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Timberwolves Open pre-season vs. Pacers

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Timberwolves open pre-season tonight in Indiana. New TV deals are huge.

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The Wolves open pre-season this evening in Indiana against the Pacers. The game is at 6:00 pm CDT, but there is no television or local radio coverage of the tilt. Because reasons.

Flip said he expects to play 10 or 11 players tonight, and that veterans minutes will be limited. Kevin Martin, recovering from a slight muscle strain, won't play at all, though he is accompanying the team on the trip.

The Wolves open at home on Friday night against the 76ers and then don't play again for a week, which gives them another block of time for practice.

Quote of the day from Zach LaVine:

"These are some big dudes," he said. "I ran into Pekovic on one screen and my whole body just collapsed."

The new television deals are huge for the NBA, and will have a big effect on the league. I'm working on a long piece about them and labor relations in general, but a couple of quick thoughts on a few Wolves players:

Although they will likely try to smooth it out and phase it in, the cap is going to rise significantly for the 2016-17 season. If Ricky Rubio doesn't sign an extension now, would he risk signing the qualifying offer next summer in order to be an unrestricted free agent in 2016?

Thad Young also will have the chance to be a free agent in 2016 if he picks up his 2015-16 option instead of becoming a free agent next summer. It might make sense for him under the circumstances.

This makes it more likely that both Budinger and Brewer pick up their options for 2015-16. Again, although the cap will go up for next season, it probably makes sense for them to wait to hit the market for 2016.

Of course, the flip side here is that a lot of players (and agents) are going to work hard to hit the market that summer; everyone from LeBron James and Kevin Durant on down. We may see an unprecedented group of free agents that summer, both in quality and quantity.  There will be a lot more money available, but there will also be a lot of players out there.

Today in History

1492: Christopher Columbus changes course, missing Florida, and the Early Bird Special
1571: Ottomans defeated in battle of Lepanto
1777: U.S. defeat British at 2nd Battle of Saratoga
1868: Cornell University opens
1886: Slavery abolished in Cuba
1913: Henry Ford institutes moving assembly line
1949: East Germany forms from Russian occupied zones
1955: Allen Ginsberg reads "Howl" publicly for the first time 
1968: Riots in Derry, Northern Ireland 
1998: Matthew Shepard is found tied to tree after severe beating. Dies 6 days later
2001: U.S. invasion of Afghanistan begins

Today's musical birthday is Yo-Yo Ma, born in 1955

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Tuesday. Basketball.