Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden introduced to the Media
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL26: Tom Thibodeau, President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves are introduced to the media by Owner Glen Taylor on April 26, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Plenty Of Opportunities For Wolves In What Could Be 'Historic' Draft

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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With less than 30 hours until the 2017 NBA Draft, a lot can happen.

We’ve already seen the No. 1 pick traded for the No. 3 pick. And that could set up a pattern in what could be a crazy draft.

On Wednesday morning, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden addressed the media. The two talked about the draft, its strength, but of course, gave away no secrets because that’s generally not a very smart thing to do a day before the draft, especially when you have as much flexibility as the Wolves do with the No. 7 overall pick.

“We’re ready. We have great flexibility,” Thibodeau said. “There’s been a lot of talk about trading the pick so we know there’s great value in it. We like the players that are in the draft both at our position and if we decide to trade down, there’s a possibility of moving up as well. It’s a great position to be in.”

The team could stick at seven, and there’s plenty of talent, no matter who will be drafted before, that will fall to that spot. The team also has plenty of assets to trade up. And if the team decides to trade down, it will acquire another asset while still picking a player with plenty of talent and upside. Lots of options, which is why the NBA Draft is so fun and so unpredictable.

The 2017 draft class has plenty of talent. There are players who could be top-5 picks in other draft classes, but will slide to the late lottery in this one.

“I think this has the chance to be a historic draft,” Layden said. “You look at the top end of the draft and I think there’s a chance there’s going to be a lot of very good players. It also runs deep into the late first round. I think that’s why there will be a lot of activity at this draft because I think teams see potential to get a great player. So, we’ll evaluate and we’ll see where that fits as far as making the selection. In all likelihood, the picks are so valuable this time of year, you end up wanting to keep the pick. But we’re leaving all options open.”

In the NBA Draft, crazy things happen. Most front offices have a pretty solid idea of what’s going to happen. What players will go where based on talent and team need. But there are also curve balls thrown throughout the night (trades, a player rising or falling) that can switch up everything.

“You have a pretty good feel for it, but here are always outliers,” Thibodeau, who enters his second draft with the Wolves, said. “Last year when you look back there’s always a player who jumps up a little bit. But you also study that possibility, who you think has the capability who does jump up and then you have to be ready. Does that knock somebody back? So, you comb through all those scenarios. You played out every possibility. You want to be ready for everything.”

The draft starts at 6 p.m. on ESPN and NBA TV. We’ll have plenty of coverage here at Timberwolves.com.

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