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Updated: June 28th, 2012 11:57pm
Notebook: Wolves didn't come close to getting back into first round

Notebook: Wolves didn't come close to getting back into first round

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS - While there was speculation the Minnesota Timberwolves might have made a trade Thursday night to move back into the first round of the NBA draft, that did not happen and the team ended up picking Purdue's Robbie Hummel with its only selection at 58th overall in the second round.

David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, said at his post-draft press conference that he didn't come close to getting back into the first round.

"We had a little bit of activity, but I think it would be a mischaracterization to say it was even remotely close," Kahn said. "I know what close feels like and it didn't feel close."

Kahn also dismissed the notion that the Wolves tried to move up in the second round.

"There was one player that ended up being chosen late in the first round that we had a little bit of our eye on and that was really the only player that I could see us targeting," Kahn said. "Once that player was taken, there really wasn't any reason I felt for us to move up, to surrender an asset. Be it a future a second-round pick, cash, to do so. I thought it was just best for us to stay put."

Kahn refused to identify the player the Wolves liked, but it was believed to be Duke forward Miles Plumlee. He went to Indiana at 26ht overall.

The Wolves didn't have a first-round pick because they dealt the 18th-overall selection to Houston on Tuesday for guard/forward Chase Budinger. Kahn said he has no regrets about that move.

"I said the other day, and I want to credit our scouting staff and everybody in our front office, I thought we were very well prepared," he said. "I thought that the way we looked at it this weekend, and I remember standing in front of the guys Sunday as we were projecting what would happen, there were very few surprises for us at least in the top 15-20 picks.

"Not that we picked them exactly place-by-place but we were looking, the names that we looked at Sunday, were the names that were there tonight and it helped influence the decision to trade the pick."

Since the Wolves' only pick was the third from the last one in the draft, it wasn't exactly an eventful night for the team.

"We watched the draft, we made a few phone calls, we received a lot more phone calls than we made," Kahn said. "Our 58th pick was pretty ... actually for 58 it was well regarded. We had quite a few calls of people willing to buy it. But I felt -- especially when you don't have a pick in the first round -- it feels a little strange to pull yourself out all together."

Kahn said there were some trade talks involving players on Thursday afternoon, but all the discussion with other teams on Thursday night involved draft picks.

The next step

Timberwolves executives will now turn their attention toward potential trades and free agency, which opens on Sunday.

There also is the matter of the Saturday deadline to make qualifying offers to Michael Beasley ($8.1 million) and Anthony Randolph ($4 million).

Beasley and Randolph will be restricted free agents if qualifying offers are made to them. That would mean the Wolves can match any offers those players receive. Failure by the Wolves to make an offer, however, would mean Beasley and Randolph would hit the unrestricted market.

The Wolves also have until Saturday to buy out Martell Webster's contract for a small portion of his $5.7 mllion salary.

Kahn said decisions will be made on Saturday.

"I know this may seem like an overstatement, but it is just a perpetual, it just never stops," he said. "I don't know how to describe it other than to say you should be assured the next two days will be quite busy because of some deadline days and we will see what happens.

"I have told several people in our front office that it is going to be a pretty hectic next few weeks, league-wide, not just for us. It is going to be very hectic and it might bleed into August."

Kahn expects a few free agents in whom the Wolves are interested to make visits to Target Center. "We have flexibility to create certain amounts of money if that is how we want to play it," Kahn said of the Wolves' financial situation. "It is impossible to say tonight, no determination has been made to how we will proceed."

As far as trades, Kahn said: "I think what we want to do is make the basketball team better. I think what we did with the trade this week is exactly what I said. In doing so this week, for lack of a better phrase, we had our cake and ate it too because the player (Budinger) we received just turned 24 last month and I think he still has a lot of room for improvement."

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
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