The 2010 NBA Draft order will change several franchises, and maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves too. The 2010 NBA Draft order gives Minnesota five draft picks on Thursday, setting up the chance for the Timberwolves to improve their roster significantly. Through some recent wheeling-and-dealing, Minnesota has three more draft picks than most teams will have, giving them the chance to add to their young roster from last season. In addition to the picks that they will have the chance to sign, Minnesota is also way under the 2010-11 NBA salary cap, giving them quite a bit of room to work with if they decide to sign a free agent or two. Right now, the Timberwolves only have $35 million on the books for the upcoming NBA season.
Returning this season for Minnesota are Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, and Jonny Flynn. That is a great young core that could really serve as cornerstones to the franchise if they put the right pieces together with them. They also have the young Wayne Ellington coming off the bench, a young player from Duke who just seems to need a little more seasoning to be ready for the NBA.
The reason that Minnesota has jumped back into the news, though, is that there have been several rumors floating around that involve Al Jefferson, and possibly moving his contract in a draft day trade. Jefferson makes $13 million next season (and then $29 million total in the next two seasons), but could serve as a real asset to another NBA team. Trading off Jefferson could net them another couple picks, and also set them up to bid on one or two of the monster free agents.
Within the 2010 NBA Draft order, Minnesota first has the No. 4 overall pick for having a terrible 2009-10 season. They are expected to go with small forward Wesley Johnson out of Syracuse, if he is still on the board. Then, Minnesota also has the No. 16 and No. 23 picks in the first round, the perfect slot to go for a couple players that are either ready now or a year away from being NBA starters. In the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft, Minnesota then picks No. 45 overall and No. 56 overall. That gives Minnesota five of the top 56 players coming into the NBA, and, while a couple might turn out to be draft day busts, the odds are heavily in their favor that they could end up with some real difference-makers in the bunch.
The 2010 NBA Draft schedule begins at 4:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. EST) on Thursday, June 24.