Yahoo Mock Draft: Wolves to select Towns with the top pick


Less than a month before the NBA draft, the debate continues over who the Minnesota Timberwolves will take with the top pick: Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke's Jahlil Okafor.

While there has been a lot of talk about Wolves president and coach Flip Saunders liking Okafor's polished offensive game, the experts who put together their own mock drafts aren't buying it.

Earlier this week it was ESPN's Chad Ford who said even with Saunders' interest in Okafor – he still thinks the Wolves will take Towns. On Friday afternoon, that feeling was echoed in the latest Yahoo Mock Draft.

"While Jahlil Okafor will certainly be attractive to Flip Saunders' style of play, the Timberwolves ranked as the worst defensive team in the NBA last year and could desperately use the rim protection ability of Towns. Additionally, Andrew Wiggins saw the biggest share of his offense in post-up situations last year, while Ricky Rubio is a complete non-shooter, which indicates that the floor spacing Towns could provide might be more valuable to the T'Wolves than Okafor's back-to-the-basket game. Finally, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng are far better fits alongside Towns than Okafor."

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Kentucky coach John Calipari sounded surprised by the discussion when he was interviewed by the Star Tribune.

"Wow, it's a debate?" Calipari asked the newspaper. "It seems like that would be the only city there would be a debate in."

Sports Illustrated also notes that Calipari says Towns' versatility and shooting range also justify him going as the top pick. Towns did shoot nearly 57 percent from the floor last season at Kentucky.

What's more, the coach says Towns would be happy to come to Minnesota.

"Karl's the one guy who's like, 'I'm fine with Minnesota, I'd like to be in Minnesota," Calipari told the Star Tribune. "There's no, like, 'Well I could go to the Lakers.' That isn't who he is. That isn't his family, either. As soon as the lottery balls hit, he called me and said, 'Coach, I'm good in Minnesota, I'm fine there.'"

Whoever the Wolves choose will play alongside last year's top pick and NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.

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