The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly informed Karl-Anthony Towns that he will be the number 1 overall pick in the draft and heading into the event Thursday the team could shop an Anthony Bennett trade in a deal to bring in some support for Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine.
The Timberwolves won the draft lottery this year after finishing with the worst record in the league and now they reportedly have made their decision about the number one pick. According to Pro Basketball Talk, sources report that Towns has been "informed" that the Minnesota Timberwolves will pick him with the top overall selection in the draft on Thursday. Towns previously worked out for the Timberwolves and that appears to have been enough to sell the team on his potential.
Jahlil Okafor and Towns are considered to be the best two players in the draft and initial reports had the team debating about the pick. Flip Saunders reportedly had early offseason thoughts about Okafor as the top overall pick, but at three days out the Timberwolves appear locked in on Towns. The Timberwolves have a strong young core with LaVine, Wiggins, Rubio, Shabazz Napier and potentially Towns coming in. Wiggins comes in after winning the rookie of the year award and he could benefit greatly from having Towns in the offense.
The Timberwolves are reportedly open to trading Anthony Bennett this offseason in the hopes of getting another draft pick. Bennett was the number one draft pick for the Cavaliers two years ago and he was traded along with Wiggins in the Kevin Love deal last summer. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Wolves are shopping Bennett and he mentioned that the Sixers could be an option if the "deal is for a future second round pick." Bennett is making $5,803,560 next season and that could make him hard to move. Bennett has a team option for the 2016-17 season at over $7 million and that likely will not get picked up.
Bennett does not have much value right now after a couple down seasons and he comes in after averaging just 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game last year. As a rookie Bennett averaged 4.2 points per game and 3.0 rebounds per contest in 52 games for the Cavs before they traded him. Bennett was a number one overall draft pick and according to Stein at ESPN.com, some teams that could "potentially have interest" in Bennett are the Knicks, Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic if the compensation is fitting.
The 76ers are one of the more mysterious teams in the draft this year, as reports have them looking at a number of players and potential trade scenarios. The team has the number three overall pick and most mocks have them taking D'Angelo Russell, but others have suggested that Kristaps Porzingis is also in the mix. Some scouts have called Porzingis the player with the highest upside in the draft and there is a chance that the Sixers trade down in the first round. The Wolves are clearly not entertaining offers for the number one pick, but they would be thrilled to trade Bennett, as the Love deal was all about Wiggins.