Shooting or size -- will Wolves have to choose?

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 19, 2013 - 1:22 PM

Filling the 2-guard hole may mean choosing priorities.


The Timberwolves enter next week’s NBA draft needing to add both size and shooting in their backcourt.

Does one need trump the other?

That’s the question they pondered Wednesday, when Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum came to Target Center for an individual workout after the team already evaluated six other players in a group session.

McCollum is considered one of the best shooters in the group, a guy who invites comparisons to Golden State’s Steph Curry — sorry, Wolves fans — not only because of his small-school pedigree but also because of his sweet stroke.

He also stands a touch over 6-3 in his sneakers, which would make point guard Ricky Rubio the tallest member of the backcourt if they played together.

“You want guys who can play,” Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.

Saunders harped all last season when he worked as a commentator for ESPN that you can’t win in the NBA if you don’t make three-point shots.

“I think we’re seeing that right now in the Finals more than anything,” he said.

Now he has taken over a team that finished last in the league in three-point shooting last season, with a 30.5 percentage.

McCollum shot 51.6 percent from college three-point distance last season in 12 games before he broke his foot in January. He said at last month’s Chicago draft combine that he considers himself more point guard than shooting guard, although he can play both.

According to Saunders, McCollum wouldn’t pick a position when asked which he is.

“It’s not what you play, it’s who you can guard,” Saunders said. “I think he can guard 2s [shooting guard]. They are certain 2s in our league no one can guard, no matter how big, how quick, how strong you are.”

McCollum, who played all four years of college ball but won’t turn 22 until September, participated in his seventh pre-draft workout Tuesday and has one more scheduled. He said he has already worked out at Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento and Denver among the eight teams that will select ahead of the Wolves’ ninth pick.

The Wolves already have, by Saunders’ estimation, five point guards on the roster. Why another one?

“They were last in the NBA three-point percentage for starters, and I’m a pretty good shooter,” McCollum said. “It all depends on team needs. Obviously, they have a really good point guard here in Ricky Rubio. The need is the 2-guard position, another guy who can knock down shots, score and help Kevin Love out down low. I feel like I’m that guy.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston 2 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Toronto 2 Bottom 9th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Miami 2
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Cleveland 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 0
Arizona 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Colorado 1
Philadelphia 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Diego 1
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Qtr 3:29
Atlanta 35
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 10 3rd Qtr 4:04
(20) Kansas State 7
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question