The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, with the Warriors slotted directly behind them at No. 2.
Much has been made of the narrative around this year’s draft has been centered around the lack of consensus on the top players and the group as a whole being a “weak draft.” But as
But as Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas told NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, draft classes can’t accurately be evaluated until those players all have been in the league for a few seasons.
“I’m a big believer, there’s talent in every draft, but you can’t grade a draft until at least three or four years out,” Rosas said on “The Habershow.” “That’s what makes our job so complicated, it’s not about just picking the right player, it’s about the player being picked into the right system, health, opportunity and the execution or the maximization of that talent.
“The reality is we don’t know. Everybody has a quick narrative on certain drafts, and even this one in particular.”
Rosas also points out to Haberstroh that many lamented the 2013 NBA Draft for not having much production out of the first five players picked, but there were some hidden gems who turned out to be stars.
“People talk about, this is the Anthony Bennett draft all over again,” Rosas continued. “And the reality is, the reigning MVP (Giannis Antetokounmpo) was taken in that draft. The responsibility falls on us, we’ve gotta make the right selections, we’ve gotta make the right choices and find the right players.”
While No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett didn’t come close to living up to the billing of being a top selection, Antetokounmpo was the No. 15 pick and is the reigning MVP and just recently was named this season’s Defensive Player of the Year. The man who won the NBA’s DPOY the two years before Giannis also was taken in the 2013 draft, as Rudy Gobert fell to the No. 27 pick before the Utah Jazz finally scooped him up.
Plenty of pressure rests on the shoulders of both Rosas and Warriors general manager Bob Myers, as players drafted in the top five enter the NBA with sky-high expectations. The Warriors reportedly will be entertaining trade offers for the pick, as Golden State could acquire a more pro-ready player who can help the organization return to contention after a one-season respite from the top of the league standings.
So whether the Warriors draft at two, trade down closer to the middle of the first round or completely deal out of the first round, there is high-level NBA talent within this year’s draft class. It’s on decision-makers like Rosas and Myers to properly evaluate and identify that talent.
[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]