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NBA Draft Rumors: Lakers Want Cousins, Teams Trading Back?

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The rumor mill began in earnest yesterday. Here's what we are hearing.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lot's of Wolves rumors surfaced early yesterday, and I think we got them all covered on the site. To recap:

Greivis Vasquez, the Raptor point guard, said that the Wolves were among the teams interested in his services for next season. He remains under contract for another season in Toronto, but may be available via trade. He certainly would fill the need for a veteran back up point guard, and bring some juice to the 2nd unit.

Meanwhile, the Wolves are shopping Anthony Bennett, according to ESPN. This isn't much of a surprise, since there is a looming log jam at the power forward spot and Flip Saunders went out and traded for both Adreian Payne and Kevin Garnett during the season after Bennett failed to establish himself as a rotation player. Whether they will be able to move him remains to be seen.

Finally, there are reports that the Wolves promised Karl Towns the #1 pick. While he later denied it to the AP, it was pretty clear that he is in fact the choice. That would get draft night off on the right foot.

Stuff from around the league:

The Lakers are making a play for DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings, but the Kings seem unlikely to part with him. Trading him for the 2nd pick (and probably Jahlil Okafor) just re-sets the Kings backwards. Cheaper, but further away. The Lakers are trying to engineer some sort of three-way, of course where they get everything, but I have trouble seeing it happen.

The Knicks reportedly like Frank Kaminsky from Wisconsin, who would be a good fit for what they are trying to do offensively, and might trade back to choose him, perhaps with the Nuggets if they can get additional assets they like. The Magic are also considering trading down if they could get a quality veteran. The feeling seems to be they are young enough, and need to start putting it together with the guys they have.

One last Wolves note: You will start to see rumors about guys being available as teams try to clear salary/roster spots (late report the Thunder are shopping Lamb, Perry Jones, and Steve Novak, for example).  Remember that the Wolves actually have trade exceptions they can use to absorb salary if they so choose. The problem for them is roster space, but they could take on some salary without sending any out. I don't expect them to use their exceptions (one from the Love trade and one from the Corey Brewer trade), but it's worth remembering they have them.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Women's National Team won an uninspired 2-0 game against Colombia in which Colombia had a player sent off early in the 2nd half. Abby Wambach missed the resulting penalty, but Alex Morgan scored a few minutes later thanks to a poor job by the substitute keeper. They later converted another penalty opportunity for the final score.

They continue not to impress going forward, with a real lack of creativity, ideas, and technical ability. They do kick the ball a long way hoping to find Abby Wambach's head, however. China looms in the quarters, and it wouldn't shock to see them go out, though China is going to have a hard time finding a goal. If they get by that, they play the winner of France-Germany in the semis, both of whom appear far better than the U.S. at this point.

Today in history

930: World's oldest parliament (Iceland) established
1295: Pope Boniface VIII enters Rome
1776: First draft of Declaration of Independence submitted to Continental Congress
1780: Battle of Springfield (New Jersey). Break taken for shopping at Short Hills Mall
1810: John Jacob Astor forms Pacific Fur Co. 
1848: Workers' insurrection in Paris
1894: IOC founded, first act is to ask for bribes
1919: Marcus Garvey incorporates UNIA
1926: First SAT exam administered
1947: Veto of Taft-Hartley Act overridden by Congress
1949: First women graduate from Harvard Medical School
1969: Warren Burger sworn in as Chief Justice
1972: Title IX signed into law by President Nixon
1976: CCN Tower in Toronto opens

Today's musical birthday is June Carter Cash, born in 1929 (d. 2003)