MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Michigan point guard Trey Burke with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday night, then shipped him to the Utah Jazz for pick Nos. 14 and 21, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The Jazz took UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad at No. 14 for Minnesota, giving the Timberwolves some size on the perimeter that they have been searching for to put next to point guard Ricky Rubio. The person who confirmed the deal spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because it had not been officially announced.
Muhammad averaged 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in his lone season at UCLA. He has the scoring instincts that the Wolves have lacked in recent seasons, but also carries with him questions about his background that may have caused him to fall down the draft board.
He was forced to sit out the first three games at UCLA and repay $1,600 in impermissible benefits after the NCAA and UCLA found that Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina. It was also revealed in a story by the Los Angeles Times that he was actually 20 years old, a year older than the age that Muhammads father had said he was all along.
The Wolves made the trade after watching their most coveted shooting guards – Victor Oladipo of Indiana, Ben McLemore of Kansas and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Georgia – go off the board ahead of them.
New team president Flip Saunders has made adding perimeter shooting his priority for a team that was dead last in the NBA in three-point shooting last season.