Original Pick: Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
All five of the top 5 picks in the 2019 NBA Draft turned out to be NBA starters, even if RJ Barrett and De’Andre Hunter don’t look like stars. The draft took a sharp turn for the worst at pick No. 6, however, as the Minnesota Timberwolves traded up to take a player in Jarrett Culver who is no longer in the league just four years later.
Instead, the Timberwolves get a do-over and select Cameron Johnson, the player they “technically” drafted on draft night on behalf of the Phoenix Suns. Johnson became a starter on a winning team in Phoenix before he was traded in the Kevin Durant deal to the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson has been one of the best shooters in this draft class, something that was expected as a college sniper but can never be known for certain. He came in as an old rookie and is already 27 years old, but he will be in his prime for his entire next contract, making that less of an issue for NBA teams given the level of his production. He is a shaky defender, but not a useless one, so he should be able to perform as a starter even on good teams.
The Minnesota Timberwolves would have had a lethal frontcourt pairing offensively between Johnson and Karl-Anthony Towns, although defense would have been an issue that likely kept Johnson coming off of the bench as he did for most of his Phoenix tenure. Interestingly, he’s a far better fit with current Wolves center Rudy Gobert.