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Minnesota Timberwolves Select Zach LaVine at No. 13

With the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Zach LaVine, a combo guard from UCLA.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves finished last season with 10th in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs for the 10th season in a row. The Wolves have been in the headlines for the last few weeks, as superstar forward Kevin Love has asked the team to trade him, or risk losing him in free agency next year. The Golden State Warriors are engaged in negotiations to acquire Love, but are reluctant to give up shooting guard Klay Thompson.

With the roster in flux, team president and head coach Flip Saunders selected  Zach LaVine with the 13th overall pick. LaVine is one of, if not the most explosive athlete in the draft. LaVine says that he can play point guard, but as of now, it’s not clear that is the case. His ball-handling needs work and at this point he is not a great decision maker. While LaVine needs to improve certain aspects of his game, it’s not hard to see why the Wolves selected him at 13.

LaVine is  6-foot-5, and 180 lbs, good size for a combo guard. At UCLA, LaVine averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and shot 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. LaVine started his freshmen season strong, but faded later on. While LaVine did not put up overly impressive numbers, his upside is off the charts. With Minnesota, he can grow alongside point guard Ricky Rubio, and fill in for Kevin Martin, who may be moved along with Kevin Love in the near future. Also, his three point shooting will be welcomed in Minnesota, as the Wolves were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league last season. At 19, LaVine may not be ready to make a major impact for the Wolves from day one, but could very well end up as one of the best players to come out of this draft down the line.

Jesse Blancarte is a Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders. He is also an Attorney and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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