A year ago, the Timberwolves got busy on draft night, parlaying the 20th overall pick into five cascading trades that ultimately brought them UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, Memphis’ 2013 first-round pick, a couple of future second-round picks and four wads of cash.
On Thursday night, by comparison, they could have put their collective feet up on the desk and ordered in pizza.
The Wolves did most of their draft work Monday night and Tuesday morning, when they finalized a trade with Houston that sent Thursday’s 18th pick away for 24-year-old swingman Chase Budinger.
On Thursday, they made proposals to obtain another first-round pick but didn’t succeed, waiting instead for more than three hours while New Orleans took Kentucky forward Anthony Davis first overall and the Rockets selected Kentucky forward Terrence Jones with that 18th pick they got from the Wolves, one of three picks they made in a seven-pick stretch midway through the first round.
While teams such as Cleveland and Philadelphia wheeled and dealed either to move up in the first round or obtain an extra pick, the Wolves worked the phones but ultimately waited out the first round, trying to work a deal to move up from their 58th overall pick or obtain another second-round pick.
The draft had just entered the second round when this edition of the Star Tribune went to press.
On Wednesday, Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn promised there would be more moves beyond acquiring Budinger.
He didn’t, however, promise they would come Thursday night.
“You can assume there will be other changes made,” he said. “How many, what type, that I can’t clarify. But we’ve very active and I’m confident we’ll be able to do some other things as well.”
After Thursday night’s draft, the Wolves’ options include making a trade or trades either now or as training camp approaches in late September. They also will have well more than $10 million to spend when the NBA’s free-agency period opens Sunday.
Budinger’s arrival gives them a player who knows coach Rick Adelman’s system and who can play both the small forward and shooting guard spots, but it doesn’t fully address the team’s need for a legitimately sized shooting guard.
“We need to keep looking to add,” Adelman said.
The Wolves’ options starting Sunday:
— Former Portland guard Brandon Roy. Kahn acknowledged Wednesday that he has spoken to the three-time All-Star shooting guard recently and is interested in signing him. But Chicago, Indiana, Dallas and Golden State, among others, are pursuing him and the bigger question is, do his knees have any basketball left in them. Roy retired last December because he has little or no cartilage left in either knee and instead accepted $63 million for the remainder of his contract from the Blazers, who released him and removed him from their salary-cap books using their one-time amnesty provision.
— Portland shooting guard Jamal Crawford. The Blazers hadn’t traded him through Thursday’s first round and on Friday he can opt out of the final year of his contract, thus becoming an unrestricted free agent. The Wolves already have pursued him twice: as a free agent before the season started last December and at the March trade deadline.
— Memphis shooting guard O.J. Mayo. The Grizzlies likely can’t afford signing Mayo to a large offer now that they’ve already committed big money to Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. The Wolves have shown an interest him in the past. The Grizzlies can match any offer.
— Houston shooting guard Courtney Lee. Adelman already went and got Budinger. How about another Rocket that he knows well? Lee, too, is a restricted free agent, so the Wolves would have to make an offer too rich for the Rockets to match.