Picks: 13, 40, 44, 53
Needs: To maximize Kevin Love’s value. More than anything else, that’s Flip Saunders’ top task. That might mean trading Love, or it might mean drafting the player who convinces Love to stay in Minnesota beyond next season. Certainly, keeping Love long-term is the Timberwolves’ ideal outcome, which is why they might pursue the latter path.
Trade possibilities: Obviously, Love trades are at the forefront of the discussion. By trading him draft night, Minnesota can get picks immediately and get a one-year head start on rebuilding. But by keeping him, the Timberwolves preserve the possibility, no matter how unlikely, of their best-case result – Love having a change of heart and staying.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Timberwolves sell a second rounder or two. Does Saunders, a longtime coach who many believe became Minnesota’s president just to become coach, really have a firm grasp on the late second round?
Predictions: The Timberwolves don’t trade Love. They draft Gary Harris or Adreian Payne, both of whom played at Michigan State for Tom Izzo, Saunders’ old buddy. Minnesota has a solid starting lineup, and either of those two would add nice bench depth.
Bonus prediction: It won’t be enough to convince Love to stay.
Ty Lawson is headed to the Kings, as first reported on Monday. The team made the move official on Wednesday with a press release, and USA Today‘s Sam Amick offers up another important piece of information: Lawson’s deal is not guaranteed, making it essentially a make-good camp invite.
It’s staggering how Lawson went from a borderline All-Star level point guard in 2012-13 to signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal with a lottery team three years later. His off-the-court issues have contributed to that, and he didn’t produce last season in Houston and Indiana. Still, he should have a pretty good chance of making the Kings’ roster, with Seth Curry and Rajon Rondo gone and Darren Collison their only proven point guard. They need depth there.
When Ben Simmons declared for the NBA draft this spring, he signed with LeBron James‘ Klutch Sports group for representation. That association would appear to have its advantages for the No. 1 overall pick, including the opportunity to work out with James and Dwyane Wade during the offseason. Wade posted a group photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon:
Also, it’s pretty staggering to see Simmons standing next to James and realizing that he’s bigger and taller.
Thanks to a match from an anonymous donor, beloved TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager was able to receive his third bone-marrow transplant since 2014 in an extended battle with leukemia. Sager’s son, Craig Sager II, shared a photo on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon of his father undergoing the transplant, appearing to be in good spirits as usual.
Our continued well wishes go out to Sager and his family in his recovery, and we hope to see him back on the sidelines this season.
Last season, the Sacramento Kings signed Seth Curry, brother of Stephen Curry. He left this summer for Dallas, and now the Kings are working out the brother of the other Splash Brother — Klay Thompson‘s brother Mychel — according to international basketball reporter David Pick.
Mychel Thompson’s only NBA experience is five games with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12. He spent some time in the D-League after that, and played in Italy during the 2015-16 season.