Thursday , Jun , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Minnesota Timberwolves 2006 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – Kevin Garnett trade rumors are probably going to dominate
Minnesota’s offseason, even though the Timberwolves have the sixth overall
pick in the draft and should be able to add an exciting player.

Minnesota, which lost in the 2003-04 Western Conference finals to Los Angeles
Lakers, missed the playoff for a second straight year. The Timberwolves
finished with a disappointing 33-49 record.

The 30-year-old Garnett led the Timberwolves in scoring (21.8 ppg) and
rebounding (12.7 rpg) during the 2005-06 campaign. He seems to have lost some
of his passion and is visibly frustrated with the state of his squad.

If Minnesota can add some talent it could rejuvenate Garnett. Ricky Davis, who
was acquired from Boston during the season in a trade that sent Wally
Szczerbiak to the Celtics, is a nice player. But the Timberwolves will not win
with Davis, who averaged 19.4 points in 78 games with Minnesota and Boston
last season, as their No. 2 option.

Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, Trenton Hassell, Troy Hudson and Marko Jaric are
all role players, while guard Rashad McCants showed a lot of potential during
his rookie campaign.

Garnett is not the problem in Minnesota. The Timberwolves need to surround
their All-Star forward with different players, and the draft is the right
place to start. An athletic forward that can score would be a nice complement
to Garnett. Connecticut’s Rudy Gay or Rodney Carney of Memphis would fit in
very nicely.

Minnesota also has three picks in the second round (36th, 37th, 57th). The
draft is the start of what should be a very busy offseason in Minnesota.

Key Player(s): Marcus Banks (Guard), Mark Blount (Center), Ricky Davis
(Guard), Kevin Garnett (Forward), Eddie Griffin (Forward), Trenton Hassell
(Guard), Troy Hudson (Guard), Marko Jaric (Guard), Rashad McCants (Guard).

Team Needs: Point guard, scoring forward and players with heart.

Draft picks: 1st round (6th overall), 2nd round (36th overall), 2nd round
(37th overall), 2nd round (57th overall).

MIN