All five Northwest Division teams are out of the playoffs, so they can focus fully this week on the predraft combine in Chicago. It precedes next week’s lottery, when the Timberwolves, Nuggets, Jazz and Thunder all have varying chances at the No. 1 overall pick. Here’s the latest from the Northwest:
- The Wolves will be one of at least a dozen teams to interview draft prospect Rashad Vaughn at this week’s combine, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). The former UNLV shooting guard is the 36th-best prospect as Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks them, and he comes in 41st with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
- Steve Blake quietly helped the Blazers bench this season, developing on-court chemistry with fellow 2014 offseason pickup Chris Kaman, but the point guard’s playing time diminished toward the end and his playoff struggles were profound, as The Oregonian’s Mike Richman examines. Blake said in February that his plan was to pick up his player option for next season, worth more than $2.17MM.
- Josh Huestis, last year’s 29th overall pick, expressed a willingness to play another season in the D-League as he spoke with Scott Mansch of the Great Falls Tribune. The Thunder reached an unusual predraft agreement in which Huestis promised to spend last season in the D-League in exchange for Oklahoma City taking him in the first round. His continued patience further sets him apart, as Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside examines.