Wolves poach Ronzone for asst. GM gig

Updated: May 17, 2010, 7:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn named former Detroit Pistons executive Tony Ronzone as Minnesota's assistant general manager/player personnel on Monday. Ronzone spent nine years with the Pistons and also serves as director of international player personnel for USA Basketball.

He is well thought of in NBA circles as an international scout, but Kahn said Ronzone will play an integral role in help filling the void created when vice president Fred Hoiberg left to become the head coach at Iowa State.

Ronzone will help with draft preparations, including bringing prospects in for workouts and evaluating the roster when free agency opens on July 1.

"He has a very firm handle on college players and NBA personnel," Kahn said. "Most of all, he is very well networked. Tony really does know everybody."

Ronzone is not a direct replacement for Hoiberg. Kahn said he is still trying to decide if he will hire a new vice president for basketball operations or realign his front office staff.

Kahn, downplaying the need to win the NBA draft lottery this year, said if the Wolves fail again to improve their position in the annual drawing, fans should not hang their heads because the team could trade up before the June draft.

The Timberwolves have the second-best odds to get the No. 1 pick on Tuesday. The farthest they can fall would be No. 5. The best odds -- at 31.85 percent -- are that the team will fall to No. 4.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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