The Timberwolves and Wild have draft histories that can politely be described as hit-or-miss.
While both teams had key players obtained through the draft who played important roles on playoff teams a season ago, both also have had their share of missteps over the years.
In a nod to those combined histories — and to the fact that both the NBA and NHL drafts are this week — here is a look at both teams’ draft histories as viewed in tandem. All of these categories take both the Wild and Wolves into account:
Best first-round picks: 2014
While neither team has hit a major home run in the same year, both found good value four years ago.
The Wolves chose Zach LaVine, a raw but talented prospect, with the No. 13 pick. He has shown explosiveness and scoring ability in the league above and beyond his draft slot.
The Wild, meanwhile, took Alex Tuch No. 18 overall. He had a strong 2017-18 season and looks to have a bright future.
Of course, neither player — LaVine with the Bulls and Tuch with Vegas — is still with his respective Minnesota team. Both were traded, but that doesn’t change the fact that the picks were quite good.
Biggest year of regret: 2009
This is an easy one.
The Wolves that year took Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, passing on Steph Curry (who went No. 7 to Golden State). That decision nine years ago still has franchise-altering reverberations.
The Wild’s regret is more subtle but still palpable. In 2009 Minnesota took Nick Leddy in the first round. Picking the former Eden Prairie standout was good ... but trading him to Chicago in the ill-fated and still much-discussed Cam Barker deal was not.
Biggest disparities: 2003, ’08
Here we look at years where one team crushed the first round and one team crashed.
In 2003, the Wild took Brent Burns with the 20th overall pick. He’s gone on to have a very good career with the Wild and San Jose. The Wolves that year infamously took Ndudi Ebi at No. 26 overall. They were trying to re-create the preps-to-pros success of Kevin Garnett. Narrator: They did not.
But the Wolves got the best of things in 2008, turning draft night maneuvering into the addition of All-Star Kevin Love at No. 5. The Wild took Tyler Cuma with the No. 23 pick. To date, he has appeared in one NHL game.
Best potential: 2015
The Wolves’ that year took Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1 overall and added Tyus Jones, the No. 24 pick, via a trade. Towns is already a star and Jones is at least a valuable backup.
The Wild that year took Joel Eriksson Ek at No. 20; if we add second-round pick Jordan Greenway, there appears to be two potential lineup mainstays to come from the top of that draft.
Both teams will have challenges this year because the Wolves pick 20th and the Wild 24th. Both could use an influx of young talent, making this year important for both.