The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Trey Burke with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, then traded Burke to the Utah Jazz for their two first-round picks, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.
This led to a strange scene Thursday night at the draft at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. ESPN analyst Shane Battier interviewed Muhammad about going to Minnesota, while Muhammad was wearing a Utah Jazz cap.
On Ricky Rubio, Muhammad said, "A very unselfish player."
When Battier asked what kind of player the Timberwolves were looking at, he said "They're looking at a hard working player."
Muhammad spent one year at UCLA, coming out of an elite Catholic school in Las Vegas, where he was named Mr. Basketball USA and the Naismith Prep Player of the year.
At UCLA, he made the All Pac-12 first team and was the conference's co-freshman of the year. Here's a good read from the Los Angeles Times that ran just before the NCAA tournament.
“(Muhammad's) greatest strength is that he’s competitive,” said Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves' president of basketball operations.
“We want guys that want to make plays," Saunders told NBA.com. "I want a guy who wants to take the shot rather than someone who is running away from it.”
Muhammad comes with some baggage, though, as so many of the Wolves picks have over the years.
He was ruled ineligible to play for the season opener, after allegations that he had received expenses and lodging from a family friend during unofficial visits to North Carolina and Duke. Later in the season, it was discovered that Muhammad was actually a year older than previously thought.
Dieng played three seasons at Louisville and was key in the Cardinals' title run this past year. The 6'11 center anchored the nation's top defense, blocking 2.5 shots per game and altering many others with his nearly 7'4 wingspan, according to SB Nation. He averaged 9.4 rebounds on the season.
As for Minnesota's remaining three picks, the Wolves sent their No. 26 selection (first round) and Malcom Lee to Golden State for cash and a future draft choice.
The Wolves didn't trade up for shooting guard Indiana's Victor Oladipo. He went No. 2 to the Orlando Magic. Another projected Wolves pick at No. 9 was Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, notes the Pioneer Press. He was taken by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 10th selection.