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Updated: October 25th, 2013 3:59pm
Cuts up next for Wolves: Will Robbie Hummel make the final roster?

Cuts up next for Wolves: Will Robbie Hummel make the final roster?

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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The preseason is over, leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves less than a week before they host the Orlando Magic next Wednesday to kick off the year.

But before they can do that, the Wolves must narrow down their roster to 15 players by the NBA's Monday deadline. That means parting ways with at three players on their 18-man preseason roster.

For guys like Robbie Hummel, Othyus Jeffers, A.J. Price and Lorenzo Brown, the next few days become of a period of "wait and see."

Early on in the preseason, Hummel, a 2012 second round pick by the Wolves, looked to be a probable candidate to be sent to Minnesota's NBA D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, if he cleared waivers.

However, in the last week the 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward's stock has been on the rise.

A source close to the team told 1500ESPN.com on Friday afternoon that it is "looking good" that Hummel will make the Wolves' final roster. His addition would give the Wolves another option on the wing, which has been an area of concern with Chase Budinger expected to be out until at least Jan. 1.

Coach Rick Adelman has been increasingly positive about Hummel's value, another apparent indication that the former Purdue star is being highly considered for one of the final roster spots.

Hummel started at small forward in the Wolves' 125-102 rout of Philadelphia Wednesday. While he struggled to find his shot, going 1-of-9 from the floor, Adelman said post-game that Hummel's shooting inconsistencies hadn't lessened the coach's opinion.

"I don't worry about him not shooting the ball (well)," Adelman told the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda. "He does all the other little things on the court. He's always in the right spot defensively. He gets those same shots, he's going to make those shots ... He just fits right in. He fits right in with the team when he's hot, whether it's the first team or the second group."

If Hummel does make it, the question is where does that leave the others who are on the bubble.

Brown, Minnesota's second round pick in this year's draft, is likely headed to Iowa, with the stipulation that he clears waivers.

It seems to be an almost foregone conclusion that center Chris Johnson will be cut. Johnson, who would be owed $916,000 if released, played in just two of the Wolves' seven preseason games, logging a sparse nine minutes and four points.

In that scenario, it would leave the decision between guards Price and Jeffers. Both have at least two years experience. In the five games Price played in, he averaged 7.8 points and 1.8 assists. Jeffers, who has a strong presence on the defensive end, logged 14 or more minutes in four games (6.5 ppg and 4.75 rpg in that stretch).

Whatever choice the Wolves make, it will be settled within the next three days. Minnesota will resume practice on Saturday after taking Friday off.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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