When guard Jaylen Nowell was watching Thursday's draft, he didn't quite know what to expect from the Timberwolves at pick No. 43.

Nowell had not worked out with the Wolves, but he still got the phone call that he was joining the organization.

"Honestly, I was at a loss for words …" Nowell said on a conference call Friday. "I didn't really know what to say but 'Thank you.' I'm very honored to be a part of the Timberwolves. It's going to be a really exciting journey."

Nowell played two years at Washington, where he blossomed into the Pac 12 Player of the Year thanks in part to his increased scoring efficiency. He shot 50% a season ago, including 44% from three-point range. He can score from outside and off the dribble and said he was comfortable initiating the offense.

"The way I increased my shooting throughout the last year was really just reps in practice that whole summer," Nowell said. "I wanted to bring my three-point percentages up, just my percentages in general. It was just countless hours of shooting from all different spots in the gym."

The extra year in college helped him grow his game all around, not just his shooting. Nowell also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game.

"That was something that I really wanted to stay for," Nowell said. "I felt like an extra year of college for me was going to do a lot for me, as far as growing in my game.

"That's really what I wanted to do, playmaking. I came in as a freshman as just a scorer. I wanted to open up and widen my game."

Nowell said he hopes to bring his playmaking ability to the Wolves, whether he begins on the roster or in the G-League at Iowa. He compared his game to that of the Wizards' Bradley Beal and the Jazz's Mike Conley. He sees himself as a combo guard who could score and distribute.

"This is a business where nothing is given," Nowell said. "Whatever is given to me is something that I've earned. I'm going to come in and work my hardest. Whatever happens, will happen."

Ex-Gopher Murphy gets summer league spot

Jordan Murphy, the Gophers' all-time rebounding leader, signed to play for the Wolves' summer league team, a source confirmed Friday to the Star Tribune. The Wolves will open summer league play July 5 in Las Vegas and will also have preliminary-round games on July 7, 8 and 10, the team announced.

An All-Big Ten first-team selection, Murphy averaged 14.4 points, a Big-Ten high 11 rebounds and 2.6 assists his senior year. Murphy is healthy again after being limited to just four minutes with a back injury in his final college game in the U's NCAA tournament second-round loss to Michigan State in Des Moines in March.


• After the draft, the Wolves signed LSU's Naz Reid to a two-way contract, a source confirmed. The 6-10 Reid averaged 13.6 points per game in his lone season at LSU, shooting 47% from the floor and 33% from three-point range. The Wolves also were planning to sign Syracuse guard Tyus Battle to an Exhibit 10 contract, a source confirmed.

• President Gersson Rosas continued to make staff changes. Assistant general manager Noah Croom was among multiple staff members who won't be retained as their contracts expire, a source said. Croom was hired by the Wolves in 2016.

Staff writer Marcus Fuller contributed to this report.