Wolves intrigued by Shabazz Muhammad's scoring - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Wolves intrigued by Shabazz Muhammad's scoring


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn (AP) -- No, Flip Saunders isn't comparing Shabazz Muhammad to Michael Jordan.

And no, the Minnesota Timberwolves' president of basketball operations didn't heavily tip his 2013 NBA draft-day hand Sunday morning.

Muhammad's pre-draft workout with the Timberwolves does, however, offer up the small forward position as potential top-pick material when June 27 gets here.

Tunnel vision eyeing only positional needs can be detrimental, Saunders said.

"You're gonna take your best player, when it comes down to it," Saunders said from the Target Center's Lifetime Fitness center Sunday following an 8:30 a.m., 3-on-3 scrimmage and shooting session. "You have needs, and you want to try to get needs, but if there's somebody you feel is going to be a top-flight guy, then you take him."

The late former Portland Trail Blazers general manager Stu Inman surely would agree.

In 1984, U.S. Olympic coach Bob Knight told his friend Inman it'd be foolish not to snag Jordan with the No. 2 overall pick. But Portland already had a pair of top-notch guards in Clyde Drexler and Jim Paxson, prompting Inman to tell Knight the Blazers' true need was at center.

"Then play Jordan at center," Knight infamously retorted.

But Inman went with big man Sam Bowie at No. 2. The Kentucky product went on to miss more than half of four different seasons and averaged 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in a largely forgotten career.

Jordan did a little better.

So it's with caution, then, that Saunders is broaching the topic of Minnesota's desires for an effective outside shooter. The obviously gaping hole is at shooting guard, especially if Saunders can re-sign restricted free agent Chase Budinger. There's a prime chance the Timberwolves take a two with the No. 9 overall pick -- Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are the two front-running options -- or try and trade up for Indiana's Victor Oladipo, whom Saunders watched work out Friday morning in Washington D.C.

Unless there's someone who's far-and-away more talented on the board, regardless of what spot he occupies on the floor.

"If you think somebody has a chance to be a really, really good player in this league for a long time, even if it's not one of your needs," Saunders said, "then you have to go that way and then you have to re-form your roster a little bit."

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