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Wolves pick up Dante option, introduce new draft picks

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • June 28, 2013 - 1:27 PM

One day after they went through the formality of extending Nikola Pekovic a qualifying offer, the Wolves today pick up Dante Cunningham's $2.1 million option for next season.

That, too, was completely expected.

Reasonable price for a valuable guy who surprised last season.

No word yet, though, for sure on Andrei Kirilenko's decision to opt in for his $10.2 million next season.

The deadline is tomorrow.

Flip Saunders gave a clue what he thinks Kirilenko will do by trading down from the ninth pick in last night's wacky, wild draft and picking UCLA small forward Shabazz Muhammad with one of two mid-first round picks (14 and 21) he got from Utah.

Muhammad is insurance in case Kirilenko opts out and the Wolves don't pursue re-signing him -- they'd likely offer a two-year extension at an annual salary well less than $10M per -- when the NBA's free agency period begins late Sunday night.

Flip didn't seem completely convinced with that pick last night -- he admitted he has concerns about Muhammad, mostly attitude, team player, etc., -- but said it was important to get a guy they think can flat-out score especially after their preferred choices Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Cody Zeller all were gone by No. 9 on a night that started when Cleveland unexpectedly chose Anthony Bennett No. 1 and just got stranger from there.

Here's the story from last night's draft, you'll find it here.

The Wolves are bringing both Muhammad and No. 21 pick, shot-blocking big man Gorgui Dieng from NCAA champion Louisville, to Target Center this afternoon for an introductory news conference.

The presser will carried live on timberwolves.com and on WCCO-AM 830.

 

 

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