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Northwest Rumors: Kirilenko, Kahn, Darko, Batum

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune details the reasons why some of the Timberwolves' free agent acquisitions wound up in Minnesota, including Andrei Kirilenko, who signed with the Wolves in part because of his memories of coach Rick Adelman's old Kings teams. "Those Sacramento teams were some of my favorite teams," the former Jazz forward said. "I like that style. It's more like how we play in Europe." We passed along comments about the makeup of the Nuggets from coach George Karl earlier today, and there's more news out of the Northwest Division.

  • In the same piece, Zgoda says it's likely the Wolves must make the playoffs for GM David Kahn to keep his job. Minnesota has been a lottery team in each of Kahn's three seasons in charge of the front office.
  • Kevin Love told Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer press in July that he was glad the Wolves were rid of what he called "bad blood" in the locker room. Zgoda identifies amnestied center Darko Milicic as the player to whom Love was referring.
  • Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum is ready to live up to the four-year, $46.5MM deal he signed over the summer, as he told Chris Haynes of "I signed an All-Star-type contract and now it's up to me to play up to that level," Batum said. "I got team goals and personal goals I want to accomplish and becoming an All-Star one day is one of them. I want to be an NBA champion, I want to be a three-point champion. It's all about winning in this league and I'm ready for that next step in my career."

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