Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
As expected the Minnesota Timberwolves had a busy draft night. Unexpectedly, the Wolves didn't select at #9 and it wasn't because they moved up for Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore.
The Wolves came into the 2013 NBA Draft with four picks (two in each round). They finished the night with four selections (two in each round).
Here's how the first eight picks played out
1.) Anthony Bennett to Cleveland
2.) Victor Oladipo to Orlando
3.) Otto Porter to Washington
4.) Cody Zeller to Charlotte
5.) Alex Len to Phoenix
6.) Nerlens Noel to New Orleans then traded to Philadelphia
7.) Ben McLemore to Sacramento
8.) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Detroit
Then came the Wolves pick at #9 and suddenly their top three prospects were off the board (Oladipo, McLemore & Caldwell-Pope), so it seemed as though it was down to Lehigh's C.J. McCollum. I knew if it was anyone but him the Wolves would be involved in some type of trade. That was the case as Minnesota selected Michigan's Trey Burke at #9 and a few minutes later traded him to the division rival Utah Jazz for the 14th & 21st picks.
So, now armed with 14, 21, 26, 52 & 59 the Wolves had Sergey Karasev & Shabazz Muhammad as their likely targets with #14. I was honestly hoping for Karasev, but the Wolves went with Muhammad at #14.
Honestly, I'm not mad, I think he's a bit misunderstood and I think the culture in Minnesota won't allow him to be a knucklehead. The Wolves will keep/get him in line with the help of vets like Rubio, Love, Ridnour/Barea (assuming they're not traded) and of couse future Hall-of-Fame coach Rick Adelman. The Wolves are in desperate need of scoring from their two-guard and that's certainly the strongest point of Shabazz's game. If he doesn't play like Adelman wants him to, he simply won't--there will be other options: Alexey Shved, Luke/J.J. and potentially some players the Wolves trade for/sign in free agency. Unlike a lot of Wolves fans, I'm not furious with Shabazz in a TWolves uni.
With the 21st pick the Wolves take Gorgui Dieng. I REALLY like this pick. The first reason being it's almost a certainty that Greg Stiemsma won't be back with the Wolves in 2013-14. In Dieng the Wolves have some a bit more physical--the same height, a good shot-blocker and a big man who will actually fight for rebounds. Gorgui's offensive game is limited, but it's already an improvement on Gregs (which doesn't say much). It's not a sure thing that the Wolves let Stiemer go, but I'd be very surprised if he's on the team in 2013-14.
With two first-round selections (and therefore guaranteed money) it seemed very evident that the Wolves would now trade their final first-round pick (#26) and they did just that. They sent the 26th pick along with guard Malcolm Lee to the Golden State Warriors and received a future second-round pick and cash. The Wolves dump some guaranteed money in Lee, get a bit of cash and a future pick in the second round at some point down the road (uncertain when exactly, as of now).
With the 52nd pick the Wolves nabbed 6'5" point guard Lorenzo Brown and with the 59th pick took power forward Bojan Dubljevic of Montenegro. Brown is considered a first-round talent that slipped, while Bojan is a player that they'll stash overseas for a year or longer (or forever) in hopes he'll continue to develop.
In summary, this is the final tally on the night for Minnesota...
#14 pick: Shabazz Muhammad, F-G
#21 pick: Gorgui Dieng, C
#52 pick: Lorenzo Brown, G
#59 pick: Bojan Dubljevic, F-C
and the Wolves traded guard Malcolm Lee to the Golden State Warriors.
That's all for now, we'll have more analysis and individual breakdowns of the above four players over the next few days so stay tuned for those! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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