The NBA draft is but 15 days away and the Timberwolves continue to evaluate players both here at the downtown training facility and afar at "pro days" organized for NBA teams by agents.




On Wednesday, Texas big man Jarrett Allen was in town for a 90-minute individual workout after he dined with Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau and the team's coaching staff Tuesday night.

He fits the profile of players the Wolves interviewed at the combine in Chicago last month and have brought to town in a process they try to make highly secretive: Long, athletic, agile and able to defend both the perimeter when switching screens and at the rim.

"That's the way the game is going now," Allen said by phone after today's workout.

He's projected as a mid first-round pick and thus is unlikely to go as high as the Wolves' seventh overall pick, but they could trade down or make a trade to acquire another first-round pick.

Allen said he thinks he can be drafted anywhere from 10th to 20, but sure wouldn't mind No. 7.

"They seemed pretty interested in me," said Allen, a 19-year-old who played one season at Texas. "But you know on draft night, you never know what's going to happen. You just have to wait and see."

The Wolves likely will choose from Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, possibly Gonzaga's Zach Collins or a player such as Duke's Jayson Tatum, Kentucky's Malik Monk or one of as many as five point guards who could go among the draft's top 10 picks.

Allen worked out in Atlanta and Phoenix before arriving in Minneapolis for his first visit to Minnesota and is headed to Denver and Sacramento from here. He expects to work out for teams right up until shortly before the June 22 draft.

He'll also interview with each team on everything from basketball to the computer that Allen built when he was in high school and still uses from time to time.

"All the teams know what I can bring, they just want to see it in front of them," Allen said. "I bring a level of athleticism for a big man, being able to block shots, guard guards, run up and down the court. I just bring a presence on defense."

And you all know how Thibodeau feels about defense. Allen dined with Thibodeau Tuesday night and met with him after today's workout.

"Each team brings something a little bit different," Allen said. "It's fun meeting all the coaching staffs, seeing how the facilities are. It's just a good experience. The coaches here at dinner, we just clicked and the facilitiy here, it's a top-notch facility. I feel like I could be a good fit here."

Allen follows center Myles Turner out of Texas, two years after Indiana drafted Turner 11th overall. He quickly found NBA success there.

Allen said Turner's success just might change how NBA scouts look at him.

"You heard some people say Myles Turner wasn't ready," he said. "There are some similarities between me and Myles. I think he changed some people's views."

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