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Updated: July 9th, 2014 2:04pm
Evan Turner among Wolves priorities in NBA free agency

Evan Turner among Wolves priorities in NBA free agency

by Darren Wolfson
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter
Audio Clip
6/27/2014
Sports Over Beers, episode 21. Kevin Love, Wolves chatter with Doogie
Sports Over Beers welcomes Darren 'Doogie' Wolfson to the podcast to talk some Wolves. We talk new draft choice Zach LaVine and his now infamous “F*** me” comment. All kinds of answers from Wolfson on what the next year will hold for the Timberwolves. What other changes do you see the Wolves making before the Wolves head to camp? What are the chances that Kevin Love is dealt before the season? What is Flip Saunders’ greatest motivation in regards to Love? Who are the most likely trade partners? What free agents will interest the Wolves? Are there other players beyond Love that the Wolves will look to trade? Will Minnesota use the mid-level exception? What do you think of Zach LaVine’s reaction to being drafted and what do you think of LaVine as a player? Why didn’t LaVine go back to UCLA for another year to improve his draft stock? Can Flip adapt to the modern NBA demands of head coaches? Will Dante Cunningham sign with the Wolves? What will become of Alexey Shved? Who will fill out the coaching staff?-- Also, some some surprising predictions about Kevin Garnett, Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Pekovic. The podcast episode is sponsored by Shock Top. "Live life unfiltered."
[Click to listen]
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Consider the Timberwolves recent history with second overall draft choices: Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley and Darko Milicic. It's not pretty.

But if they get their way, they'll have one more recent No. 2.

A source tells 1500espn.com that the Wolves are targeting former Sixers and Pacers shooting guard Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft. He became an unrestricted free agent after the Pacers didn't extend an $8.7 million qualifying offer.

After a putrid final few months with Indiana -- he only played four total minutes vs. Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals -- Turner fits what the Wolves are aiming for: a free agent on a 1-year deal.

In case the Wolves keep All-Star Kevin Love, the idea is to maintain maximum salary cap flexibility in July 2015. In addition to Love, the Wolves have expiring contracts in J.J. Barea, Ronny Turiaf, Alexey Shved, Luc Mbah A Moute, and Corey Brewer has a player option. Ricky Rubio is eligible to sign an extension this summer, and a source indicates the Wolves are preparing a sizable 4-year offer. But his agent, Dan Fegan, may hold out for the 5-year max. The end result could be Rubio entering restricted free agency next offseason.

The Wolves have also expressed interest in free agents Kris Humphries, Trevor Booker, Steve Blake, and did so with Shaun Livingston before he signed a 3-year deal with Golden State, according to sources.

But Turner appears to be the top free agent priority. Playing one season for the Wolves could help him re-establish his market value for 2015. Whether the feeling is reciprocal will play out in the coming weeks. The Cavs, among others, are also interested in Turner, so he'll have a few options.

Darren "Doogie" Wolfson is the jack-of-all-trades sports guy for 5 Eyewitness News and a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Darren | @darrenwolfson
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