Now that it looks like star power forward Kevin Love may have played his last game with the Minnesota Timberwolves, they need to focus on acquiring young talent to rebuild around.
The Timberwolves currently hold the 13th-overall selection in the first round of next week’s draft and could acquire more picks in a potential Love trade. The Boston Celtics, who are said to be interested in Love, hold the sixth-overall and 17th-overall picks while the Chicago Bulls, who are also expected to be a player, have the 16th-overall and 19th-overall picks.
If the Timberwolves do indeed decide to trade Love before the draft, they will likely look to select his replacement at some point in the draft. If they get their hands on the sixth-overall pick, they may be able to grab whichever player they view as the top pick in the draft. If not, there are still plenty of solid players available.
With a Kevin Love trade looking more likely, planning for a post-Love future has begun in Minnesota. At 23, Payne is as ready as any other player in the draft to step in and make an immediate impact. Payne is a prototypical stretch four who can hit threes, rebound and run the floor. He’s no Kevin Love, but Payne could fit in nicely with the Wolves.
Payne measured in at 6’9.75″ and 239 pounds with a very impressive wingspan of 7’4″ at the NBA’s Scouting Combine. He averaged 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 50.3% from the field, 42.3% from beyond the arc and 79.0% from the free throw line for the Spartans last season.