2014 NBA Draft: Timberwolves got a steal in Glenn Robinson III

Andy Lyons

The Minnesota Timberwolves got one of the biggest steals of the NBA Draft last Thursday, grabbing Glenn Robinson III at pick 40.

Minnesota probably didn't expect Glenn Robinson III to be available when they selected at pick 40, but sure enough the Michigan forward fell right into their arms in the mid second round. Not only was GR3 one of the best value picks of the draft, but he's a perfect fit for the young Timberwolves squad.

The small forward position has been a revolving door in Minnesota ever since Wally Szczerbiak left the midwest for Boston in 2005. Ricky Davis, Ryan Gomes, Michael Beasley and Andrei Kirkilenko all spent time in the Twin Cities during that period.

Corey Brewer is now in his second stint with the team and averaged 12.3 points while playing just over 32 minutes per game. The Wolves didn't exactly sign Brewer for his offensive production, rather he was the solid perimeter defender that Minnesota had lacked for several seasons. Brewer is under contract for two more seasons and Chase Budinger has a player option for 2015-16, so Glenn Robinson III is going to be starting anytime soon. But he should get some solid minutes off the bench.

Like Brewer, GR3 has the tools to be a great perimeter defender. He's 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan and is very athletic. The only question is can he make the transition to the NBA. Robinson isn't big enough to guard NBA posts, nor is he quick enough to keep shooting guards in front. Defense generally comes naturally though, and GR3 has proven his ability on that end of the floor. With some tiny adjustments, he should be able to man up on most NBA small forwards.

Minnesota will desperately need Robinson to develop into a decent defender. The Wolves finished 26th in points against and 29th in opponent field goal percentage in the NBA last season. Their defense is so bad that GR3 really cannot have that great an effect defensively right away, especially since one of their two best defenders is also a small forward.

Robinson's offensive game should fit right in with the Wolves. Ricky Rubio loves throwing flashy alley-oop passes, but the only receiver of those passes seems to be Brewer. GR3 will instantly be one of Minnesota's most athletic players and one of their best finishers around the rim. The Rubio-Robinson connection could have the Target Center on its feet starting this fall.

Robinson struggled shooting the three ball this season, finishing at 30.6 percent from deep. While NBA teams are always looking for more three-point shooters, Minnesota doesn't have a big need there. They added a great perimeter shooter last offseason in Kevin Martin, and a healthy Chase Budinger is lethal from deep. J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved and Kevin Love, if he's back, can all shoot from outside, so GR3 can focus on driving and getting to the rack, the best part of his game.

Minnesota was lucky to get Robinson at pick 40. Most mock drafts projected him to be drafted in the late first round or first couple picks of the second round. Since the Timberwolves have some solid options at small forward, they can develop the 20-year-old Robinson for a couple seasons, and hope he turns into a legit NBA starter.

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