Timberwolves acquiring No. 8 pick Rob Dillingham from Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to send Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham, the No. 8 pick in this year’s NBA draft, to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Spurs added to their future draft pick stash by acquiring a 2031 unprotected first-round pick and a 2030 top-one protected pick swap from the Timberwolves.

Minnesota adds another backcourt option for the team as Anthony Edwards continues his ascension and last year’s starting point guard, Mike Conley, 36, gets closer to the end of his career after completing his 17th NBA season.

Dillingham joined his Kentucky backcourt mate Reed Sheppard as a top-eight pick, marking the fourth time Kentucky has had multiple freshman picked in the top 10, breaking a tie with Duke for the most by any school.

Dillingham was a 2023-24 All-SEC selection and the SEC Sixth Man of the Year last season. He averaged 15.2 points and 3.9 assists while shooting 44.4% from 3-point range.

The Timberwolves went 56-26 last season, which was the second-best record in franchise history. They made the conference finals for only the second time, and the team rewarded coach Chris Finch with a four-year extension earlier in the week.

According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Minnesota’s luxury tax bill climbs from $56 million to $84 million with the addition of Dillingham’s salary.

Because of the Rudy Gobert trade, the team had only two first-round picks available to trade this season — the No. 27 pick in this draft and the 2031 pick that went to San Antonio. Minnesota still owns its 2026 and 2028 picks as well as a partially protected 2030 pick but could not deal picks in consecutive years because of league rules.

San Antonio also has swap rights with Dallas in the 2030 draft and can pick between the more favorable of the Minnesota or Dallas picks.

The eighth pick was set to be San Antonio’s second selection of the night. With the No. 4 pick, the Spurs selected guard Stephon Castle from UConn. San Antonio still has the Nos. 35 and 48 selections in the second round.

Spurs general manager Brian Wright could not talk about the trade on Wednesday because it isn’t official yet but did say San Antonio has been consistent in its team-building philosophy since Victor Wembanyama was picked last year.

“I think the decisions you make over time around your flexibility, around the adaptability and with ways with which you can build, we’ve been pretty consistent with that,” Wright said. “And we want to build something that’s sustainable and you got to build it brick by brick and we hope to do that. But I think all the decisions that we made to this point have kind have been under that premise and we’ll keep going with that.”

First appeared on www.espn.com

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