Dillingham excited to join Timberwolves 

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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By Larry Vaught 

Contributing Writer


Often a top 10 draft pick will be on a rebuilding team that could be years away from contending for a championship. Former Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham went eighth in the recent NBA draft but he went to Minnesota — the team that lost to Dallas in the Western Conference Finals this season.


Minnesota traded No. 1 picks in 2030 and 2031 to San Antonio to acquire Dillingham and put him on the same team as NBA all-stars Karl-Anthony Towns, the No. 1 overall pick out of UK in 2015, and Anthony Edwards.


Minnesota president of basketball operations Tim Connelly made it clear he expects Dillingham to help the Timberwolves immediately.


“I don’t think you move as aggressive as this and sit on him,” Connelly said after the draft. “He’s a guy that, from Day 1, is going to have a role and responsibility, certainly it’s going to be hard for him, but I don’t think you’re that aggressive in the top 10 with a guy you don’t think can play right away.”


Dillingham called it a “blessing” that Minnesota was willing to make this move to get him.


“It shows that they trust me and they obviously are trusting in me to develop. If they trust in me, that’s all I needed. I feel that’s all I needed from any team,” Dillingham said. “Them showing me is even more of a blessing. I get to play with way better players and learn from them.”


Dillingham said he had been working his entire life hoping to have a chance like he now has with Minnesota.


“Playing with Anthony Edwards and the whole Timberwolves … they were in the Western Conference Finals. So it’s really just a blessing because I get to learn from a lot of players and veterans and players that are real good. Them helping me is just a plus for me,” he said. “I didn’t really get to work out with them, but I used to see Ant at (Overtime Elite) a lot, for sure.”