Round 2 — Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky. (Previously: Round 1 — Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami; Round 2 — Keenan Evans, PG/SG, Texas Tech.)
Tommy Beer of Forbes: Keita Bates-Diop, F, Ohio State.
Basketball Insiders: Of their four prognosticators, two have Minnesota selecting Donte DiVinceno (SG, Villanova), another has Khryi Thomas (SG, Creighton) being the pick and Jerome Robinson (SG, Boston College) is the other prediction.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon. “He has the size and ability to play all over the court.” (Previously: Lonnie Walker, SG, Miami.)
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com: Jerome Robinson, PG, Boston College. “Another team with win-now aspirations, the Timberwolves grab the polished Robinson, who was the ACC’s best guard last season. At 6-foot-4, he averaged 20.7 points on 40.9 percent from 3-point range to go with 3.3 assists. He’d be a good bench plece, taking the place of Jamal Crawford, who will enter free agency this summer.”
Reid Forgrave of CBSSports.com: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton. “Thomas may be the best two-way guard available in this draft. He can shoot it – something the Timberwolves need – and he can defend multiple positions – something the Timberwolves need. Tom Thibodeau will love the way he competes.” (Previously: Thomas.)
Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News: Troy Brown, G/F, Oregon.
Chris Stone of The Sporting News: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova. “DiVincenzo impressed during the Wildcats’ run to the national title. The 6-5 shooting guard can create his own scoring opportunities off the dribble while providing a viable spot-up threat away from the ball. He may cap out as a microwave bucket getter off the bench, but he showed it’s a role in which he can excel while at Villanova.”
Scott Bordow of AZCentral Sports: Elie Okobo, PG, France. “With Jamal Crawford on his way out, Minnesota needs scoring help, particularly in the backcourt. Okobo is rocketing up draft boards. He’s not a natural point guard, but he can play both backcourt positions and could be an ideal sixth man early in his career.” (Previously: Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke.)
David Kay of WalterFootball.com: Round 1 — Troy Brown, SF, Oregon; Round 2 — Jevon Carter, PG, West Virginia. (Previously (first round only): Gary Trent Jr., SG, Duke.)
Al Iannazzone of Newsday: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova.
Keith Pompey of Philly.com: Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova. “DiVincenzo will be a solid addition for Minnesota. That’s because he’ll provide toughness, shooting and defense.”
Daniel Gallen and Aaron Kasinitz of pennlive.com: Jerome Robinson, SG, Boston College. “Robinson developed into one of college basketball’s best scorers over the past three seasons, and he has the ability to play point guard at 6 feet, 7 inches. If Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau decides Robinson can defend well enough, he’d be a great option for a rising team in the West.”
NBA Draft Room: Round 1 — Chandler Hutchison, SF, Boise State; Round 2 — Bruce Brown, SG, Miami. (Previously: Round 1 — Jontay Porter, SF, Missouri; Round 2 — Ray Spaulding, PF, Louisville.)
Paul Banks of The Sports Bank: Bruce Brown, SG, Miami. (Previously: Brown.)
Troy Brown – 6
Donte DiVincenzo – 6
Jerome Robinson – 4
Kyrhi Thomas – 3
Keita Bates-Diop – 2
Bruce Brown – 1
Jacob Evans – 1
Kevin Huerter – 1
Chandler Hutchison – 1
Dzanan Musa – 1
Elie Okobo – 1
Colin Sexton – 1
Robert Williams – 1
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns