The Minnesota Timberwolves swapped their 18th overall pick in this year's NBA draft with the Houston Rockets in exchange for former Arizona Wildcat Chase Budinger, and the rights to Euro player, Lior Eliyahu.
Wolves head coach Rick Adelman knows he has a window of opportunity with this team, and the last thing he needs is another rookie. He already has former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, who might as well be a rookie still with the lockout-shortened season last year.
All-Star and franchise player Kevin Love is signed to a three-year deal. If the team is not competing seriously in the West by then, I am sure he will look at moving home to Los Angeles to be a Laker.
If Love does leave, Rubio won't be far behind. It is well known Rubio prefers a larger market. He is happy now, but that is because the Wolves are full of promise and hope.
For true Timberwolves fans, this is a story we know all too well. Hope and promise.
Budinger adds length to the already tall lineup. Standing 6'7", he can play shooting guard, but is naturally a wing. With the Timberwolves, Adelman will look for Budinger to be much more of a shooting guard. He shoots around 40 percent from the three, something that will be a huge help in Minnesota.
He also knows Adelman's offense well, so the transition should be quick. Rick Adelman is a very smart man. If he says Chase is better than any rookie they could get at 18, I have to believe him. Like all the great teams, you need pieces, not a bunch of stars. Our star power is set with Rubio, Love and D-Will.
In the second round, the team took Robbie Hummel, a scoring forward from Purdue. While Hummel's collegiate career was hampered with knee injuries, he is an elite-level scorer when he is healthy. As long as he passes his physical, he has a great shot at making the team.
The next step for Minnesota is to lure some free agents to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Overall, I will give them a grade of B- for the 2012 draft.
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