Reports: Wolves want to trade up to get No. 4 pick in NBA Draft

The draft begins at 6 p.m. Thursday and Minnesota holds the 11th pick.
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Ryan Saunders

Wolves head coach Ryan Saunders

If one report suggesting the Wolves are looking to trade up to get the No. 4 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft isn't enough, how about a second?

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Wolves "have been aggressive in their attempts to move up in the draft from No. 11 and are among the teams that have discussed acquiring No. 4 from New Orleans." 

Stein's report comes with some weight, and is the second such report to suggest the Wolves are looking at getting the fourth overall pick. Earlier this week, ESPN's Jonathan Givony said the same, hinting that Minnesota could be after the draft's top-ranked point guard, Darius Garland, who worked out for the Knicks on Wednesday. 

"Garland is in serious consideration for the No. 3 pick," said Givony. "Minnesota, Boston, Chicago are teams looking at potentially trading up to No. 4 with Garland in mind."

Garland was limited to five games in his only season at Vanderbilt, but he's a lightning-quick guard who can handle the ball, pass with both hands and shoot the 3. 

“There’s only a few guys in the NBA that I’d even put with his ball-handling ability,” said former Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “He has the ability to wow a crowd. You know, make guys fall down off the bounce, which we saw him do. I think that will translate, especially when he gets bigger guys on him in switch opportunities in the NBA.”

According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the asking price for the fourth pick includes a younger player with high upside. Josh Okogie and Robert Covington probably qualify as that, but would one of them plus the 11th pick be enough to swing a deal? Might it take more, like a future first-round pick?

What about D'Angelo Russell, other options?

There's no doubt that Minnesota needs to shore up its point guard position, with Jeff Teague on the final year of his contract, Tyus Jones one season shy of becoming an unrestricted free agent, and Derrick Rose two weeks away from becoming a free agent. 

Minnesota needs a reliable point guard for the future, but Garland isn't the only option. 

D'Angelo Russell, the 23-year-old All-Star guard for the Brooklyn Nets continues to be linked to the Wolves, with Karl-Anthony Towns this week commenting on Russell's status as a restricted free agent. 

“D’Angelo is not getting whispers, he’s getting more of a yell from a microphone,” Towns told uproxx. “This is a big free agency period for us as an organization, so we’re taking every step and exploring every avenue.”

Minnesota could also stay put at No. 11 and take the best player available, trade down or look to trade completely out of the draft and give up 11 if a team is willing to take on a player like Gorgui Dieng's contract, according to Krawczynski. 

No matter how you slice it, the draft, which starts at 6 p.m., has the potential to be crazy. 

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