On Wednesday, the Timberwolves had two of the bigger names in the upcoming draft in for a workout. So, naturally, all people wanted to talk to Kevin McHale about was Kevin Garnett.
So, moments after Florida's Al Horford and Georgetown's Jeff Green had finished their auditions in the team's practice facility, the Wolves vice president for basketball operations walked over and tried his best to scoff at rampant trade rumors involving Garnett.
But he didn't quite squash them.
"Who knows what's going to happen?" he asked. But: "We're not actively shopping Kevin Garnett around the NBA. We've had different phone calls. But we've had different phone calls every year."
One difference, perhaps, is that the Wolves might be listening a little more intently.
Owner Glen Taylor said earlier this week that the team is listening more than ever when teams call about Garnett. On Wednesday, McHale suggested those calls have always been taken.
And will continue to be.
"I just didn't bring it to Glen very often," McHale said. "You always listen. Guys call up and say, 'Hey, look, we'd like you to [consider] this or that.' You listen and it doesn't go very far. It hasn't gone very far right now. ... There are no deals done for Kevin Garnett."
At least not yet.
McHale, loath to deal in speculation, was asked if the timing now made moving Garnett a wiser move. After all, the Wolves' salary situation doesn't allow a lot of wiggle room and most believe Garnett's trade value will only diminish over time. So, is this the right time to do it?
"No," McHale said. "At this time of year all teams are talking to each other. It's 'What are you looking at, what are you thinking?' Everybody talks about a lot of different stuff. "Unfortunately, some of that talk seems to creep out or get speculated on. ... It happens at every trading deadline, or at this time of year. This is one of those times when a lot of stuff happens, and people put out [rumors] like fact."
Two players who might not even be available when the Wolves draft at No. 7 worked out Wednesday.
Many mock drafts have both Horford and Green being gone, with some having Horford going third and Green fifth.
So why come to Minnesota to work out?
"You never know with the draft until the night of the draft," Horford said.
Horford is considered to be the most NBA-ready player after Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.
Green, meanwhile, is a nice mix of size and ball-handling skill.
The Wolves will continue their workouts today when they look at Detroit forward Ryvon Covile, Florida guard Taurean Green, Massachusetts forward Stephane Lasme and Texas A&M guard Acie Law.
Howard in town
Juwan Howard, having passed his post-trade physical, was introduced to theTwin Cities media Wednesday. He praised the quality of young talent on the team, while implying that Craig Smith's ownership of the No. 5 (the number Howard has always worn) is limited at best. He said he has a lot left in his gas tank while saying that he expects he'll be able to put the pedal to the metal this fall with Garnett as his teammate.
"All I heard was just rumors," Howard said. "It hasn't happened. I'm excited to have an opportunity to play with him. This is his team.he's going to be here. When I got traded here I knew I was going to be playing with a warrior who brings it night in and night out.