Saunders says trade offers haven't been enough to 'get excited about'
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A storm of phone calls have been coming in and out of Flip Saunders' Target Center office as the lead-up to the NBA Draft reaches its final days.
But the Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations insists there have been no offers made to convince him to move out of his position in the draft order at No. 9.
"There's been offers, but nothing intriguing enough to get excited about," Saunders said Monday, addressing the media one last time before the June 27 draft. "Some things will happen over the next 48/72 hours. Usually nothing really is going to happen until the day of or the day before when you have a better idea where everybody is going."
Saunders has kept to a similar stance in the last several weeks, stating that the cost to move up may be outweigh the benefits, especially with this year's largely mediocre draft field.
The Wolves have concluded their run of predraft workouts, having seen all the players they are considering. Potential top-10 picks Victor Oladipo, C.J. McCollum, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Cody Zeller and Shabazz Muhammad have all worked out with the Wolves in the last two weeks.
The speculating and projecting is ramping up in regards to pegging what the Wolves will do with their pick at No. 9, which in turn will affect how they approach their second selection at No. 26 overall.
Rumors have swirled in regards to the Wolves potentially trading away a player such as forward Derrick Williams in order to move up into the top-5, possibly positioning themselves to grab Indiana's Oladipo.
Saunders, however, points to the lack of a certifiable top-pick as part of the reason trading up may be far too risky.
"There are good players in this draft, but right now there aren't impact players," Saunders said. What I mean by that is there is no one you can look at in the draft that you can say that within two years they're going to be an All-Star, like Kyrie Irving was. In order for you to move up and dilute your talent pool on your roster you have to get an impact-type player."
Caldwell-Pope's name has been floated in numerous recent mock drafts as the Wolves' target with the ninth pick, given the team's need to add a versatile, sharp-shooting two-guard. McCollum, who averaged 21.2 point per game in his four years at Lehigh, has also been suggested as a possibility, but he may already be off the board by the time the Wolves are up.
"We need shooting, but we want a multi-purpose player," Saunders said. "We want a two-way player. We don't want a player who is just a shooter. We want a player who can defend, can shoot, can make plays and get out and run in the open floor."
• While he declined to include a name, Saunders brought up unprompted that there was one player that the Wolves won't consider picking "based on his character" and based on the interaction the prospect had with Saunders and his staff when he was in town to work out for the team.
• Tony Mitchell, a 6-foot-9, 236-pound power forward prospect out of North Texas, worked out for Saunders and the Wolves on Monday. It was the Wolves' final predraft workout. Mitchell, who averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in his two years at North Texas, is a possibility for the Wolves at No. 26.