After working out for the Timberwolves and dining with owner Glen Taylor and coach-president Flip Saunders on Saturday, it appears more likely than not that Karl-Anthony Towns will be drafted by Minnesota with the first overall pick on Thursday night.
But Towns told to the Associated Press Monday afternoon that he has "no promise at all" from the Timberwolves.
The AP's Jon Krawczynski is also reporting that the Wolves are the only team Towns has given a private workout to during the pre-draft process.
Earlier Monday, Adam Zagoria reported Minnesota has already informed Towns that they're taking him.
“It’s done, he’s going to Minnesota,” the source said. “[Minnesota President and coach] Flip Saunders was big on Jahlil Okafor for a minute there and after Karl came in [on Saturday], he decided to work out for them. He only worked out for them and it’s a wrap. It’s a wrap. They just told him they’re going to take him No. 1.”
Minnesota has also worked out top pick candidates Jahlil Okafor of Duke, D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State and Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China instead of attending college as a freshman last season.
Towns one of the best prospects in years?
The prevailing question is whether Minnesota should take Towns over Okafor. FiveThirtyEight did a study based on past players and the results show that Towns is twice as likely to become a superstar and has a 20 percent less chance to be a bust than Okafor does.
ESPN Insider agrees that Towns is in a league of his own in this year's draft class. Since 2009, ESPN has ranked just six players as a "Tier 1" talent, meaning they are "surefire" All-Stars or franchise players. Towns made cut. The only other players to receive such high pre-draft praise were Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Blake Griffin, John Wall and Anthony Davis.
Wiggins looks like a superstar in the making while Griffin, Wall and Davis are already elite. Parker and Embiid battled injuries as rookies and have yet to prove how good they can be in the NBA.
"You have to be elite to get here," the column's writer, Chad Ford, says.