Rumor: Timberwolves may consider drafting D’Angelo Russell with No. 1 pick, ‘might be willing to move Ricky Rubio’ for the right deal


Karl-Anthony Towns is projected to be the player most worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, but the Timberwolves are in possession of that pick, and head coach and team president Flip Saunders is reportedly a bigger fan of Jahlil Okafor at this stage of the evaluation process.

That could change, considering the fact that plenty on his staff may favor Towns.

But what’s more interesting is the idea that Minnesota could shock everyone by choosing neither Towns nor Okafor with the top pick, while going in a completely different direction.

From Chad Ford of (via HoopsHype):

Karl-Anthony Towns is the No. 1-ranked player on my Big Board. However, virtually all the signals from sources inside the Wolves point to Jahlil Okafor being Flip Saunders’ favorite right now.

That obviously can change as we get closer to the draft. Workouts and interviews and lobbying from staff (I hear most of the rest of the staff favors Towns) could push Towns back atop.

And do not totally discount D’Angelo Russell here either. I am told Saunders is also a big fan and might be willing to move Ricky Rubio for the right deal.

The part about Rubio is likely separate, but would potentially need to be considered if Russell is indeed drafted, and believed to be the team’s point guard of the future.

Plenty of misinformation will be distributed as we get closer to the draft, and the availability of any real facts we can use to try to concretely discern which way a particular team is leaning will be sparse. This particular tidbit seems to be at least mildly far-fetched, but strange things happen on draft night, and the Timberwolves going against the grain with their choice for the top selection is certainly within the realm of possibility.