Timberwolves Wheel and Deal on Draft Night; Land Controversial Player as First Pick
On NBA draft night, the Minnesota Timberwolves started with two picks in the first round. After players they wanted disappeared off the draft board, they decided to work a deal with the Utah Jazz and move down in the draft, while still getting two picks.
DuluthNewsTribune.com is reporting that The Jazz took UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad at No. 14 for Minnesota, giving the Timberwolves some size on the perimeter that they have been searching for to put next to point guard Ricky Rubio. The person who confirmed the deal spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because it had not been officially announced.
The Jazz then took Louisville center Gorgui Dieng at No. 21 for the Wolves.
Muhammad averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in his lone season at UCLA. He has the natural scoring instincts that the Wolves have lacked in recent seasons, but also carries with him some questions about his background that may have caused him to fall down the draft board.
The Timberwolves entered the night needing a shooting guard, but once the players they wanted were taken, they went to Plan B.
I expect the 'Wolves will look to free agency or a trade to fill the shooting guard spot that remains a glaring need. If Shabazz Muhammad can focus and become a team player, then the 'Wolves will have had a great draft.
Ultimately, this was a weak draft class which makes it the ultimate crap shoot.