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Northwest Rumors: Budinger, Martin, Westbrook

A rematch of last year's Western Conference Finals was the only game on the NBA's slate Thursday night, but it certainly delivered. After hitting a game-tying three with 28 seconds left, Tony Parker hit a buzzer-beater to give the Spurs an 86-84 win over the defending Northwest Division champions. We've got a few Thunder-related links to pass along this morning as they regroup from last night's loss, along with a couple more Northwest notes:

  • Despite not playing his first regular-season game with the Timberwolves yet, Chase Budinger tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities he can already picture himself sticking around Minnesota for a while: "I can definitely see myself here (long-term). It's a great city. You can already see how good the fans are here…. I'm excited for the season."
  • Wolfson also tweets that Kenyon Martin's camp has checked in a few times with the Timberwolves, but the T-Wolves have said Kevin Love's recovery is going well and they don't have a need at power forward. Since K-Mart is reportedly seeking the mini mid-level, I'm not sure the Wolves are necessarily a match anyway.
  • Noting that it felt "surreal" to be dealt to a championship contender like the Thunder, another K-Mart, Kevin Martin, tells Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld that he wasn't surprised by the trade. "With next summer being an unrestricted free agent and them in rebuilding mode," Martin said. "I knew it was going to come at some point."
  • One "well-placed" NBA executive tells Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he would've preferred to trade Russell Westbrook than James Harden, if he were running the Thunder (Twitter link).
  • Kevin Durant spoke to reporters last night about the Harden trade, and HoopsWorld TV has the video.

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