This time last year, the Timberwolves sent the NBA draft's seventh overall pick to Chicago in the blockbuster Jimmy Butler trade that also earned them 16th pick Justin Patton.

After a 16-victory improvement and the franchise's first playoff games since 2004, the Wolves now own Oklahoma City's 20th overall pick they obtained when they traded Ricky Rubio to Utah only days after last summer's draft.

They could trade that pick by Thursday's draft, either for another established veteran whose presence could convince Butler to sign a maximum contract extension, or packaged for some financial flexibility with backup center Gorgui Dieng and his supersized contract with three years and more than $48 million left.

Or they could just keep it and select a young player who's either the best left on the board, fits their needs for improved three-point shooting and improved defense or who, like Patton a year ago, has too much potential to ignore.

Turn to Page C7 to see candidates for that 20th pick.