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Tyus Battle signs free agent deal with Minnesota Timberwolves

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Less than 12 hours after the NBA Draft wrapped up, the former Syracuse guard has a home.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Baylor vs Syracuse Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tyus Battle’s name went uncalled during Thursday night’s NBA Draft. However, it didn’t take long for him to find a landing spot on Friday. According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, Battle has signed a free agent deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Only Dave Bing took fewer games in an Orange uniform to reach 1,600 points with the program. Battle did so in 103 contests, not missing a game until the ACC Tournament of his final season. Syracuse emerged out of NCAA-induced scholarship reductions to earn two tournament bids in his three years, narrowly falling out of the field his freshman year.

When SU struggled as much offensively as any team in program history, lost recruits and sustained injuries Battle’s volume scoring sustained the program. His 2017-18 team, riding three players going full games, and six-deep at most earned the final spot in March and made the Sweet 16. Syracuse narrowly lost to Duke short of the Elite 8.

Evaluators still chided Battle for his shooting percentages, abilities outside of scoring and the volume of shots he regularly received at SU. Seth Davis’ final word from a scout deemed him average at all levels, though that source avoided routine Syracuse defensive concerns.

“Despite the fact that he played at Syracuse, he could be a really, really good defender,” the source said.

Battle measured 6’6” with shoes, 200 pounds with a 6’9” wingspan at the 2018 combine. He participated in the program after a standout sophomore season. His borderline first-round projections didn’t sway him away from school, wanting to finish his information technology degree. That final season saw injuries and questions at point guard that forced him to fill in on the ball, more offensive struggles for the team and regression from fellow NBA hopeful Oshae Brissett.

Roc Nation signed Battle in the spring. He’ll participate in the Summer League in Las Vegas as a member of the Wolves. He’s also not the first recent Syracuse player to play for Minnesota in some capacity. The T-Wolves drafted both Wesley Johnson (2010) and Jonny Flynn (2009), and Arinze Onuaku suited up for them for six games back in 2014-15.

Good luck to Tyus in Minnesota!