Your Minnesota Timberwolves added some new young talent in the first round of the NBA Draft. Let’s talk about those two young men.We traded back and grabbed the 22nd pick and 29th pick. This ended up being pretty solid because I think we got who we wanted at 22 and then got that second pick. They then ended up trading that 29 and future second to grab the 26th pick. So those ended up being our two picks, time to discuss.
22: Walker Kessler
The 7’1” big man from Auburn University. Initially it seemed a lot of fans did not like this pick, nor did I. After really thinking about it, it seems to be a very good fit. Only reason most didn’t like it, me included is because people don’t like taking players in the first for a such specific fit. Most of the time you kind of are just drafting for overall potential, plus he is a original type of center, just not very attractive these days. Besides that though, he truly is the type of guy the Wolves needed down low.One thing he can do is block shots, that’s for sure. One of the best block rates in NCAA history. He is a solid rebounder too. If the shot blocking can even translate like 50% he will be very important for us down low.
What will be really important is his fit next to KAT. You may think it is confusing why we would want a true center next to KAT. If you watch KAT play you know he’s turned more into a stretch big and having another guy like that next to him might not make sense. However, if the guy next to him could really shoot, it would work. We all saw how KAT got doubled in the playoffs because James Vanderbilt aka Vando has no offensive ability. Sorry, it had to be said. If we have a guy like Kessler next to KAT, letting KAT really be who he is, I think it will work, especially defensively.This right here is important, you see this and think, “How is this different from Vando?” Kessler has a solid looking shot and I think he can get to the point where it is at least respectable. If it does get to the point this may be a great pick, especially with the pairing of him and KAT.
At the end of the day though this pick was defense first. If you watched us get pounded on the glass in the playoffs I think you will like this pick. He will help KAT stay out of foul trouble and just take a lot of that pressure off KAT on D.
This type of stuff is important, especially if he fits in scheme wise with us already. If he can become elite on the glass as well as shot blocking this will help us so much on D. That is the real important part of this pick, defense. Overall this pick is solid, I wasn’t thrilled right away but when you focus on the defensive side of the ball it makes a lot of sense.
Hopefully Walker is able to prove us all wrong and be an immediate defensive impact. It would be so important for this team.
26: Wendell Moore Jr.Wendell Moore Jr. was the next pick. I’m not as familiar with him but it looked like most people were pretty happy with this selection.
He averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists. His splits were 50/41.3/80.3. That is as solid as it gets. This comes with him playing with Banchero and Mark Williams. The Duke team was loaded and he managed to do a bit of everything. He also shot a great 45% from corner 3’s
Moore is also quiet a good decision maker and passer out there on the floor. There is no reason he couldn’t play bench minutes early in his career and play for a long time.
I don’t have as much to say about Moore. A lot of people could see the Kessler pick coming I’m sure but we were only supposed to have that one pick in the first round. Nonetheless, Moore has the tangibles it takes to be a very good role player in this league for a long time. Will he be a star? It is highly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a massive impact on this team.
So welcome your new young pups to the squad. If things go well they should have a pretty big impact in the coming years. Let’s hope they step in and prove to us why we took them.
We will see you in the summer league wolves nation!
10K sports writer that specializes in Timberwolves content. Lover of pizza, disc golf and having the Timberwolves forever make me sad.