Wolves: Home would be just fine with Taylor

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2007 - 9:13 PM

The guard who grew up in Minneapolis hopes to entice the Timberwolves into making him a draft choice.

Kammron Taylor grew up in Minneapolis as a fan of the Timberwolves. It appears he kept up with the team even while playing basketball at the University of Wisconsin. The proof: Wednesday, after finishing a workout with the Wolves at the teams practice facility, Taylor made his pitch. He knows the Wolves, who will be picking 7th overall in the June 28 draft, also have the 41st pick.

"I want to get drafted," he said. "I don't care where I go. But if it's at No. 41 to the Timberwolves? That would be great."

Taylor has been working hard to put himself in a draftable position. After four seasons of consistent improvement with the Badgers, Taylor signed with Indianapolis-based agent Andrew "Buddy" Baker, who had several of his clients work out in the Indianapolis area in May. Former college head coach and NBA assistant Ed Schilling helped run those workouts, which were designed to help the players prepare for what they'd face when they were auditioning for teams in June.

That process has started in earnest. The Wolves' front office was in Orlando for the NBA's pre-draft camp, returned, then made a one-day trip to Florida to watch 24 players work out further. Wednesday the first group made its way to Target Center: Taylor, who graduated from Minneapolis North, Florida forward Joakim Noah, Washington center Spencer Hawes and Towson guard Gary Neal.

"I was in Indy for 2½ weeks, training with Schilling," Taylor said. "I kind of knew some of the drills we'd be doing. First drill we did today was something I'd been working on. I feel I was pretty well prepared."

Taylor knows he'll have to get some good word of mouth going to work himself onto draft boards around the NBA. The 6-2 guard was asked to be more of a scorer at Wisconsin. Most NBA teams will want to see if he can play more of a pure point-guard role.

"I have to be a little bit better playmaker," he said. "When I was in college, I didn't have high assists, but I didn't turn the ball over that much. I can be that kind of guy, a backup point guard who can knock down the open shot."

Everybody who will make their way through the Wolves workouts -- more players will be here Monday -- will have something to prove. Some more than others. Noah, a well-known member of a two-time NCAA champion, needs to show he can hit the mid-range jumper. Hawes, who is more athletic than some may think, has to get bigger, and he knows it: "My biggest weakness, is probably my weakness," he deadpanned.

The hard-working Neal needs to show he can make it as an undersized off-guard.

Taylor? He'd like to be drafted. But if he isn't, he wants to make enough of an impression that some team wants him in camp.

And if it worked out here?

"I grew up in Minneapolis ...," Taylor said. "I watched [Kevin Garnett] develop. It would be great."

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