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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-05-28

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-05-28

Minnesota Timberwolves Getting Inside 2008-05-28
Sixteen years ago, the Timberwolves finished with the NBA's worst record and selected Christian Laettner third overall in a draft that featured difference makers Shaquille O'Neal first and Alonzo Mourning second.

The year before that 1992 draft, the Wolves fell to the seventh pick in a draft considered six solid prospects deep and went home with Luc Longley after Larry Johnson, Kenny Anderson, Dikembe Mutombo and Steve Smith, among others, had already been selected.

The year after that 1992 draft, the Wolves chose troubled Isaiah Rider fifth in a draft considered four players deep. They have often been disappointed and have never beaten the odds their first 11 times in the league's annual game of chance.

The 12th try wasn't any different. The Wolves got the third pick -- just what they deserve -- in the Draft Lottery during a year when Kansas State forward Michael Beasley and Memphis guard Derrick Rose are the two big prizes.

Assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg believes this draft contains seven dependable prospects.

"I think we're going to get a player who will help this roster right away regardless of where we pick," Hoiberg said. "This is a big year to move up. There are a couple of players who I think could really help accelerate the building process, but even if we don't get one of the top two picks, still think there are some players who'd fit well with the players we have. Even if we pick sixth, I'm confident we can get a player who can come in and make an immediate impact."

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Two home victories over Phoenix P.S. (Pre-Shaq O'Neal), including one in January that was the second victory in a stretch when the Wolves won five of seven games after they started the season 5-34. Those transforming games included a victory at Golden State and home victories over the Suns, New Jersey, Chicago and the Los Angeles Clippers.

TURNING POINT: July 31, 2007. The date of the Kevin Garnett trade, when the Wolves traded their last three seasons of mediocrity for a big step backward that evoked the team's early expansion days. The Wolves lost 60 games (22-60) for the first time since Garnett was drafted in 1995. Until then, the Wolves had lost 60 or more games in five of their first six seasons.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: May 28, 2008


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