Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  By Phil Ervin  |  Last updated 6/26/14
MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second straight summer, Flip Saunders has drafted a project wing from UCLA. The Timberwolves took Bruins shooting guard Zach LaVine 13th overall in Thursday night's 2014 NBA Draft. Much like his selection of Shabazz Muhammad in last year's draft, coach and president of basketball operations Saunders went with a UCLA swingman with tremendous athleticism but plenty of room to grow into an NBA talent. A 6-foot-6, 181-pound 19-year-old who, like Muhammad, entered the draft after one year in college, LaVine averaged 24.4 minutes, 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game last season. He shot 44.1 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from 3. Not astounding numbers. But nothing to scoff at, either. With Michigan's Nik Stauskas (Sacramento) and Creighton's Doug McDermott (Denver, reportedly traded to Chicago) off the board, Minnesota bypassed small forwards Rodney Hood and James Young, shooting guard Gary Harris and power forward Adreian Payne. The move doesn't speak much to the Wolves' plans for Kevin Love, who's expected to opt out of his contract after this season and could be traded well before then. The opportunity to deal him came and went in the lottery picks Thursday, but Saunders had said previously the chances of a draft-day trade involving his disgruntled All-Star forward were unlikely. Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter
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