Timberwolves sign Sean Kilpatrick because he was within a three-hour drive
NBA teams are always scouring Developmental League rosters, looking for that next Jeremy Lin, and often times it's about finding the right player at the right time. Or, in Sean Kilpatrick's case, in the right place.
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After the league granted the Timberwolves an extra roster spot due to excessive injuries, Minnesota signed Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract before Thursday's battle for inferiority with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, if only because the former University of Cincinnati standout was in nearby Delaware.
Flip says signing Kilpatrick came down to proximity, he was playing w/ Delaware 87ers, got word this afternoon & started 3-hour drive.
— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) March 19, 2015
Kilpatrick has averaged 13.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 42 games for the D-League's Santa Cruz Warriors and Delaware 87ers this season. While those are stellar statistics for the undrafted 25-year-old, his most impressive number was 134.1 — the number of miles between Newark's Bob Carpenter Center and MSG, where the T-Wolves (14-53) and Knicks (14-53) are battling for the league's worst record.
Keep in mind, Kilpatrick has never appeared in an NBA game. He'll only have roughly 45 minutes to integrate himself into coach Flip Saunders' system, but there's a chance he sees his first action, as Minnesota is down to eight players in the absence of (deep breath) Anthony Bennett, Kevin Garnett, Justin Hamilton, Robbie Hummel, Shabazz Muhammad, Gary Neal, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic.
And it's not as though Thursday's game has playoff implications. In fact, quite the opposite. Kilpatrick might be just the player the Timberwolves need to secure the No. 1 overall draft pick this June.
Even if he stays on the bench, he's still signed through next week and will make some $30,000 for spending a few hours in New York City traffic. How the Philadelphia 76ers haven't phoned the 87er during a season full of D-League call-ups is a different conversation, but this officially marks the first time Delaware was the right place to be playing basketball. (Just kidding. Sorry, had to work in a "Wayne's World" reference.)
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