Timberwolves first-round draft pick Justin Patton's development, particularly next season, is going to be interesting on a lot of levels. He's a 20-year-old who is now almost a full foot taller than he was during his freshman year of high school. He played only one season at Creighton (after a redshirt year), surprising pretty much everyone with his progress.
Patton's game is built more around potential than the here and now, though that's not to say he's totally raw. When I asked Wolves head coach/personnel boss Tom Thibodeau what the most NBA-ready part of Patton's game is, he had no hesitation when talking about Patton's hands and ability to finish above the rim. Even though that's perhaps not a unique skill for an NBA player, it's a useful one.
The Timberwolves, starting this year, have their own developmental team in Des Moines, but they also might want — and need — Patton's minutes in Minnesota.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. email@example.com.