Sid Hartman: Wittman impressed by draft possibilities

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2007 - 10:55 PM

The Wolves coach liked what he saw from big men Joakim Noah and Spencer Hawes in workouts, and also is interested in a group of small forwards.

The Wolves are looking for a big man who can rebound and complement Kevin Garnett, and they worked out two potential good ones Wednesday in Florida's Joakim Noah and Washington's Spencer Hawes.

"I liked what I saw," said coach Randy Wittman. "Hawes is a young kid that's going to have to develop his body a little bit from a strength standpoint, but has got great skills, great feet, great ability to score on the inside.

"And Joakim Noah is just a phenomenal athlete that can do a lot of the intangibles that any coach loves to see in a person. He runs the floor, he can defend just about any position, is a great energy guy, rebounder, slasher to the basket. So, he's a guy that presents a combination of doing all those little intangibles.

"Well, we need to get more athletic and bigger, and he's [Noah] big. He's a lot taller than people think watching him on TV. So, yeah, that's what we're trying to look to do from a standpoint of our team is getting bigger and more athletic, and he fits both those bills."

One good thing about this draft is there are a number of players who fit what the Wolves are looking for. They might not have another first-round draft choice for a while because they owe one to the Clippers and another to the Celtics for past trades.

"You've got some great small forwards in this draft," Wittman said. "Corey Brewer from Florida, Brandan Wright from North Carolina, Al Thornton from Florida State; you've got the kid from Georgetown, Jeff Green; all four of those guys are big threes. You know, I think the smallest of that group is 6-7, 6-7½, so that's another thing that we've talked about, getting bigger and quicker and more athletic, and those kind of guys can fit that bill, too."

The Wolves certainly can't afford to make a mistake on this draft.

Chad Ford of ESPN has the Wolves taking Brewer with the seventh overall pick.

Sichting back

Jerry Sichting, who served on the Timberwolves coaching staff under Flip Saunders, will return to coach on Witt-man's staff. Sichting served as a college assistant at Marquette last year.

Wittman is keeping two members of last year's staff, Bob Ociepka and Rex Kalamian, and will add one other coach.

Twins hitters in slump

Going into the final game of the Oakland/Los Angeles road trip on Wednesday, the Twins were hitting a dismal .193 as as a team.

Of the starters, only Luis Castillo at .300 and Jason Kubel at .357 were hitting above .200. Nick Punto was 0-for-13, Justin Morneau 2-for-19 (.105), Jeff Cirillo 1-for-8 (.125), Mike Redmond 2-for-14 (.143), Michael Cuddyer 3-for-19 (.158), Jason Bartlett 2-for-11 (.182) and Torii Hunter 3-for-16 (.188). The Twins scored only nine runs in the three games with the A's and the first two with the Angels.

Culpepper may be traded

According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel's website, former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper has been notified by Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron that the team is going in a different direction and wants to move Culpepper.

"They would like to trade me in order to get something for me," Culpepper said.

On another subject Culpepper said he had been cleared by Birmingham surgeon Dr. James Andrews to begin practicing.

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