The draft night wheeling and dealing has started in earnest, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have moved up to No. 6 overall.
Reports have suggested the Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to move up from No. 11 in the first round of Thursday night’s draft, and it’s come to fruition.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wolves will send forward Dario Saric and that No. 11 pick to the Phoenix Suns for the No. 6 overall pick Thursday night.
The Timberwolves were rumored to be trying to move up to No. 4 overall. But it appears the Atlanta Hawks outbid them, via a previously reported trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, so president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas did the best he could to move up.
Wojnarowski confirmed as much, further reporting an effort get to No. 4 or No. 5 before pivoting and making the move to get to No. 6.
Saric was part of Minnesota’s return from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Jimmy Butler trade last November. In 68 games (28 starts) for the Timberwolves, he averaged 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while making 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
He’s also got a team-friendly contract, as he’s due to make $3.4 million next season with a $4.7 million qualifying offer for 2020-21.
The Timberwolves clearly have their eye on someone with the No. 6 pick. Speculation points to North Carolina guard Coby White as the guy they covet, and he’ll be there for them if the first five picks go as expected.
The Timberwolves don’t generally move up aggressively in drafts, and besides some bad misses they’ve often stood pat and taken whoever was there when their turn came.
But Rosas is setting a proactive template right off the bat in his role as president. This move into the top-10 of the draft may only be the start of a series of noteworthy moves this offseason.