Wolves should trade other draft pick

Updated: February 8, 2012, 4:47 PM ET
By David Thorpe

The 2012 draft is shaping up to be one of the deepest in years. Normally that would be a good thing for a team with a draft pick that will fall in the middle of the first round outside the lottery. But when it comes to the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team starting to make a push for the playoffs, it may actually be an incentive to trade that pick away.

It's slightly counterintuitive, particularly since the Timberwolves are a young, rebuilding team and have already dealt their 2012 first-rounder. The pick they have now is the lottery-protected pick acquired from the Utah Jazz. With no shot at a top pick, Minnesota knows it isn't about to acquire a franchise cornerstone. The question then becomes, how much solid young talent is too much solid young talent?

Young players need minutes and reps to develop, and therein lies the problem. Simply put, Minnesota already has a lot of good young prospects, and adding two more from the draft simply diminishes available playing time for all of them.

For a team like Minnesota, which has quickly moved into possible playoff contention in the highly competitive Northwest Division, it may be prudent to trade the pick for a more veteran component who can help the Wolves make a postseason run in 2012-13.