A disproportionate number of this year’s lottery picks are headed to the Northwest Division, where four of the five teams have one top-14 selection apiece. Those picks will go into vastly different circumstances. The Timberwolves will welcome the No. 1 overall choice to a bottom-up rebuild, the Nuggets have the seventh pick to add to a volatile mix, the No. 12 pick has a chance to help the resurgent Jazz slip into the playoffs next season, while the Thunder are primed to use the No. 14 pick to help fuel a run at the title. Here’s the latest from around the Northwest:
- Jazz draft-and-stash center Tibor Pleiss took to Facebook to deny that he’s headed to Germany’s Bayern Munich, saying that he’s comfortable playing for Barcelona in Spain, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia translates. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net reported earlier this week that Barcelona was expected to convey him to Bayern Munich. Still, David Pick of Eurobasket.com hears that Pleiss isn’t satisfied with his role for Barcelona (Twitter link), and his discontent there appeared to be a factor when Pleiss and the Jazz were reportedly in talks about a deal this past season.
- University of Minnesota point guard Andre Hollins will work out for the Timberwolves soon, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Hollins is the 103rd-best prospect according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him outside the top 100, too, ranking him as the 53rd-best senior.
- The Columbian’s Erik Gunderson figures a fair offer from the Trail Blazers to Wesley Matthews would entail a $9-10MM salary, but Mike Richman of The Oregonian believes it would be stunning to see Matthews wind up with less than $10MM per year, as they write in a collaborative piece.
- Injuries helped limited Mitch McGary to only 32 appearances this season, but last year’s 21st overall pick is nonetheless showing signs of having been another steal for the Thunder in the late first round, as The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry examines.