Wesley Johnson works out for the team, Kahn hopeful Cousins will come in for a workout, draft workouts scheduled for this morning, summer league schedule announced and more
At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds with a feathery touch from outside and a knack for rebounding, Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson has many of the attributes that the Timberwolves are looking for in this year's draft.
Another factor that certainly can't hurt his chances? Johnson actually wants to play in Minnesota.
Johnson worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday night and said he would love to be drafted by a team that won just 15 games last season and plays in a city that spends about four months of the year buried under snow and ice. Johnson transferred to Syracuse from Iowa State and grew to be close friends with Jonny Flynn, the Orange point guard who was drafted by the Wolves sixth overall last year.
"I would love to come here," the 23-year-old Johnson said. "I really would. Especially with Jonny here. I've met a lot of the people, the coaching staff, and they're wonderful people. I think I would be a good fit here."
And Flynn was on hand Tuesday, when Johnson became the first potential candidate for the Wolves' No. 4 overall selection to be put through the ringer at Target Center. The workout ended a little early because Johnson was battling a sore toe, but Kahn indicated he came away impressed.
"He's got a beautiful stroke," Kahn said. "He has almost a classic basketball body. Good height. I thought he picked up things up very quickly during the workout. He clearly can run, which is important to all of us in terms of how we want to play."
Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors is scheduled to work out for the Wolves on Thursday, and Kahn said he remains hopeful Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins will change his mind and make a visit as well before the June 24 draft.
"You never know who else might come in," Kahn said. "I know that we will have an opportunity to draft a very, very good player at No. 4, whoever that player may be."
Though impressed with Johnson and his workout, Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn was not ready to call NBA Commissioner David Stern to announce Johnson as the Wolves' pick. Kahn remained consistent with his pre-draft stance that it's "way too early" to project what the club will do.
Even if Washington takes Kentucky guard John Wall at No. 1 and Ohio State swingman Evan Turner goes to Philadelphia at No. 2, followed by Kentucky center-forward DeMarcus Cousins at No. 3 to New Jersey, Kahn did not offer assurances that Johnson would be the Wolves' choice at No. 4.
"I'm pleased he sees an opportunity here, but it's still our decision," Kahn said of Johnson's interest in coming to the Wolves.
Jonah Ballow: Let's talk about your strengths a little bit, we know you are a big physical guy who can play multiple positions, what are you going to bring to an NBA team next season?
Wes Johnson: I will bring my versatility, playing inside and out could really help any team I could be drafted by but really just come to the organization and do what the team and the coaches tell me to do and then play with my strengths and have a great impact.
Wes Johnson was in Minn Monday. Heard he wowed everyone ... not only with his basketball skills, but he's a really great kid. A lock at 4.
Georgia Tech freshman power forward Derrick Favors is due at Target Center for a workout Thursday.
Kentucky freshman center DeMarcus Cousins is balking at coming to Minneapolis for a visit because his agent sees a Timberwolves frontcourt already filled with young big men, but Wolves boss David Kahn said he's hopeful Cousins will change his mind before next Thursday's draft.
Kahn also hopes Ohio State guard Evan Turner -- the draft's consensus second overall pick after Washington takes Kentucky point guard John Wall on draft night -- will visit for a workout in the coming week.
More draft workouts tomorrow AM: Solomon Alabi, Damian Johnson, Jerome Jordan, Daniel Orton, Artem Zabelin, Brian Zoubek
Kentucky's Daniel Orton pulls out of #Timberwolves workout Wednesday morning
From Todd Rosiak/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Lazar Hayward
The Minnesota Timberwolves were also trying to schedule a workout for him, even though he took part in a mass workout open to all NBA teams in the Twin Cities a few weeks back.
From the Timberwolves site:
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team's schedule for the 2010 NBA Summer League, which will run from July 9-18 in Las Vegas. All 58 summer league games will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus in either the Thomas & Mack Center or the COX Pavilion.
On if he believes that the Wolves can succeed with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love playing together:
"Not for extended minutes, no. I don’t believe that. Particularly when matchups become so critically important in the playoffs and you look at athleticism, speed, quickness, length, teams that can shoot from the outside, it just makes it very difficult. They’re basically two power forwards…. We still feel like they are integral parts of our team, but we know that we need to add pieces."
Former UCLA All-American Kevin Love, who's now playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, loved Wooden. He'd been to his house, had breakfast with him and chatted with him on the phone.
He played at UCLA for one season, but while there he would use the phrase "What Would Wooden Do?" in interviews.
"That's a fun saying to me," Love said. "It's about trying to emulate Coach Wooden the best you can. We know he would've wanted things done the right way."