2022 NBA Draft Grades for all 15 teams in the Western Conference

Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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2022 NBA Draft
AUBURN, AL – JANUARY 22: Walker Kessler #13 of the Auburn Tigers shoots from the line during the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Auburn Arena on January 22, 2022 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

2022 NBA Draft Grades for the Western Conference: Minnesota Timberwolves

Picks: Walker Kessler, Center, Auburn (22); Wendell Moore, Wing, Duke (26); Josh Minott, Forward, Memphis (45); Matteo Spagnolo, Guard, Vanoli Cremona (50)

The Minnesota Timberwolves started the night with the 19th pick in the NBA Draft, but they sure didn’t stay there. They dropped back to 22, drafting Auburn center Walker Kessler, and then traded back around to pick No. 26 by joining the Houston-Dallas Christian Wood trade to add Duke wing Wendell Moore.

Kessler was a popular pairing with the Timberwolves, as Karl-Anthony Towns’ skillset suggests his lack of rim protection may limit the defense’s ceiling. Playing him alongside a non-shooting center lessens his offensive impact as a smooth-shooting big, but Kessler’s rim protection would help to shore up Towns’ weaknesses and provide a solid backup option. The problem is that Kessler’s lack of lateral movement means he will likely be toast on the perimeter, limiting the Wolves’ defensive scheme options.

Wendell Moore was less of a surprise and instead was a solid value at pick No. 26 as a do-it-all wing who can dribble, pass, shoot, score, and defend. He became a leader last season at Duke during a breakout year, and the Timberwolves need leadership as well as two-way role players. Moore is a great fit for the Wolves’ rotation.

Josh Minott at 45 was well worth the flyer. Analytical models adore him because of his defensive playmaking, but he is very raw and doesn’t add much on offense right now. It’s a good development move to see if he turns into something special

Their second-round pick, landing at 50 after some moving around, went to Italian guard Matteo Spagnolo, a 19-year-old guard with elite size at 6’6″ and a 6’8″ wingspan. He is a creative passer but not a volume scorer. He has been successful wherever he has gone and whenever he comes over should have a chance at making the roster.

Grade: B