• ESPN Insider graded the Timberwolves trade of Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia along with Justin Patton for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and a second-round pick as a B for the Wolves and a C-minus for the 76ers. Writer Kevin Pelton wrote, “Adding two starters will improve Minnesota’s depth as the team hopes to salvage this season while keeping an eye on the future. From the Timberwolves’ standpoint, there’s a lot to like about this deal. Unlike reported offers from the Houston Rockets and Miami Heat, this one doesn’t force Minnesota to take on any negative, long-term salary.”
• According to ESPN NFL reporter Bill Barnwell, Vikings receiver Adam Thielen and defensive lineman Danielle Hunter are in the hunt for Player of the Year awards.
• Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson has given his group the “Rushmen 4 Life” nickname, which he coined back during his first stint with the Vikings in 1998-99. That group had four sacks in the red zone last week vs. Detroit.
• One side effect of NBC moving the Vikings-Bears game next Sunday to 7:30 p.m. is how it impacts the Bears’ travel schedule. Chicago has to play at Detroit in the early game on Thanksgiving, about an 85-hour turnaround that is perhaps the shortest turnaround any NFL team can have.
• Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino on his tough schedule: “We’ll be tested early. We play Utah the second game of the season in our building [Monday], Texas A&M, Santa Clara, Washington [those three games are in Vancouver], at Boston College, Oklahoma State, obviously the Big Ten has a couple games early [at Ohio State and vs. Nebraska]. We will know where we stand.”
• Former Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys, now the defensive coordinator at No. 8 Washington State, has been nominated for the Broyles Award, given annually to the best assistant coach in college football.