Wolves GM says ex-Gopher Hollins has second-round talent


Former Golden Gophers basketball standout Austin Hollins thought his first pre-draft workout with an NBA team, the Timberwolves, went well this week.

Wolves General Manager Milt Newton told reporters that Hollins won't be a first-round pick in the June 26 draft, but his game was appealing enough to bring him in for a workout.

"He's long, he can defend," Newton said, according to the Pioneer Press. "He has to improve his jump shot a little bit better; he can handle the ball adequately. He's a solid player, but like a lot of players in the second round, there's something that prevents them from being a first rounder."

In a video from KSTP, Milton says Hollins worked out with a group of players that probably won't play in the NBA next season, and if the Wolves used a second-round pick on one of them, there's a good chance they would end up starting their professional careers overseas.

Amelia Rayno, Gophers' beat writer for the Star Tribune, says it's not uncommon for the Wolves to bring in local college athletes for workouts.

Former Gophers Spencer Tollackson, Dan Coleman, Lawrence MacKenzie, Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe have all worked out for the Wolves before past drafts.

The Wolves own three second-round picks in next month's NBA Draft. If Hollins impresses Minnesota enough, there's a chance he end up in a Wolves' uniform. Take that thought one step further and consider the possibility that his father, Lionel Hollins, recently interviewed for the vacant Wolves' head coaching job.

Could the two Hollins' reunite as Wolves?

"I've definitely thought about it," Hollins told Rayno. "It would be a huge difference. Me being in Minnesota, even when he was out of work (last season), I still wasn't around to spend time with him ... But in that situation, the dad card goes out the window and it's just coach. Off the court, I'm sure we would talk, but inside the lines, no mercy."

Hollins finished his career with the Gophers on a strong note, being named the most valuable player of the NIT Tournament, which the Gophers won over Southern Methodist.

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