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Timberwolves Notes: Barnes on Radar, Barea Back to Dallas?

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Time to clean up with a few notes as we head into the July 4th holiday.

Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!
USA TODAY Sports

Couple of Wolves notes via Darren Wolfson:

The Wolves have shown some interest in Los Angeles Clippers free agent wing Matt Barnes.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Maybe I&#39;ll get my wish: Per source, there has been contact between Flip/the <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Twolves&amp;src=hash">#Twolves</a> and Matt Barnes&#39; camp.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/statuses/352503855638003712">July 3, 2013</a></blockquote>

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It's good to see that Flip and the gang recognize the need for a defensive presence on the wing. Barnes would be an excellent pick up. He's a hard nosed player who has a history of agitating opponents. Presumably, if there is mutual interest, the Wolves would look to engineer a sign and trade with the Clippers, as they need to move some bodies and the room exception is probably not enough to entice Barnes to Minnesota.

They have also contacted Chauncey Billups, another Clippers free agent.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>They&#39;ve reached out. Flip planting many seeds. More moves are coming. "<a href="https://twitter.com/ColinNelson79">@ColinNelson79</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson">@DarrenWolfson</a> Anything on Billups?"</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/statuses/352504770717696000">July 3, 2013</a></blockquote>

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This one is a little harder to understand, as Billups is a combo guard and the roster is currently not short on such players. He is also 36 years old and has played a total of 42 games over the last two seasons. Hard to see the fit.

Wolfson also reports that there might be some interest in Dallas to bring back J.J. Barea.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/DJSchoes">@DJSchoes</a> Hard to say. If Howard doesn&#39;t pick Dallas, Barea there could happen. They have interest in bringing him back.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/statuses/352508739644956672">July 3, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Presumably very little would come back; a protected second round pick would be my guess. Still, getting out from the last two years of Barea's contract would be well worth it, as it would give the Wolves a little extra breathing room under the luxury tax line.

So far, I have heard nothing specific about teams engaging with Nikola Pekovic. It might be that everyone is waiting for Dwight Howard before seriously pursuing other centers, but that seems unlikely to me. I don't know if teams aren't bothering because they are convinced the Wolves will match any offer or what, but as we've said, it only takes one to set his price.

Around the league:

The Celtics have hired 36 year old Brad Stevens away from Butler University to be their head coach. College to pro transitions are rarely successful for coaches, but Stevens is reputed to be very smart, and he has been on the cutting edge of using analytics in college ball for the past few years.

Kyle Korver has agreed to a four year, $24 million deal to stay with the Atlanta Hawks.

Manu Ginobili is remaining with the Spurs for 2 years, $14M.

JR Smith has agreed to a contract to stay with the Knicks, but I haven't heard the figures.

Earlier today, O.J. Mayo was reportedly close to an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks.

That's all I got.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July everyone. I hope you have friends and family nearby and get to spend some time with them.

Be safe. Have fun. Thanks for reading.