Timberwolves land Culver via NBA Draft trade

BROOKLYN, NY -- Jarrett Culver is heading back to Minnesota after being picked No. 6 in the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns who have traded the pick to the Timberwolves.

Culver, who led Texas Tech to the Final Four in Minneapolis this season, completed his two-year collegiate career as a Red Raider with 1,119 points, 420 rebounds and 209 assists. He led Tech with 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game in a sophomore season where Tech had its winningest season in program history with 31 victories, secured the Big 12 regular-season championship, earned the NCAA West Region Championship and advanced to the national championship final. Culver was a Consensus All-America selection and was the first Tech player in program history to be named the Big 12 Player of the Year.

The draft-day trade was completed on Thursday at the Barclays Center with the Timberwolves trading Dario Saric and selecting Cameron Johnson (North Carolina) for the Suns.

A Lubbock native, Culver scored a career-high 31 points against Iowa State in the regular-season finale to help secure the regular-season championship and would drop 29 on Northern Kentucky in the NCAA first-round matchup. He averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in the six NCAA tournament games during the historic run to the final Monday night of the college basketball season. Culver helped lead the Red Raiders to a 58-17 overall record in his two season, including a trip to the Elite Eight as a freshman before the program's first Final Four appearance as a sophomore.

Texas Tech has now had 24 selections in the NBA Draft, including three first-round picks in Tony Battie in the 1997 draft and Zhaire Smith who was chosen at 16 last year. The first NBA Draft, held in 1947, saw Garland Head chosen in the third round after a Red Raider career where he was a three-time All-Border Conference selection for the Red Raiders. Smith, a freshman teammate with Culver on the Elite Eight team, was picked by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night for the first Tech selection since Andre Emmett in 2004. This is the first time in program history with back-to-back first-round picked for the Red Raiders. Battie is the highest selection in Tech history at No. 5 by the Denver Nuggets in the 1997 draft. Garland Head was the first-ever Red Raider selected in the NBA Draft when the New York Knicks took him in the third round of the 1947 draft. Currently, has three players currently in the NBA or G League with Smith on the 76ers while Keenan Evans is on the Delaware Blue Coats (G League) and Zach Smith plays for the Greensboro Swarm (G League).