Northwest Notes: Wolves, Lottery, Durant

The Wolves have done a lot of background work on Kevon Looney and he could be a potential target if Minnesota decides to trade into the back-end of the first round, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities speculates (Twitter link). The Wolves own the 36th overall pick in the draft as a result of the Corey Brewer trade in addition to the 31st selection, so they have the ammunition to trade up if they choose to.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune chronicles Minnesota’s poor luck in the lottery. The Wolves have 18 previous lottery experiences, but they have never moved up in the draft and have moved back 10 times. The team has a 25% chance at the top selection this year and is guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth.
  • Kevin Durant will become a free agent next offseason and Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman believes his impending decision will linger over the team for the next 14 months. Slater compares the potential situation to the Heat in 2011 when LeBron James first joined and this year’s Cavs.
  • The Thunder’s defensive shortcomings this season should, in part, be attributed to Durant’s absence, Slater argues in a separate piece. The team has a 99.5 defensive rating during the 913 minutes that the forward played this season. Oklahoma City defensive rating jumped to 104.3 without last season’s MVP on the court. The Thunder seem to be prioritizing offense over defense, particularly outside shooting, in this year’s draft.


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