The Timberwolves could be looking to trade last season’s No. 6 overall NBA Draft pick to acquire the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
A report from The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor suggests that Minnesota is seeking a second lottery pick to add to its current No. 1 overall selection. The Hawks currently hold the No. 6 pick, and one package O’Connor is reporting as being discussed is Minnesota’s No. 17 pick and Jarrett Culver to Atlanta for the No. 6 overall pick. Culver was taken sixth overall in 2019 out of Texas Tech.
While Minnesota could be looking to acquire a second lottery pick to just draft a better young talent, speculation in recent weeks has been that the Timberwolves want to acquire a more veteran piece to team with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Having both the first and sixth picks in this year’s draft could be enough to bring a big-three-forming player to Minneapolis.
Culver, a 6-6 guard, played in 63 games for Minnesota during his rookie season. Viewed as more of a defensively polished player coming out of Texas Tech, Culver averaged 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting less than 30 percent from 3-point range. The Timberwolves went 19-45 a season ago and were not a part of the NBA’s bubble in Orlando.
O’Connor says that other teams are also interested in Atlanta’s pick at No. 6, and he mentions the Pelicans and Celtics also showing interest. In a draft that’s thought to be devoid of obvious top-end talent, Atlanta might feel it can get the player it wants lower down in the first round while adding an additional asset by trading down.
The two players Minnesota would likely consider if it trades up and keeps the pick, O’Connor writes, would be Florida State’s Patrick Williams and Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton. That would potentially provide an exciting rookie duo with whoever the Timberwolves take first overall out of the probable top trio of LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards.
The NBA Draft is a week away, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 18. Free agency opens just two days later in this condensed NBA offseason, which could affect how aggressive certain teams are in their draft-day movements.