The big three

A consensus has formed around the top three likely picks in Wednesday’s NBA draft even if it remains unclear whom the Wolves will choose with the No. 1 overall pick. Here is a look at the top three possibilities:

LaMelo Ball

An elite passer with enviable size (6-7) for a point guard, Ball played professionally in Australia last season. He is the brother of 2017 No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball. There are questions about whether LaMelo will become an adequate enough shooter in the NBA, and there would be a growth curve on defense given that he just turned 19 in August.

 

The Wolves will take him if … They believe Ball can play alongside D’Angelo Russell, who also likes to have the ball in his hands. And if they believe Ball, arguably the player with the biggest star potential in this draft, can develop quickly enough to win alongside Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Anthony Edwards

A physical load at 6-5, 225 pounds, Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists as a Georgia freshman. He has perhaps the most athletic upside in the draft and could develop into an elite scorer and shot creator in the NBA. Like Ball, he just turned 19 in August and could take some time to develop those skills. There is also a question about his game-to-game intensity and whether he will be nothing more than a volume scorer. For a franchise that just shed itself of a player who was similarly criticized — Andrew Wiggins — Edwards might not be the right match.

 

The Wolves will take him if … They believe in their ability to help Edwards reach his full potential and if the positional fit at shooting guard is too tempting to pass up.

James Wiseman

Perhaps the greatest unknown among the likely top three picks after playing just three games as a Memphis freshman. Wiseman is also the least likely of the three to be picked by the Wolves — he reportedly wouldn’t meet with team officials because as a center Wiseman doesn’t think he would be a good fit with a franchise that already has big man Karl-Anthony Towns. But Wiseman does possess great size (7-5 wingspan) and the ability to be a franchise-altering presence on defense.

 

The Wolves will take him if … They don’t care about positional overlap and consider Wiseman the top talent — or if they are picking for another team as part of a trade.

Michael Rand