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New Timberwolves forward Justin Patton hits town running

Timberwolves first-round pick Justin Patton met the Twin Cities media Tuesday afternoon with a news conference at the Loews Hotel.

Patton, the 16th overall selection in Thursday's NBA draft, was actually taken by the Chicago Bulls, but came to the Wolves in the Jimmy Butler deal.

 

 

Tom Thibodeau, Justin Patton and Scott Layden. Timberwolves photo.

Butler's introductory presser will be Thursday at the Mall of America.

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said GM Scott Layden came back from early-season scouting trip and said there was "a big guy from Creighton" they needed to keep their eye on.

Patton said his playmaking ability came from "growing up being a guard and ending up seven feet tall."

Patton was 6-2 when he started high school at Omaha North, but shot up to an official 6-11 by the time he graduated before attending the hometown college.

Thibodeau said the most NBA ready part of Patton's game are his hands and his ability to finish at the rim. He spent two years at Creighton, but was redshirted the first.

Creighton coach Doug McDermott tweeted this week that Patton had come a long way from selling funnel cakes at the College World Series three years ago ... but Patton said Tuesday, "It was nachos too -- can't forget about the nachos."

The Timberwolves sent Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick (forward Lauri Markkanen) to the Bulls for Butler and the 16th pick. Patton said he had dinner with Butler on Monday night.

Kent Youngblood had the draft night story on Patton's path through Creighton to the NBA.

Wolves waive veteran Jordan Hill

As expected, the Wolves waived veteran forward Jordan Hill in another move to clear salary-cap space before the NBA's free-agency period starts at 11 p.m. Central time.

The Wolves had a team option on Hill's $4.1 million salary for this coming season, the second year of a two-year deal he signed last summer.

Hill appeared in just seven games last season, made $4 million and played just 47 total minuets.

He also averaged 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds.

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