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STEELE SPORTS

Meet the T-Wolves 2022 draft class
By
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor
Johnnie Phillips, editor, sports, Steele County Times

As the Timberwolves' 2021-2022 season came to a close with a first-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota fans have had to wait nearly two months to get their fix of exciting news from their squad.

With the NBA draft taking place on June 23, the Timberwolves officially began their road to the 2022-2023 season, and along with it brought in some exciting new faces to the squad.

Personally, I am a fan of all of the squad's picks, especially its first-round selections.

Highlighting the pack was 22nd-overall pick Walker Kessler, a 7-foot-1-inch big man from Auburn University.

After years of watching Karl-Anthony Towns dominate the paint for the Timberwolves as a one-man wrecking crew, the squad’s fan-favorite player will now have the opportunity to be relieved of his duties as Kessler enters the fold.

Kessler – the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the year – will enter his freshman season in the NBA after setting the Auburn single-season blocks record and leading the NCAA in blocks in 2021-2022 with 155 shot rejections to his name.

Kessler is not just a one-trick pony either.

The Auburn product is also an efficient shooter who knocked down 60.8% of his field goals last season while also keeping a respectable 20% three-point shooting mark.

Rounding out the first round for the Timberwolves was 29th-overall pick Wendell Moore Jr. who will also vie for minutes with the big club this season.

At 6-foot-5-inches, Moore Jr. should slot into his usual small forward position that he played at Duke, however, the rookie could also slot into multiple different combination positions based on an individual game basis.

Moore Jr. is about as well-rounded of a player as you can find in an NBA Draft first-round pick as the three-year Blue Devil veteran finished his final season averaging 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

In the second round of the draft, Minnesota opted to select Memphis power forward Josh Minott with the 45th-overall pick and Italian guard Matteo Spagnolo with the 50th-overall pick.

While both athletes are expected to not immediately join the Timberwolves' active roster, the club has said that it is optimistic about the future development of its two second-round picks.

Aside from the draft, the only other major buzz regarding the team is the possibility of the squad moving guard D’Angelo Russel this offseason via trade.

No matter the case, I am a fan of all of the moves that the Timberwolves made during this draft, and have the feeling that they put the squad in a position to once again reach the playoffs and be solid competitors.

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