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Should the Timberwolves Trade Their Lottery Pick? Ridiculous Upside Q&A 5.0

In Ridiculous Upside’s recent Q&A, editor Dakota Schmidt answers questions relating to the Minnesota Timberwolves potentially trading their lottery pick, basketball version of an FA Cup and the four remaining NBA teams without a G-League team

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Last off-season, Ridiculous Upside started to do these occasional Q&A’s where we’d answer questions taken from the @ridicupside account. Although the initial plan was to do these on a weekly or monthly basis, we were unfortunately caught up by the latest happenings with the D-League. However, with the D-League season over, it seems like a good time to bring back this series and start doing Q&As on a regular basis. So without further ado, let’s get to the questions.

I obviously think it’s possible for the Timberwolves to trade their #7 pick for a veteran player. However, I don’t think that’s going to come for a veteran point guard like Goran Dragic. Despite some of the hate that he receives on b-ball Twitter, I still believe that Ricky Rubio is good enough to be a starting point guard on a playoff team in the Western Conference. He’s never going to be a good perimeter shooter but Rubio has repeatedly been one of the league’s best facilitators and perimeter defenders. Rubio actually hasn’t maintained an Ast/TO ratio that has been worse than 3.0 since 2012/13, which is something that John Wall, Mike Conley or Russell Westbrook hasn’t been able to accomplish.

So if the Wolves were trade that #7 pick, it would probably be to acquire an elite front-court player that can work alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.

I definitely think the idea of having a knockout competition between teams in the G-League and NBA would possibly push more people to become more familiar with the G-League. However, that’s never going to happen.

The reasoning behind that is that all 26 G-League squads are directly affiliated with an NBA team. That affiliation means that multiple prospects on the Boston Celtics are regularly appearing in games with the Maine Red Claws. Would it really make much sense for an NBA team to compete against a G-League squad that has multiple players that are actually in their organization? Probably not. But it’s a creative idea tho.

To truly be able to answer this question, we have to examine the situation for each individual team.

Washington Wizards: It actually appears that the Wizards are planning on having their own G-League team by the start of the 2018-19 season. This information comes from a recent article in the Washington Times which states that that the Wizards would have their G-League affiliate play in a new practice facility that should be constructed by the spring of 2018.

Portland Trail Blazers: Unfortunately, there really hasn’t been any recent news about the Trail Blazers organization even looking at getting their own D-League team. The only real sign of a possible interest from the team came from a recent interview that President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey had with Oregon Live. During that discussion, he said that it’s an on-going process and that the G-League squad has to be close to the big league organization for things to really work. Olshey brought up how neither Jake Layman or Tim Quarterman didn’t really get a chance to improve because they were playing for a squad, Windy City Bulls, that were located more than 2,000 miles from Portland. Although we’d definitely love to be surprised, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the Trail Blazers have a G-League squad before the 2019-20 season.

Denver Nuggets: Similar to the Trail Blazers, there really hasn’t been any recent news regarding the Nuggets interest in a G-League squad. The most recent story came on October 2016 when the Denver Post reported that the Nuggets were eyeing having a minor league affiliate by the start of the 2017-18 season. However, nothing really came from that story as there were no subsequent reports about the Nuggets eyeing up potential locations for a team. So while the Nuggets may be still looking to have their own G-League team, most of us are currently in the dark about any potential development.

New Orleans Pelicans: Unlike the other three teams, we actually know that the Pelicans will have their own G-League squad by the 2017-18 season. This proclamation was first made on March 31st when the team announced that they were looking at eleven different cities that could potential be the host for the team. Nearly three months later, that list has been sliced to only five cities which include: Baton Rouge, Mobile, Pensacola, Jackson and Shreveport.