Wolves say they’re keeping No. 2, for now

The Minnesota Timberwolves appear content to sit at No. 2 and

draft a player on June 23 – for now.

Minnesota assistant general manager Tony Ronzone said Friday

that the Timberwolves are leaning toward keeping the second pick,

even though they’re getting a lot of phone calls with offers from

teams looking to move up.

”I say right now we’re keeping two,” Ronzone said after

working out several lower-tiered free agents. ”And we really like

where we’re at at 2.”

With Ricky Rubio signing a contract earlier this week to come to

Minnesota next season, Ronzone was asked if the Wolves were going

to hold onto the No. 2 pick. While saying that they were

comfortable at No. 2 and they were planning on keeping it, things

could change.

He said the Wolves like their options at No. 2, even though the

youngest team in the league needs veteran leadership on its roster.

He also said ”that’s where we are today,” leaving open the

possibility that they could trade the pick if the right offer came

along.

The Wolves finished with the worst record in the NBA, but their

poor luck in the lottery continued this year when the Cleveland

Cavaliers leapfrogged them to get the top pick. The Cavaliers are

expected to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with that pick,

leaving Arizona forward Derrick Williams there for the Wolves at

No. 2.

But Ronzone said he didn’t think Irving to Cleveland was a

foregone conclusion.

”I think it’s still open,” he said. ”I think 1-2-3-4 is open.

Could go any direction. Eye of the beholder, and what teams are

there. It will be an exciting draft day, and it will be a lot of

movement.”

Whether the Wolves move could depend on what happens at No. 1.

With the youngest roster in the league, the Wolves badly need a

strong veteran presence on the roster. They could use that second

pick as the big chip to get a quality veteran from another team

looking to move up in the draft.

The Timberwolves will workout Williams and power forward/center

Enes Kanter on June 16 and San Diego State swingman Kawhi Leonard

on June 20, among other workouts.

Ronzone declined to comment on Rubio’s decision to sign. The

Timberwolves have not publicly announced Rubio is coming because

they are waiting for the 20-year-old point guard to finish playing

for his team in the Spanish league finals.

But he did speak about Rubio’s game in general, specifically the

perception that his game has regressed over the last two seasons

playing in Regal Barcelona.

”All I know is the kid is a winner,” Ronzone said. ”He wins,

and he’s 20 years old. And he contines to win, and his team is in

the finals of the playoffs right now. That’s the way I look at him.

He’s just a winner, bottom line.”

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