Ebi to Minnesota in the first round

Arizona recruit Ndudi Ebi wanted to be a first rounder and that is exactly what he will be. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Ebi with the 26th pick, ensuring Ebi a three-year guaranteed contract. The move all but ensures that Ebi will not attend Arizona.

Ndudi Ebi kept his name in the NBA Draft despite not being a surefire first rounder. He had dropped down in many mock drafts, but the Timberwolves made his gamble pay off. He is the first Minnesota first rounder in three years after the T-Wolves had a number of picks revoked after the illegal signing of Joe Smith.

Ebi joins Kevin Garnett, another player who made the jump to the NBA straight from high school. In fact Ebi is a similar player, an athletic big man who can play both inside and out.

The pick is a bit surprising since the T-Wolves could use some immediate help from this draft. They'll again be without a first rounder next season due to the Smith situation. Minnesota made it to the playoffs, but again failed to advance past the first round, falling to the Lakers in seven games.

The T-Wolves need interior size and strength and truthfully Ebi gives them neither. Ebi is a tremendous shot blocker, but is rail thin at 6-9, 190-pounds. Ebi will be a small forward down the line and is too thin to provide much help on the inside.

Ironically enough, former Wildcat Loren Woods is a free agent for the Timberwolves and will not be re-signed.

Ebi signed a Letter of Intent with Arizona and indicated on signing day that he would come to Arizona, but later changed his mind after player well against No. 1 overall pick LeBron James in postseason All-Star games.

Ebi was the third high school player taken. James went first and Travis Outlaw went 21st to Portland.

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