According to someone who should know, Kentucky guard Jamal Murray wants to play for the Timberwolves.
This comes according to Wildcats coach John Calipari, who did a pre-draft conference call to talk about the four Kentucky players likely to be taken in Thursday’s draft – Murray, Alex Poythress, Skal Labissiere and Tyler Ulis.
As for Murray, his high-scoring, versatile guard?
He wants to come here, according to his coach.
That info came up when Calipari was asked how Murray would fit with Karl-Anthony Towns, the Kentucky Wildcat taken by the Wolves with the No. 1 overall pick last year.
“Who is Mr. Towns?’ Calipari joked. “That KAT kid? OK, well, here’s what I would say. [Wolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau] and I are great friends. He helped my career, helped me basketball-wise and every other way. I’m a big fan of Thibs. Jamal? I’m saying this to you and no one else. He loves Minnesota. As a matter of fact, that’s where he’d like to go.’’
How often have you heard that about the Timberwolves franchise in the last decade-plus? Just another sign of the times.
Whether or not Murray will be there at No. 5, when the Wolves pick comes up – and how, exactly, Thibodeau feels about Murray -- is unclear.
But this is: Murray is big (6-5, 201), physical, can hit the three and attack the rim.
“I like these kids when they’re the No. 1 pick because the No. 1 pick should end up coming here,” said Calipari, who had players go 1-2 in the 2012 draft with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. “So yeah, I like it. But these kids are also smart. And he looked at that situation and said, ‘They need me and I’d love to be there.’ And he’s met Karl and been around Karl and knows what a great kid he is. I’m not saying Thibs has to take him. But I know that’s what Jamal likes, that situation: The young guys and what they have and what he’d ad to that team.’’