T’Wolves take SF Johnson at No. 4

Published 11:38 pm Thursday, June 24, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves were selling hope to their dwindling fan base in the form of three first-round picks in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

After using their top pick on Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson, the Wolves spent the rest of the round in a dizzying trading frenzy that left the impression that more moves are on the way.

The Wolves drafted Nevada shooter Luke Babbitt at No. 16, then immediately shipped him and veteran Ryan Gomes to Portland for swingman Martell Webster. They then took Clemson forward Trevor Booker at No. 23.

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As part of a proposed deal with Washington, the Wolves agreed to send Booker and the 56th overall pick to Washington for pick Nos. 30 and 35. They took Marquette forward Lazar Hayward at the end of the first round and Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica at No. 35.

Earlier this week, team president David Kahn cautioned that just because players were taken in the draft on Thursday, doesn’t mean they will be in a Timberwolves uniform come training camp.

“We might have to make a move with a player that we take Thursday night and package him in a subsequent deal,” Kahn said.

It’s unlikely that Johnson will be going anywhere. The Timberwolves bypassed Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins to address one of their biggest needs.

The 6-foot-7 Johnson averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds and was a first-team All-American in his only season with the Orange.

“Wesley is both an incredibly talented player and an outstanding young man,” Kahn said in a statement provided by the team. “He’ll bring some much-needed length, athleticism and shooting ability to our roster and will be an important piece to the puzzle as we continue to build a nucleus of young talent.”