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Northwest Notes: Afflalo, Wolves, Thunder

The Thunder are reaching out to teams with the hope of unloading a contract to solidify their ability to re-sign Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler, both of whom are restricted free agents this summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets. OKC has reportedly dealt Jeremy Lamb and his $3,034,356 salary for 2015/16 to the Hornets, so it’s unclear if further moves are in the works. The deal includes Matt Barnes and his $3.543MM salary for next season coming to Oklahoma City, though only $1MM of that amount is guaranteed unless he remains on the roster past July 1st, at which point the team would be on the hook for the entire amount. The Thunder aren’t expected to keep Barnes, though it wasn’t specified if a third team was involved, or if he would simply be released.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Blazers shouldn’t prioritize re-signing unrestricted free agent Arron Afflalo this offseason, opines Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Freeman notes that Afflalo and Portland were never a good match, with the swingman struggling to find his place and never looking completely comfortable in the Blazers’ system. Couple that with the late-season emergence of C.J. McCollum, and Portland re-signing Afflalo becomes less of a need, regardless of what transpires with fellow unrestricted free agent Wesley Matthews, Freeman concludes.
  • When asked what the Timberwolves would be targeting in the second round of the draft and in free agency this summer, coach/executive Flip Saunders said backcourt [depth], shooting and ball-handling, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press tweets. Saunders not mentioning a big man seemingly reinforces the opinion that the team will select Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 overall pick, Krawczynski adds.
  • The Timberwolves are expected to extend their lease on the Target Center with the city of Minneapolis through 2035, Charley Walters of The Pioneer Press relays (Twitter link).

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