Posted Jun 25 2009 3:35PM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves are set to have one busy draft day.
A trade that brings the Timberwolves the No. 5 overall pick in Thursday's draft has been completed.
The Timberwolves and Washington on Wednesday struck a deal that gives Minnesota its fourth first-round draft choice, along with Wizards forwards Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov.
The Wizards receive guards Randy Foye and Mike Miller.
The teams first agreed to the deal on Tuesday night. Minnesota now has the fifth, sixth, 18th and 28th selections in the draft, giving them the resources to potentially trade up even higher and go after either Spanish guard Ricky Rubio or Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet.
New Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn declined comment through a team spokesman on Tuesday night, perhaps because he may not be finished trading.
Speaking after a prospect workout Tuesday morning before the deal had been reported, Kahn praised the 7-foot-3 Thabeet, who could give the team a sorely needed defensive presence next to Al Jefferson and Kevin Love up front.
"You could say that would complete our front line if we had somebody of that size and rim-protecting capability," Kahn said. "You could actually make an argument, and I'm not making that for me right now, but somebody could make that argument, that he would be the perfect fit."
Smoke screen? Difficult to say, given the Timberwolves have been searching for a formidable presence practically since they entered the league in 1989. Thabeet averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks and was co-Big East player of the year.
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The Wizards, unlike most lottery teams, feel they can afford to deal a high first-round draft pick because they're already adding a major impact player next season. Gilbert Arenas is expected to return at full strength after missing most of the last two seasons due to multiple knee surgeries, putting Washington in contention to return to the playoffs immediately despite coming off a 19-63 season that matched the worst 82-game record in franchise history.
The Wizards also have a plentiful supply of youngsters who are supposedly up-and-coming -- Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, Dominic McGuire -- and are in need of more veteran poise in the locker room rather than another developing rookie.
Plus the deal with the Timberwolves gives them a veteran shooter in Miller and a young combo guard in Foye, who may benefit from a change of scenery.
Foye has been dogged by comparisons to Portland star Brandon Roy ever since the two were swapped on draft night in 2006. Roy developed into an All-Star and one of the best young players in the game. Foye has been solid, but not spectacular, and missed most of his second season with a knee injury.
He picked up some of the scoring load when Al Jefferson went down with a knee injury in February. Foye averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists, but the Wolves had difficulty deciding whether to play him at point guard or shooting guard, and fans never let him forget he's been out-performed by Roy.
Miller came to Minnesota from Memphis nearly one year ago in a package that included Kevin Love in exchange for O.J. Mayo and a handful of retreads.
Viewed as one of the best perimeter shooters in the game, Miller played a far more passive game in his only season with the Wolves. He averaged a career-low 9.9 points per game.
Thomas has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent on July 1. He averaged 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 26 games last season for the Wizards.
Songaila averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 77 games last season.
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