Confirmed: Rob Dillingham Will Get Run with Timberwolves Immediately

Rob Dillingham, Minnesota Timberwolves, 2024 NBA Draft
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves lit a match on the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft Wednesday night, trading an unprotected 2031 draft pick and a 2030 pick swap to the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 8 overall pick, which they used to draft Kentucky point guard, Rob Dillingham.

Timberwolves president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, is quickly developing a reputation for making bold moves but how he got Gregg Popovich to agree to a deal that the Spurs won’t see bear fruit until he is 82 years old may forever blow my mind.

What are the Minnesota Timberwolves getting in Rob Dillingham?

Dillingham is arguably the most exciting point guard talent in the 2024 NBA Draft. He has handles for days, breaks ankles like it’s his job and can pull up from anywhere. At 6’3″, 180 lbs, he’s not small for a young point guard, either. Yes, he has some defensive things to figure out, but where better to learn that in the Wolves’ defensive culture?

During his one and done season with the John Calipari’s final Kentucky Wildcats team, Dillingham averaged 15.2 points. 3.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. That’s a solid statline for any Calipari-coached player from Kentucky, but all you need is to see his highlight tape to know why the Wolves wanted him.

As the No. 8 overall pick, and given his obviously immense talent, Rob would probably start from day one for a lot of NBA teams. But the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t built like a lot of NBA Teams.

The Wolves are built like a championship team and Glen Taylor is going to have the luxury tax bill to prove it. And while the roster is a bit light on point guard youth and depth, it does have a solidified starter in 37-year-old Mike Conley, the perfect floor general for an offense that oftentimes needs a high IQ point guard to run efficiently.

Plus, there have been reports that Minnesota is trying to bring Monte Morris back, too. The 29-year-old Morris was not a mainstay in the rotation last season, after being acquired mid-season, but most of that was due to an injury that cost him half his year.

How many minutes are available in the Wolves’ rotation for Rob Dillingham?

Prior to that injury, Morris had proven himself as a legitimate 6-man type player for any playoff roster. So, the question remains, will the 19-year-old Rob Dillingham get any minutes in the MN Timberwolves rotation next season, or could he even find his way to the G-League?

Related: Could Timberwolves Draft Cam Christie? It’s Certainly Plausible.

The best person to ask that question too would probably be president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly. And last night, after the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, reporters did just that.

Per usual, the Wolves PoBO didn’t mince words. Yes, Dillingham will get plenty of run in Minnesota’s rotation immediately. Why? Because they didn’t give up their 2031 draft to sit him or send him down to the G-League.

“Yeah, he’s gonna play. He’s gonna play. Again, we were pretty aggressive and we gave up a pretty valuable asset. He’s a guy from day one that is going to be given an opportunity. Obviously he’s got to earn to keep that opportunity. But we traded for him to play right away.”

Tim Connelly on how much playing time we can expect from Minnesota Timberwolves draft pick Rob Dillingham (via Dane Moore)

I know there are questions surrounding whether or not Tim Connelly is worth the $15 million he is projected to get offered by some desperate down in the dumps franchise next offseason, if the Timberwolves allow his contract to expire… but every time this dude makes a move, I have a harder and harder time actually believing that.

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If Glen Taylor (or whoever owns the team) is willing to pay $10’s of millions in luxury tax penalties, on top of a $200 million roster, WTF is another $15 million to make sure everything continues to move in the right direction? Seems like pennies on the dollar, at that point.

Who would’ve thought Minnesota Timberwolves fans would be hyped up for Summer League. But now, those games are going to be can’t miss TV.

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