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NBA and Timberwolves News and Notes: Draft Rumors

The rumor mill has been busy since the draft lottery on Tuesday night. What are people saying? And hey! There's a pretty big game tonight in Miami.

Shabazz Muhammad: Future Timberwolf?
Shabazz Muhammad: Future Timberwolf?

While the Cavaliers seem likely to choose Nerlens Noel with the first pick overall, there are persistent rumors that they are really looking to use the pick and other assets (along with their upcoming cap space) in a trade a la last summer's James Harden blockbuster. They want another star to pair with Kyrie Irving.

This was discussed in part two of yesterday's B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, by Brian Windhorst, an ESPN writer who formerly worked in Cleveland. He also cogently discusses the ramifications of the new luxury tax system. I know Simmons isn't everyone's favorite, but Windhorst is interesting here, and it's worth a listen.

For those of you who can't get enough mock drafts, here are links to a few--feel free to add more in comments:

Draft Express
SB Nation
Sports Illustrated

Several mocks have the Wolves taking Canis Hoopus favorite (whipping boy) Shabazz Muhammad. Darren Wolfson, in his latest Scoops column has sources that say the Wolves like him. Of course our own Just a Fan assured us the other day that they don't like him and he isn't on their list. Ah, pre-draft prevarications. But for fun, here's his DX scouting video, just so you can wallow:

All of this year's scouting videos are here.

Wolfson also suggests that the Wolves will try to move up (probably to Charlotte's 4th spot) for Victor Oladipo.

Flip Saunders reports on his twitter that Trevor Mbakwe was very impressive at the Nets pre-draft camp,with his rebounding prowess and that Rodney Williams measured very well. This was echoed by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday the Wolves will play host to NBA decision-makers as they hold their annual pre-draft workout. Don't know yet who will participate, but it's usually mostly second rounders and potential UDFAs. If you see any NBA GMs around town, be ready with your trade machine ideas. They love that.

In the meantime, vjl110 has updated his expected peak wins chart by including information from the combine in his model. He says: " I am not necessarily ready to sign off on these results..." so buyer beware. Still, it makes Cody Zeller look incredible and separates C.J. McCollum from KCP and others.

In free agent "news," Wolfson said on his twitter last night that the team is assuming that AK will exercise his player option. Though that's a little confusing to parse, I interpret it to mean that they expect him to opt in.

He also tweets that Kahn inquired about Alec Burks of the Utah Jazz in February, but that the Jazz had no interest in trading him.

The Minnesota Lynx finalized their roster yesterday a week ahead of their June 1st season opener by cutting Pepper Wilson. I'm a little concerned about their depth in bigs, especially since Janel McCarville is coming off a pretty long lay-off. Third year player Amber Harris and second year player Devereaux Peters are going to have to step up.

Hey, there's a ballgame tonight! Those nights with no games remind me that we are heading for a months long dry spell with no NBA basketball. Anyway:

Pacers at Heat: 7:30 Central on TNT

Can these two teams produce another game as riveting as game one? That game was marred by a lot of turnovers, but was incredibly competitive and featured several fantastic moments, including the Paul George game tying three in regulation, Chris Bosh's fantastic put back and-1 in overtime that tied it up, and of course the James game winner with Roy Hibbert sitting on the bench.

How resilient are the Pacers? They had their shot in game one and now have to win four of six from the best team in the league. Huge game tonight. Enjoy it.