Pick no. 17
With all the attention being paid to what the Wolves will do with the No. 1 overall pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft, their other first-round pick — No. 17 overall, originally belonging to the Nets and acquired via trade — might not be getting the attention it deserves. There are reports the Wolves may package the pick along with 2019 first-round pick Jarrett Culver to move up in the draft; however, if they decide to keep the pick, here are some options potentially available to them at that slot.
Jalen Smith, Maryland
• The Wolves are lacking a long-term solution at power forward, even though they may re-sign Juancho Hernangomez this offseason. The 6-foot-10 Smith might be the kind of stretch four they could use. He shot 37% from three-point range last season and has capability to be a decent defender. His improved shooting should be intriguing for a team that’s as three-point centric as the Wolves are.
Saddiq Bey, Villanova
• Like Smith, Bey is another stretch forward, though he is two inches shorter than Smith at 6-8, and could profile more as a small forward despite having the ability to defend taller opponents. His shooting could catch the eyes of several teams, since he was a 45% three-point shooter on 5.6 attempts per game last season. Draft analysts criticize his athleticism and his ability to create his own shot, but perhaps he can fit alongside playmakers Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky
• Maxey is a 6-3 combo guard, but he struggled to shoot at Kentucky — where he made 43% of his field-goal attempts and only 29% from three-point range. But analysts say Maxey has natural scoring ability and has good instincts on the offensive end of the floor — plus solid defensive ability to potentially defend both guard positions. He’s skilled in transition and could have the potential to improve his shooting efficiency. He was an 83% free-throw shooter.
Jaden McDaniels, Washington
• McDaniels is another power forward with the potential to be a decent three-point shooter. At 6-9, he shot 35% on four attempts per game. His size and athleticism give him the potential to defend multiple positions, but he is viewed as more of a long-term prospect who will need time to grow into his frame. At 200 pounds, he could stand to put on some muscle as part of that development. He averaged 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game with the Huskies.
Precious Achiuwa, Memphis
• Achiuwa, at 6-foot-9, could be a strong defensive piece given his size and length could help him guard multiple positions. He has explosive playmaking ability off the dribble. The big question for Achiuwa as it relates to the Wolves would be his shooting. He shot just 40 three-point attempts at Memphis, hitting 33% of those and he was a 60% free-throw shooter. But on a roster that could use an influx of defensive talent, he could be a match.