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Continued: Wolves liked Mayo and Love

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 27, 2008 - 12:55 AM

The media got fooled into thinking the Timberwolves rated Southern California guard O.J. Mayo and UCLA center Kevin Love even in ability, and that it was going to be tough to pick between them with the third overall choice in Thursday's NBA draft.

Then the media got fooled again. After the Wolves selected Mayo, and after assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg said he was their choice all along, a blockbuster deal was struck with Memphis to send Mayo, guards Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner and forward Antoine Walker to the Grizzlies for Love, guard/forward Mike Miller, forward Brian Cardinal and forward/center Jason Collins.

Before word of the eight-player deal began coming out shortly before midnight, Hoiberg said the Wolves never came close to making a trade. The Wolves thought a lot of Mayo but were willing to part with him after long negotiations with the Grizzlies.

Mayo is going to be in the news because of accusations that he was paid by an agent all the way through high school, but he can play. But the Wolves must have liked Love and the other Grizzlies included in the deal enough to part with Mayo.

Roster revisions

Now that the draft has been completed, Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said the attention will turn to the players who were on the roster last year -- and the four new members acquired Thursday night.

"We have some free agents like [guard/forward] Kirk Snyder and [point guard] Sebastian Telfair," McHale said. "Depending on after the draft and what positions we fill and where we're at, we'll know more.

"I would like to keep ... our roster, on a nightly basis, 13 guys. That might mean there's a guy in the [NBA Development] League or maybe a guy or two in the D-League. So we'll know exactly how many guys we have on our roster exactly after the draft."

In the Memphis deal, the Wolves were able to unload the contract of forward Antoine Walker, who rarely played from late February on last season and was due some $9.3 million on the last year of his contract. Jaric also had three years and more than $21 million left on his contract.

"We're going to see what happens with Walker and all those guys," McHale said before the deal was made. "Free agency kicks off on July 1, and we'll see what's happening."

McHale also had high praise for Buckner, who was under contract, before he was included in the trade.

"I couldn't be happier," McHale said. "He is just a world-class kid; he was great to have around the young guys. He was a great leader."

Interlachen's reward

The final numbers for the U.S. Women's Open, being held this week at Edina's Interlachen Country Club, have yet to be determined, but the club is looking for a post-tax return in excess of $1 million, according to Dave Mona, who has been involved in preparing for the tournament since it was awarded to the club.

"The U.S. Open, which runs the event, has a complicated revenue-sharing agreement with the club," Mona said. "[It] includes money from ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, course rental, pretournament merchandise sales and the profits on food and beverages sold in the clubhouse during the event."

Mona said Interlachen will set an attendance record for the U.S. Women's Open.

"This year's event at Interlachen is well on its way to being the best attended and most profitable U. S. Open in history," Mona said.

Mona said the club hopes to earn enough money to build a new short-game area and make other improvements that have been discussed for years.

Jottings

Gophers football recruit Sam Maresh underwent successful heart valve replacement surgery at Rochester's Mayo Clinic on Thursday. The surgery was performed by cardiovascular surgeon Hartzell Schaff. Maresh was to spend the evening in intensive care for monitoring. According to a news release from the Mayo Clinic, the surgery to replace the ascending aorta went "very well."

According to a neighbor of Kevin Garnett's on Lake Minnetonka, the former Wolves star and a member of the NBA champion Celtics has been sighted more than once at his local home since winning the title. Garnett said when he was traded that he would still make his home here. It was surprising the U.S. Olympic team won't include any of the three stars -- Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce -- from the Celtics.

A program called Bridge to Academic Excellence, put in place two years ago by University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, has really helped Gophers athletes, especially in men's basketball and football. The program helps incoming students get acclimated to college. The NCAA now allows athletes to get scholarship help when they enroll in summer school.

Former Gophers football coach Glen Mason said he will do color commentary on college football games this fall for either ESPN or the Big Ten Network.

Gophers freshman Hassan Mead, who won the Big Ten title in the 5,000 meters, will be one of 24 runners to compete in that event in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials this weekend at Eugene, Ore. Mead finished sixth in the NCAA 5,000 meters, in which he set a Gophers record of 13 minutes, 44.30 seconds. Former Gopher Trent Riter will compete in the 800 meters.

A total of 21 current and former Gophers swimmers will compete at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials next week in Omaha. Among the Gophers with the best chance to make it are seniors Jon Roberts, who is seeded third in the 100 breaststroke and 11th in the 200 breaststroke, and David Plummer, who is seeded 11th in the 100 backstroke and 16th in the 200 backstroke. The Gophers will be represented in all 13 events at the trials. The top two finishers in each event will make the trip to Beijing for the Olympics.

Former Twins starter Matt Garza, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with shortstop Jason Bartlett in the Delmon Young deal, is now 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA after throwing his first complete game Thursday -- a one-hitter in a 6-1 victory over the Florida Marlins. Bartlett, who has been injured and missed the past two games, is hitting .246 with 17 RBI.

Ben Revere, the Twins' No. 1 draft choice last year, continues to excel for Class A Beloit, hitting .414 with one home run, 26 RBI and 22 stolen bases.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com

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