Trade with Jazz lands Wolves with Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Trey Burke with the ninth-overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night, but the point guard didn't remain property of the team for long.
Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders mounted a trade with the Utah Jazz that dealt Burke in exchange for the 14th and 21st picks in the first round.
Utah went on to use the 14th pick on UCLA guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad, who is 6-6, 225 pounds, was the Pac-12 co-freshman of the year last season after being a top recruit and ranked fourth in the conference in scoring in 2012-13. He averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.
The Jazz then picked up Louisville center Gorgui Dieng (6-11, 245 pounds) for the Wolves at No. 26. Dieng spent three seasons at Louisville and was named the Big East defensive player of the year as a junior. He ranks second all-time in school history with 267 blocked shots and first with 128 blocked shots in a single season. That came during his sophomore season.
Dieng averaged a career-high 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2012-13.
Muhammad found himself the subject of a controversy last March when the Los Angeles Times reported that Muhammad's birth certificate showed he was born Nov. 13, 1992, making him 20 years old. His age had been listed and reported as 19 throughout the season. UCLA changed Muhammad's year of birth from 1993 to 1992 after the Times report.
"He's a natural scorer. He's gonna find a way. He's gonna score," Wolves new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said when Muhammad came to Minneapolis for a group workout on June 16.
"You can put him in the gym with whoever's playing, he's gonna find a way to get 14, 15 points somehow. That's just what he does. It might not be the prettiest way he does it, but he's gonna find a way. And ... that's a given talent."
Saunders said this week he would not use the pick on a point guard because the team was so deep at that position.
The Wolves wanted Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope but he was taken eighth overall by the Detroit Pistons. The Wolves passed on guard C.J. McCollum of Lehigh and he went 10th overall to Portland.
Burke, who is 6-feet, 190 pounds, averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists in 39 games last season as a sophomore for the Wolverines. He helped Michigan reach the national title game and its first Final Four since 1993.
Burke ranked in the top-10 all-time at Michigan in assists after only two seasons and set a single-season record for assists (260) in 2012-13.