As the Timberwolves enter summer camp, there is intrigue as usual. We see a variety of players who come from all sorts of situations. These include rookies, free agents, international prospects, and other types of NBA players. As we know there will be guys like Derrick Williams and Wesley Johnson playing, but the team isn’t as focused on those guys. They are rather interested instead by these undrafted rookie free agents. The biggest name of the bunch is former Ohio State shooting guard William Buford.
Buford played 4 years for the team, and would become the school’s third place all time leading scorer. He was part of quite a few different Buckeye squads where he was never option #1. There was always a guy like Jared Sullinger or Evan Turner getting off most of the shots. Despite his scoring ability, Buford went relatively under the radar. He is also known for his 3-point shooting and rebounding ability for a 6’5″ guard. His passing numbers steadily improved as the years went by, and Buford was projected as a late second round pick.
The role Buford has for most teams is to be that guy who comes off the bench and scores bucket after bucket. After averaging 14.5 ppg in each of his past 3 seasons, it’s reasonable to say he is a guy who could fulfill this expectation. Like Jeff Van Gundy said, you can trust college production, especially from a guy who played against such great competition. With so many uncertainties at the shooting guard position, Minnesota must find the guy who can shoot, shoot, and shoot. Wes Johnson has zero confidence, Wayne Ellington is likely being traded, Brandon Roy’s knees are shaky, and most people haven’t seen much for Alexey Shved highlights.
If the team is going to stretch the floor even more, they’re going to need more than Kevin Love and Chase Budinger. Buford is a guy worth looking at. He was coached by one of the upper echelon guys in Thad Motta, and he could succeed under the wings of Rick Adelman. As for Buford himself, it looks like he will have to shoot his way onto any NBA roster. Except for maybe the Bobcats since all he would have to do is show up.