Wolves to start Zach LaVine at shooting guard over of Kevin Martin


The general consensus heading into the 2015-16 NBA season was that Minnesota's starting lineup would most likely include Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Garnett and Karl-Anthony Towns.

But hold the phone on Martin.

As it stands now, Wolves interim head coach Sam Mitchell "absolutely" plans to start 20-year-old Zach LaVine over Martin.

"Zach LaVine, we're going to give him an opportunity to start,"

" target="_blank">Mitchell said in an interview with Sirius XM, while adding that it's LaVine's job until he loses it or gives it away.

As the Star Tribune notes, Mitchell informed Martin of the decision before training camp began. Martin has the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of the season.

Martin can flat out shoot from three, so the question is whether LaVine will be able to help the Wolves connect from deep. The Wolves were last in the NBA in 3-pointers made last season, averaging just five per game.

"People put a label on me that I'm just a driver, but coming out of high school I was a good shooter," LaVine said following Monday's scrimmage at Target Center, according to the Pioneer Press. ""I was second in UCLA history for threes put up and made as a freshman. So I don't know why people say I can't shoot the ball for. I feel like I've always been able to shoot the ball."

Martin shot 39.3 percent from three last season; LaVine connected on 34.1 percent.

The move, though, makes sense because Mitchell is putting a bigger emphasis on developing all of the Wolves' young talent rather than focusing on wins.

With Ricky Rubio still not quite ready for game action, Mitchell plans to start Apple Valley native Tyus Jones at point guard in Minnesota's preseason opener Wednesday against Oklahoma City.

Projected starters, via Timberwolves.com.

ThunderPG – Westbrook, SG – Waiters, SF – Durant, PF – Kanter, C - Adams

Wolves PG – Jones, SG – LaVine, SF – Wiggins, PF – Garnett, C - Towns

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