Timberwolves introduce Rob Dillingham, Terrence Shannon: ‘It don’t even feel real’

It’s been a whirlwind week for Rob Dillingham and Terrence Shannon Jr., but their NBA reality is becoming official with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The two were at the Minnesota Twins game Tuesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Wednesday, they were introduced as the two newest members of the team via the 2024 NBA Draft at a news conference at Target Center.

The moment hasn’t quite hit Dillingham yet.

"It don’t even feel real honestly. I feel like it won’t feel real until we actually start playing with the guys and doing everything with the guys every day. It don’t feel real walking through, it’s hard to explain," Dillingham said. "Once we start hoopin, it will definitely feel real."

Tim Connelly and the Timberwolves made a real investment in Dillingham, who was a standout at Kentucky and the SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year last season. Connelly traded two future first round picks to move up to the No. 8 spot to get him. Dillingham averaged 15.2 points, 3.9 assists and shot 44 percent from the perimeter last season for the Wildcats.

Connelly said after the draft Dillingham will have an immediate role, likely off the bench behind Mike Conley Jr. He gets to be teammates with Anthony Edwards, and comes to a team that won 56 regular season games last year and made a run to the Western Conference Finals.

"The Timberwolves is one of the best teams in the NBA. I wouldn’t think I’d go to a contender right off the rip, it was just a blessing," Dillingham said. "I was just happy that I get to learn from so many vets on the team and so many players that’s done it."

The Timberwolves took Shannon, a 6-6 forward out of Illinois, with the No. 27 overall pick. He had a rollercoaster season, at one point contending for the NCAA Player of the Year, before being charged with rape and sexual assault in an incident at a Kansas bar last September. He went through the legal process, testified on his own behalf and was found not guilty of all charges last month.

The Timberwolves were one of his pre-draft workouts. Last year for the Illini, he averaged 23 points, four rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting 36 percent from the perimeter.

"I was just grateful. Blessed for them to take a chance on me and come to Minnesota, knowing I’ve played here before in Target Center, I was just happy," Shannon said. "I’m coming to a winning team, real experienced. I’m looking to help them win the championship. That’s what we came here to do, that’s what we plan on doing."

The Timberwolves added a pair of proven and capable scorers to their bench, from a team last year where Edwards was the only real player who could create his own shot. And they got two rookies without trading away a current player on the roster.

"Both players bring a dimension that we really could use. Explosive, love to play in the open court, live in the paint, scoring mindset and we feel like as we looked at where we may have fallen a little short last season, we were able to address a lot of those needs in the draft," Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. "Just excited to get them on board and watch their journey begin."