MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor? The decision has been debated for months, with Towns widely expected to be the choice.
Flip Saunders knows who he will take with the Timberwolves’ number-one overall pick Thursday night — but he isn’t saying.
“We’re taking the best player, we’re not drafting on need,” Saunders said. “We’re going to take who we feel is the best player, who’s going to have the best chance to be what we consider an All-Star and a superstar in this league.”
Although Saunders won’t reveal who he believes that “best player” is, he did discuss how he arrived at the decision, saying who is already on his roster was not a factor, but the type of chemistry this player might have with them, was. And?
“We came to the conclusion that no matter who we took was going to be able to play with our current roster and the players that we have,” Saunders said.
The Wolves have been working toward this decision for, really, the past eight months, ever since they started scouting players at the start of the college season. But the biggest determining factor in the decision, Saunders says, was when they actually brought him here, and worked him out themselves.
“When you get them on the floor with yourself and you put them in your situations now, you want to see them do the things that you’re going to ask them to do. That’s probably the ultimate predictor on whether they’re going to work out,” he said. “I tell a story about Garnett. When Kevin McHale and I went to see Garnett, we were in there five minutes, we turned to each other and said, ‘We better hope the kid’s there at number five.”
Now, 20 years later and at number one, Saunders is hoping he is right again.
“Tomorrow should be, you know, maybe the best draft day … that this organization has ever had,” Saunders said.
The 2015 NBA Draft starts Thursday evening at 6 p.m.