Golden State (No. 2 pick) and Charlotte (No. 3) both reportedly interested in picking James Wiseman.
But Minnesota has the No. 1 pick, and if they want Wiseman he will be wearing Timberwolves midnight blue.
Wiseman doesn’t want that, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on “The Scoop” podcast with Darren Wilson.
‘“Wiseman does not want to come to Minnesota because Karl Towns is there. From what I understand, Wiseman doesn’t even want to do anything with the Wolves.”
It makes sense from Wiseman’s point of view. Minnesota already has a 24-year-old All-NBA level center who is the focal point of its offense. While you could argue Wiseman could play the four next to Towns, the fact is Wiseman’s best role will be as a modern big who can set screens, rim run, and hit the occasional three. That isn’t a blend with Towns.
There is also only so much Wiseman can do to avoid Minnesota. He can refuse to do interviews or workout for Minnesota, but in the end, the Timberwolves have the right to select him if they want.
Minnesota could trade down out of the top pick; Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas is listening to offers. If Charlotte wants to leapfrog Golden State to make sure it lands Wiseman, a deal could be reached. Another surprise team could leap up as well, although in what is generally considered an unimpressive top of the draft, what the Timberwolves get back in a deal is likely to be less than in other years.
Minnesota needs to take its highest-rated player on the board whenever they pick. Talent wins, Minnesota needs more of it (even if they don’t know who that top player is yet). If that’s Wiseman, and he doesn’t fit next to Towns, Wiseman could be traded down the line for a player who does fit. Better that than taking a lesser player just because the fit is better on paper — Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas doesn’t want to be Vlade Divac press conferences talking about why he didn’t select Luka Doncic. The buzz around the league is Minnesota is leaning toward Anthony Edwards, with LaMelo Ball drifting down draft boards, especially after his interviews.
Wiseman will not fall past No. 3 and will probably get his wish to avoid Minnesota. But nothing is set in stone.