The Minnesota Timberwolves could become the Chicago Bulls revisited during the Michael Jordan glory years when former Arizona standouts Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler and Bison Dele (known as Brian Williams during his Wildcat career) won an NBA title in 1997.
The Timberwolves are not a dynasty like Chicago was, not even close, but they could have three former Arizona players on their roster in 2012-13 similar to the Bulls.
The chances are a bit remote that former UA forward Chase Budinger, acquired late last month by Minnesota from Houston, will be part of a team that could include ex-Wildcats Derrick Williams and Jordan Hill. Williams is rumored to be involved in trade talks and Hill, a free agent with the Lakers, is reportedly not atop Minnesota’s shopping list although he did visit with Timberwolves executives last Monday.
Restricted free-agent center Greg Stiemsma is ahead of Hill on Minnesota’s list, according to a report by an ESPN radio station in Minneapolis.
Hill and Budinger were teammates at Arizona and with Houston before Hill was dealt to Los Angeles late last season.
The latest Williams trade rumor has him being a key part of a three-team trade for restricted free agent Nic Batum of Portland.
According to the ESPN radio-station report, the Timberwolves are attempting to land Batum via a sign-and-trade that could impact Williams and another former Arizona player — Andre Iguodala, who was added to the U.S. Olympic team on Saturday. The three-team trade would reportedly include Iguodala to Portland, Williams to the Sixers and Batum to Minnesota. Portland is balking at the offer, according to the report.
Iguodala is also a possibility to join Minnesota in a trade with Phildaelphia. The report suggests, however, that Minnesota is not thrilled about Iguodala’s remaining contract with two years left, the second being a player option, at approximately $30 million.
Former UA guard Brandon Lavender tweeted recently that he was included in Atlanta’s NBA Summer League roster, but the Hawks’ roster is not finalized. The summer league in Las Vegas starts Friday. Various Internet sites have run projected (unconfirmed) rosters and Lavender’s name does not appear with Atlanta’s roster.
This likely means that Lavender’s inclusion on Atlanta’s roster is contingent on the Hawks’ plans with other players. Lavender could use the event to showcase his perimeter shooting skills, especially for professional leagues overseas.
Class of 2013 high school prospect James Young, a 6-foot-5-inch wing player from Troy, Mich., has mentioned that Arizona coach Sean Miller is one of the most interested coaches in his services. Miller reportedly has offered him a scholarship. His list also includes Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan State.
Read this anyway you want: Young and his mother celebrated the Kentucky offer by going out to dinner the day John Calipari extended it, according to NBEBasketball.com.
Young has told other Internet sites, including Scout.com, that he favors Kentucky. He has also mentioned to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, however, that he wants to visit the Arizona campus in late August.
Scout.com rates Young the second-best wing player in the nation for the class of 2013. Its assessment of Young:
“James Young has developed into one of the top all around scorers in the 2013 class. Young, who stands every bit of 6-foot-5, has good size and is an impressive athlete. His jump shot off the catch is consistent and the southpaw finds ways to get to the basket. There are still areas for improvement like his ball handling and strength, but Young has the potential to be a McDonald’s All-American.”