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Northwest Notes: Tskitishvili, Wolves, Exum

Ater being out of the league for nearly a decade, former Nuggets player Nikoloz Tskitishvili is interested in making a comeback, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. At 32, Tskitishvili insists he’s a better player now than when he quickly passed through the league after being the No. 5 overall pick in the 2002 draft. Tskitishvili spent three seasons in Denver, averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 143 games while shooting about 30%. He wants to atone for his past failings and attended the summer league in Las Vegas hoping to find someone to give him a chance. “I’m 100 times better than I was,” he said. “It’s just very difficult for teams to understand that, because they are looking at the number, the age. If you ask me, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in and the best I’ve been playing in my career.”

There’s more news out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Wolves hold a trade exception worth more than $6.3MM that will expire next Sunday, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks. Minnesota is in a tough position because the team is hard capped and has 16 guaranteed contracts, Marks notes. The trade exception was created in last summer’s deal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland.
  • Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders likes the veteran leadership that newly acquired Andre Miller and Tayshaun Prince will bring, along with Kevin Garnett (Twitter link). He also notes that Garnett and Prince were once regulars on the All-Defensive team, calling it a “Defensive Culture for Pups to see.”
  • Utah’s season won’t be destroyed by the loss of Dante Exum, writes Brad Rock of The Deseret News. He points out that the Jazz have a capable backup in Trey Burke, who has started 111 games during his career, along with nearly $7MM in cap room to pursue other options. Utah already has Bryce Cotton on its roster and signed Raul Neto in July. The team also has been rumored to have interest in Washington’s Garrett Temple.

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