Former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray wants to be drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kentucky coach John Calipari said on a conference call with ESPN.
“I’m saying this to you and no one else. He loves Minnesota,” Calipari said. “As a matter of fact, that's where he’d like to go.”
Calipari had previously said that Murray deserved to be taken with the No. 1 pick, but with the 76ers already planning on selecting LSU’s Ben Simmons with the top pick, Murray is more likely to fall further down in the order.
SI.com has projected Murray to be selected as high as No. 3, but SI’s Andrew Sharp most recently predicted Murray will be drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans with the No. 6 pick. Sharp predicts the Timberwolves will select Providence guard Kris Dunn with the No. 5 pick.
Calipari said Murray would like the opportunity to play with Karl-Anthony Towns, who was last year’s No. 1 pick out of Kentucky.
“He looked at that situation and said, ‘They need me and I’d love to be there,’” Calipari said. “And he’s met Karl and been around Karl and knows what a great kid he is. I’m not saying [Timberwolves coach and president Tom Thibodeau] has to take him. But I know that’s what Jamal likes, that situation: The young guys and what they have and what he’d add to that team.”
Murray averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in his first season at Kentucky.