Western Rumors: Wolves, Hield, Rockets, Grizzlies

With the No. 5 pick in hand, the Timberwolves know they won’t have a chance to draft Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, but it’s not clear yet which two other players will be off the board by the time they have to submit their selection. It sounds like Kris Dunn may be the team’s top target, but if the Providence point guard is unavailable, Tom Thibodeau has Oklahoma sharpshooter Buddy Hield next up on the club’s board, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

As we wait to see what Minnesota ends up doing with that fifth overall pick, let’s check in on a few other notes and rumors from across the Western Conference…

  • James Harden expects to assist the Rockets in their pursuit of free agents this summer, actively recruiting players when he can, per Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. According to Harden, Kevin Durant will be one of the players he attempts to recruit: “I’m going to try. He’s one of my really good friends. I’m going to try and talk to him. He has a big decision [to make], whatever he feels best for his career. … I obviously would love for him to play here in Houston, but ultimately he’s got to make the best decision for his career whatever that is.”
  • Don’t be surprised if the Grizzlies acquire another second-round pick in tonight’s draft, writes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. As Tillery details, Memphis GM Chris Wallace is fond of picking up extra second-rounders to nab developmental players, especially if the price is only cash.
  • The Spurs hold the draft rights to 14 players currently playing overseas or elsewhere, and general manager R.C. Buford expects at least one of those players – and “maybe more” – to join the NBA club this offseason. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News has the details.
  • The Jazz have accelerated their playoff timeline by trading the No. 12 overall pick in a deal for veteran guard George Hill, says Brad Rock of The Deseret News. In other Jazz news, Gordon Hayward issued a statement explaining why he has withdrawn his name from Team USA for the 2016 Olympics (Twitter link via Priority Sports).

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