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Draft countdown: Target Center workouts begin

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • May 23, 2011 - 1:33 AM

Back from the Chicago draft combine, the Wolves' scouting staff on Sunday night started looking at players down in their Target Center basement training facility.

They started Sunday by taking a look at mostly local prospects -- including Gophers guard Blake Hoffarber, former Gophers forward Paul Carter and Minnesota State-Mankato forward Cameron Hodges -- in what traditionally has become a goodwill gesture.

They also brought Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen and Iowa State center Jamie Vanderbeken.

Things get more serious Monday and Tuesday when they hold group workouts that will bring reps from as many as 27 NBA teams to town to look at four sessions of players featuring mostly late first-round and second-round prospects.

David Kahn wasn't back in town for Sunday night's workout, but he is expected to be Monday.

Kurt Rambis is not expected to be there, however, just like he wasn't in Chicago for player interviews, workouts and testing.

So when are you going to know who will coach this team next season, you ask?

Who knows?

Probably within the next two weeks, maybe as soon as this week.

For those wondering whether the Wolves possibly could go into the draft without a coach for the second time in three years....well, yes, it's quite possible.

Someone asked in the last posting who is evaluating these prospects: Assistant GM Tony Ronzone is running the point with scouts Pete Philo, J.T. Prada, Milt Barnes as well as Rob Babcock, Zarko Durisic and J.B. Bickerstaff contributing.

Interestingly, Bickerstaff is the only Wolves' assistant coach I saw in Chicago last week.

Monday's group includes Providence guard Marshon Brooks, UCLA's Tyler Honeycut, Wisconsin forward (and Orono's own) John Leuer, Butler's Shelvin Mack and USC Nikola Vucevic.

Vucevic impressed in Chicago and Brooks is a player the Wolves will seriously consider with their 20th overall pick if he's still there.

Tuesday's group includes Kansas' Josh Selby and Markieff Morris, Michigan State's Kalin Lucas and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson.

The Wolves will invite the draft's top six or seven players -- guys they will consider with that No. 2 overall pick -- to town in mid June and also will bring in more players they will consider with that second first-round pick.

It's very conceivable that Duke's Kyrie Irving will decline the invitation if its appears certain that Cleveland will take him No. 1 overall.

That might be far from the given that it's being assumed to be, though. With the Nos. 1 and 4 picks overall, the Cavs just might decide as the draft approaches to go big with that first pick -- Arizona's Derrick Williams or Turkish center Enes Kanter -- knowing they could get their point guard to groom behind Baron Davis at No. 4 with either Kentucky's Brandon Knight or UConn's Kemba Walker.

If Irving doesn't come to Minnesota, the team's brass might travel to Miami to work him out.

Here are the other players expected at Target Center the next two days:

Monday: Oakland F/C Keith Benson, Boston College G Reggie Jackson, Tulsa G Cory Joseph, UCLA G Malcolm Lee, Purdue G E'Twaun Moore, Maryland F Jordan Williams.

Tuesday: Oregon C Mike Dunigan, Notre Dame G Ben Hansbrough, Washington F Justin Holiday, Georgia G Travis Leslie, Michigan G Darius Morris, Florida F Chandler Parson and VCU F Jamie Skeen.

 

 

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