The Timberwolves selected Arizona forward Derrick Williams with the second pick in Thursday night's NBA draft and vowed to keep him. It was the most obvious, simple, sensible decision they could have made. After that? Hang on to your flying hat. Outfitted with the 20th pick as well Thursday, the Wolves traded down repeatedly; dealt away point guard Jonny Flynn; raised cash by selling two second-round picks they acquired; bought another; and completed a total of six trades that left their fans exhausted by all the maneuvering and left them with Williams, UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, veteran center Brad Miller, an obscure prospect from Congo named Targuy Ngombo, Memphis' protected 2013 first-round pick and three future second-rounder. All the trades are contingent upon league approval as the Wolves worked on the specifics far into the night. When it was all over, somebody suggested to team President David Kahn that it sure looked like he made all those moves -- including four cash transactions -- to raise money to pay $4 million owed to not-yet-fired coach Kurt Rambis, an expected move that Kahn refused to talk about. "I'll talk about it when there's news to share," Kahn said, "and there's simply not news to share at this time." Now, about that perception ... "No, c'mon, that's ..." Kahn said. "First of all, we're adding two 20-year-old players this week [Williams and Ricky Rubio]. We have a painfully young team. So I had great reticence to add rookie after rookie after rookie to a team that frankly needs a few veterans. If you keep adding young players, you run out of roster space." So the Wolves took Williams after Cleveland chose Duke guard Kyrie Irving first, and then they went to work, trading away Flynn to Houston and making deal after deal with the Rockets, Chicago, Miami, New Jersey and Portland. When it was all done, the Wolves possessed Williams with the second overall pick, Lee with the 43rd and Ngombo with the 57th.
This much is clear: Williams is on his way
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Jun 24