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McKinley Wright signs with Minnesota Timberwolves as UDFA

The Colorado star is heading home to Minneapolis

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Georgetown at Colorado Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

His dream is coming true: McKinley Wright IV has signed a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves after going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Wright had one of the greatest careers in Colorado basketball history. Over his four-year career, he was thrice named first team All-Pac-12, once to All-Defense and once to All-Freshman. He averaged 14.2 points, 5.2 assists (and is the career leader at CU) and 4.9 rebounds over 131 career games.

Obviously he put up great stats, but his impact was felt more outside of the box score. He was the captain of CU basketball in every sense of the word, leading the offense and setting the tone defensively. When he was focused, the Buffs were focused. They had a great run of success, making the NIT in 2019, being a lock for the NCAA Tournament in 2020, and making it to the second round of the tournament in 2021.

Although a star guard in college, Wright will have to step back into a supporting role in the pros. All of the skills that made him great to stay with him — his offensive awareness, his intense on-ball defense, his great floater game and, of course, his passion for the sport. It’s not hard to see him becoming a high-level backup point guard, something in the vein of Ish Smith or Facundo Campazzo.

He is a bit small at just 6’0 and can’t really shoot. That’s why he went undrafted and why he’s probably never going to be a starter. But in terms of what he can offer on the court, and the kind of presence he will have in the locker room, he will be a beloved rotation guard.

The Wolves have a solid stable of guards, but Kin will have his chance at playing time behind starter D’Angelo Russell. There’s a Ricky Rubio-sized hole in the rotation following the draft night trade that sent the Spaniard to Cleveland. The main competition will be former Pac-12 rivals Jaylen Nowell, who is more of a 2-guard than traditional point guard, and Jordan McLaughlin, who is currently a restricted free agent.

Even if the Timberwolves sign another guard, this is a great landing spot for Wright. As part of his two-way contract, he will be assigned to their G League affiliate Iowa Wolves and will have up to 45 days on the Minnesota roster. Should he exceed those 45 days, the NBA squad will have to sign him to a full contract or lose his rights.