The Minnesota Timberwolves select Shannon, cleared of charges, following the Blazers’ choice of Clingan

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Donovan Clingan in NBA Draft

The Minnesota Timberwolves were focused on keeping their main players together after reaching the Western Conference finals. They couldn’t improve the team through free agency or trades.

On Wednesday night, they made moves in the NBA draft. They traded with San Antonio to get Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham with the eighth overall pick. Then, they finished a successful first round by picking Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. at No. 27.

The Timberwolves wanted more scoring off the bench, especially through shot creation and faster play. They found a promising backup point guard in Dillingham without giving away any current players. They also added a dynamic scorer in Shannon with their original draft pick.

A trade two years ago for Rudy Gobert used up their future first-round picks. Plus, high salaries for Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and others put the Timberwolves over the salary cap and into the luxury tax.

Terrence Shannon Jr.

“We believe we have a chance. We’re in a strong position, so now is not the time to back down,” said Tim Connelly, president of basketball operations. “Adding a talent like this through trades would be difficult without trading away core players.”

Dillingham, who is only 19 years old, will join the Timberwolves after they agreed to send a 2031 first-round pick and swap first-rounders in 2030 with the Spurs. San Antonio had the fourth pick and took UConn’s Stephon Castle.

Despite being small at 6-foot-1 and 164 pounds, Dillingham is a proven scorer. He averaged 15.2 points in 23.3 minutes per game at Kentucky and made 44.4% of his 3-point shots.

“He’s someone who will have a role and responsibility right away. It won’t be easy, but you don’t draft someone in the top 10 if you don’t think they can contribute immediately,” Connelly said.


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