Nov 12, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach John Groce talks to guard Brandon Paul (3) during the second half against the St. Francis Terriers at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Roundtable: What Does Brandon Paul Need to Do to Stay With the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the NBA as former Illinois Fighting Illini Brandon Paul signed a summer league contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The guys talk about what they think Paul will need to do at the NBA Summer League in order to make the roster for the Timberwolves.

Mar 24, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Illinois FIghting Illini guard Brandon Paul (3) reacts against the Miami Hurricanes in the second half during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at the Frank Erwin Center. Miami beat Illinois 63-59. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Austin: Brandon Paul gives Minnesota another wing player, giving the team and other teams in the NBA a chance to once again see his talents. Minnesota could use some more offensive power, and even if he does not come out of summer league as a starter, he could end up playing off the bench for the Timberwolves. In order to stay on the roster, Paul not only has to showcase his offensive ability, but he also needs to show that his defensive mindset is still there.

Brandon struggled at times on the defensive side of the ball while at Illinois, but when the team needed him to step up his game, he did in a mighty way. If Paul can show Minnesota that he is able to create space and his some shots, he could end up in the NBA this coming season playing considerable minutes off the bench.

Ricky: I was sort of shocked at first when Brandon Paul was not drafted in the late second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, but I know why he was not. He wasn’t because no NBA team wanted to take a risk on him even for this upcoming season in the NBA. That’s why I think he even received a summer league contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves because they aren’t expecting much out of him. BP3 will need to show consistency and offensive ability if he wants to have a chance at making any NBA roster. He’s not just trying out for the T-Wolves. He’s trying out for a job, period. In the end, I feel like Brandon Paul might be a D-Leaguer this upcoming season.

Ryan: With J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio, and Alexey Shved all holding down roster spots, and meaningful minutes in Minnesota, Brandon Paul is going to be hard pressed to make the roster outright following his summer league tryout. There’s little doubt that Paul has the physical tools to succeed, but he is going to have to put on a heck of a show this summer to force himself onto the roster. As I said leading up to the draft, Paul is going to have to prove to NBA executives that he can hit the 3 at a 40% clip. If he does that, there’s no reason he can’t sneak onto the roster.

What do you think, Illini Nation? What does Brandon Paul need to 

The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs and Ryan Kraemer.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.

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Tags: Basketball Brandon Paul Illinois Fighting Illini Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Summer League

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