5 teams to target to move back into the first round
Minnesota Timberwolves (Pick No. 19)
The Minnesota Timberwolves made their breakthrough last season.
As much as some fans made fun of the Timberwolves and their celebration of reaching the playoffs as a 7-seed, it was a big moment for the franchise. The Timberwolves have not experienced a lot of success. And what they went through in 2022 did not seem like a fluke. It seemed like the beginning of something.
With new ownership in place, Minnesota has already shown its aggressiveness this offseason.
Hiring Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly away from the perennial Western Conference contenders to be the Minnesota Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations was a bold move. It shows a seriousness to build the Timberwolves’ organization in a meaningful way.
It is not lost on anyone in Orlando that Tim Connelly’s first big hire to his staff was Orlando Magic Vice President of Basketball Operations Matt Lloyd. They are not afraid to go after what they want and build connections throughout the league.
That is another reason why it seems like Minnesota will be a team hunting for something more this season. The Timberwolves like their core with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns together. They will be looking to get a lot better.
Already, people are surmising the team may shop D’Angelo Russell — with his expiring deal worth $31.4 million. That is the biggest asset Minnesota has to shop around with how top-heavy their balance sheet is. Malik Beasley could be another player they look to move, but quickly Minnesota starts running out of shooting.
Their goal should be to climb the playoff ladder.
Dealing with Orlando could be a secondary move then. Terrence Ross would give Minnesota another big-time scorer — someone who has torched the team in the past — and some pop off the bench. That would help the defensive-minded Wolves second unit a ton.
Of course, that is not the kind of needle-moving move Minnesota needs. The Timberwolves may look to be more aggressive with what they acquire with this pick in the draft.
But they certainly want a veteran who will help them come playoff time. And the Magic certainly have someone to offer on that front and would certainly be able to use a player like Beasley on their roster.