The NBA Draft is still more than two months away but there's no time better than Final Four week in Minneapolis to check out some of the players who could be available to the Wolves as a lottery pick.
Minnesota's biggest need is figuring out how to play team defense, and while some might argue that point guard needs a big upgrade – count me in in that camp – there aren't a ton of great point guard prospects in the draft outside of Murray State's Ja Morant, who is likely to go in the top three.
Here's a look at a projected depth chart for the 2019-20 Wolves, assuming Taj Gibson, Jerryd Bayless, Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Anthony Tolliver all leave via free agency. Tyus Jones is due a qualifying offer, but it's unclear at this point if he'll accept it or look elsewhere (or here) for more money.
- PG: Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones (?)
- SG: Andrew Wiggins, Josh Okogie
- SF: Robert Covington, Keita Bates-Diop, Cam Reynolds
- PF: Dario Saric, Gorgui Dieng
- C: Karl-Anthony Towns
In a perfect world the Wolves get insanely lucky in the lottery and land a top three pick so they can take Zion Williamson, Morant or R.J. Barrett, but that's unlikely and they might be in a spot where they just have to take the best talent on the board.
Some of those names that could be available to Minnesota, in the first our second round, will be playing in the Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Jarret Culver, G/F, Texas Tech
The 6-foot-5 Culver has been a star for the Red Raiders, and his ability to knock down threes and score in a variety of ways, plus play solid defense, make him a potential perfect fit for the Wolves.
Culver is averaging 18.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists this season. A potential limiting factor is that he might not be tall enough or have enough of a wingspan to play small forward in the NBA.
NBADraft.net currently predicts Culver will be drafted 11th overall by Minnesota, which is crazy because the draft lottery will determine the order of the draft, and if Minnesota gets unlucky and winds up with the 13th or 14th pick, Culver will probably be gone.
DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia
Hunter is currently projected as a top-10 pick. He is regarded as a very safe selection because of his consistent production on both ends of the floor. At 6-foot-7 he's more likely a small forward in the NBA, and he fits the 3-and-D mold with a 42.1% 3-point shot.
Minnesota will probably need some lottery luck to draft high enough to get him.
Ty Jerome, PG, Virginia
The junior point guard is 6-foot-5 and has enough size to play lockdown defense in addition to being a nearly 40% shooter from 3. Jerome isn't considered a lottery pick so Minnesota would need him to fall to them in the second round to get him.
Cassius Winston, PG, Michigan State
The junior point guard for Tom Izzo's Spartans has been a star in the NCAA Tournament after winning Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Winston can shoot the 3 and is a magician when it comes to finding teammates for open shots. Minnesota is going to need point guard depth, and Winston could be a steal in the second round.
Note: Auburn forward Chuma Okeke would've been a lottery pick had he not torn his ACL in the Sweet 16 against North Carolina.