DIAMONDS DEEP IN THE DRAFT
Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders on Thursday challenged reporters to find productive players the NBA draft has delivered in the past six drafts with the 44th and 53rd picks he sold in that night’s draft. Only the 2009 draft produced such players, with current Wolves forward Chase Budinger at 44 and Toronto reserve guard Nando de Colo at 53. But drafts since 2008 also produced these players at 44th or beyond:
• Phoenix star guard Goran Dragic, 45th in 2008.
• NBA champion San Antonio Spurs key reserves Danny Green (46th in 2009) and Patty Mills (58th in 2009).
• Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas (60th and last in 2011).