Timberwolves Draft Controversial Terrence Shannon Jr. with Second 1st Round Pick

Terrence Shannon Jr.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves made some serious waves on night one of the NBA Draft, by trading for the No. 8 overall pick and selecting Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham.

But in doing so, president of basketball operations Tim Connelly was able to hang onto the Wolves’ 27th overall pick, which he used later to add Terrence Shannon Jr (Illinois), another one of the most talented players taken on the night.

Terrence Shannon Jr. at No. 27 for the Minnesota Timberwolves

Needing to get creative when adding to a roster dealing with luxury tax implications, Rob Dillingham worked out as a great selection at 8th overall. Pairing him with Terrence Shannon Jr. at 27th overall adds serious firepower to the future Minnesota Timberwolves backcourt.

With Mike Conley aging, and the Minnesota Timberwolves needing to add backcourt shooters that can spread the floor, the draft board fell perfectly into their hands. Isaiah Collier and Cam Christie were both still available, but it is Terrence Shannon Jr. that fits the mold as an uber talented wing player who can get really get his own bucket off the dribble.

Unlike Dillingham, who is just 19 years old, Shannon Jr is a four year collegiate veteran who could step in immediately and provide minutes off the bench, yet still projects as a major contributor down the road. He scored 23 points per game for the Illini last season, including 37% from deep.

SeasonSchoolClassGGSMPFG%2P%3PA3P%FT%TRBASTSTLBLKTOVPFPTS
2019-20Texas TechFR292123.5.470.5151.2.257.8294.11.00.90.41.32.39.8
2020-21Texas TechSO281326.7.448.4893.0.357.7564.01.41.10.11.41.812.9
2021-22Texas TechJR262025.0.455.5093.3.384.7842.62.00.80.22.01.610.4
2022-23IllinoisSR313032.1.442.5345.0.321.7904.62.81.30.52.62.417.2
2023-24IllinoisSR323133.9.475.5736.7.362.8014.02.31.00.92.02.223.0
CareerOverall14611528.5.459.5293.9.347.7933.91.91.00.41.82.115.0
Texas Tech835425.0.456.5032.5.351.7893.61.41.00.31.51.911.0
Illinois636133.0.460.5555.9.344.7964.32.51.10.72.32.320.2
Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 6/26/2024.

Shannon should be expected to immediately fit the Chris Finch mold on defense, and he can help as a defender capable of taking on opposing wing scorers. His spot-up shooting may need some work at the next level, but he’s an exceptional creator, and his ability to get to the free throw line only pads his stats on a nightly basis.

Terrence Shannon Jr. doesn’t come without his skeletons, though, which is why he fell all the way to No. 27. Last season, he had rape and sexual assault charges brought against him, and he was immediately suspended by the University of Illinois.

Shortly after, he sued for reinstatement, claiming that his suspension was a violation of his civil rights… and he won. Then, just a few weeks ago, he was found not guilty on all charges.

Related: Timberwolves Trade for No. 8 Pick in NBA Draft, Select Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham

Had those charges not been made against Terrence Shannon Jr, he’s probably a lottery pick tonight. Had they not been dropped, he may not have been drafted at all. But now, he’s a Minnesota Timberwolf. If this draft was about adding talent around Anthony Edwards while running it back, and it was, Tim Connelly hit home runs on a pair of first round picks.

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