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Arizona basketball: North Dakota player wants the Minnesota Timberwolves to draft Lauri Markkanen

The UND center was so impressed by Markkanen, he wants him to play for his favorite NBA team

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Arizona vs North Dakota Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

How good is Lauri Markkanen in person?

Well, after putting up 20 points on 8-12 shooting against North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, one player on UND’s roster was so impressed by the 7-footer that he wants him to be on his favorite NBA team.

“I sure hope my Timberwolves draft Lauri Markkanen,” North Dakota center Carson Shanks told reporters after Arizona beat UND 100-82. “He’s a great player.”

Even though Markkanen’s family apparently had a “two-year” plan for him heading into his freshman season with the Arizona Wildcats, Markkanen is widely expected to declare for June’s NBA Draft after just one season in Tucson.

Currently, projects Markkanen will be selected seventh overall by the New York Knicks.

While that is good news for Markkanen, it is not so good news for Shanks. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on pace to have the ninth pick in the draft and could be out of Markkanen’s range.

That’s too bad as Markkanen and Karl-Anthony Towns could be a lethal frontcourt duo.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire