Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 Draft Preview
By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor
(Sports Network) - No team in the NBA was more hindered by injuries than the Minnesota Timberwolves were in the 2012-13 season.
The only player to play in every game this season was Luke Ridnour.
Kevin Love, the franchise star, managed 18 games thanks to two separate, but intertwined hand injuries. Ricky Rubio got out there for 57 games after a torn ACL the season before.
Nikola Pekovic emerged as a bona fide NBA center, but even he missed time - 20 games. He is a restricted free agent who the Timberwolves expect to re-sign, if they had their druthers.
Point guard is not a problem for Minnesota with Rubio, Ridnour and J.J. Barea, a sparkplug off the bench.
Shooting is Minnesota's major weakness. The T'Wolves finished dead last in the NBA in 3-point shooting.
The Wolves have two picks in the first round and it's expected that ninth pick - their first - will go in the direction of shooting guard.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia is probably the most natural two-guard in the draft. He can shoot, but so can Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, who is a combo guard drawing some comparisons to NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard. Keep an eye on UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad. If Minnesota believes he's a two- guard, he could be the pick.
If the Wolves use the ninth pick on a shooter, expect them to go looking for size depth at No. 26. Jeff Withey, a legit 7-footer from Kansas, or France's Rudy Gobert might make sense.
Under Contract: F: Kevin Love; G: Brandon Roy; F: Derrick Williams; G: J.J. Barea; G: Luke Ridnour; G: Ricky Rubio; G: Alexey Shved C; Greg Stiemsma; G: Malcolm Lee; C: Chris Johnson; F: Mickael Gelabale; F: Andrei Kirilenko (player option); F: Dante Cunningham (team option)
Free Agents: C: Nikola Pekovic (restricted); F: Chase Budinger
Recent Draft History:
2012: Robbie Hummel (58)
2011: Derrick Williams (2), Donatas Motiejunas (20)
2010: Wesley Johnson (4), Luke Babbit (16), Trevor Booker (23), Paulo Prestes (45), Hamady Ndiaye (56)
2009: Ricky Rubio (5), Jonny Flynn (6), Ty Lawson (18), Wayne Ellington (28),
Nick Calathes (45), Henk Norel (47)
2008: O.J. Mayo (3), Nikola Pekovic (31), Mario Chalmers (34)
Draft picks: 1st round (9th, 26th overall), 2nd round (52nd, 59th overall)
06/24 10:27:32 ET