Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where thankfully the NBA draft is almost here. Let’s get to it:
*I tried to round up all the Wolves rumors and rumblings yesterday, but another one has already popped up (albeit related to No. 5).
Longtime hoops writer Jeff Goodman tweeted Thursday morning that he’s been told “there have been discussions between Pels No. 4 pick and Minnesota involving No. 11 and Robert Covington.”
That adds a specific framework to the report that the Wolves are among the teams trying to trade up to get the No. 4 pick — ostensibly to grab Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland.
This one is interesting because the first instinct is to look at Covington as a core player given his age (28) and team-friendly contract with three years left on it.
But maybe if Gersson Rosas is playing the long game and trying to match players with Karl-Anthony Towns, he would be more interested in someone like Garland.
“As we look at that window of time for Karl, we want to make sure that we’ve got pieces in place that can grow and develop with him and can peak at the right time,” Rosas said Tuesday.
The swap could also free up more than $8 million in cap space for the Wolves if New Orleans could absorb Covington’s contract without sending back any salary to Minnesota.
That would give the Wolves at least a little room to maneuver in free agency — and could send them on a path to clearing even more space if they are serious about making a run at restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell.
Wait, aren’t Garland and Russell both point guards? Sure. But so are James Harden and Chris Paul.
Guess we will find out soon enough!
*With Utah trading for Memphis PG Mike Conley on Wednesday, the two-year Ricky Rubio era with the Jazz will come to a close.
The former Wolves guard posted a “thank you” tweet to the Jazz, and it will be interesting to see what his future holds. The Pacers are said to be interested in signing him in free agency.
*If the Wolves stay at No. 11, their options will be varied. ESPN’s final mock draft has them taking North Carolina freshman Nassir Little.