The Wolves still are in search of a starting shooting guard. Here are the most likely candidates when Flip Saunders goes shopping late Sunday night with as much as $7 million-plus for a starting salary in his pocket for next season:
Ht.: 6-4 ¼ • Age: 25 • College: USC
2012-13 stats: Averaged 15.3 points on 44.9 percent field-goal and 40.7 pct. three-point shooting, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 35.5 minutes and 82 games with Dallas.
Drafted: Third overall by Timberwolves in 2008.
Comment: He never has become the superstar Wolves fans envisioned when they hyperventilated after their team drafted him third overall and then traded him for Kevin Love on draft night in 2008. Fine shooter and probably best defender of this free-agent bunch, and he had his best pro season with Dallas last month after falling off badly after the All-Star break. Extremely durable, has played every game in three of five NBA seasons. Looking for a featured role after relegated to a reserve’s role with Memphis. Similar to new Wolf Shabazz Muhammad in that both were ballyhooed as one of the nation’s best players for years in their youths.
Ht.: 6-4 ¾ • Age: 29 • College: Duke
2012-13 stats: Averaged 14.1 points on 43.4 pct. field-goal and 36.6 pct. three-point shooting, 3.8 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 0.5 steals in 30.5 minutes and 78 games with Orlando and Milwaukee.
Drafted: 11th overall by Orlando in 2006
Comment: If the Wolves want pure shooters to place next to Ricky Rubio, this guy is the best in the bunch, particularly coming off screens. He’s a career 39-percent shooter from three-point range and one of the league’s most dependable free-throw shooters (90 percent last season, 88.1 for his career). A bit taller than Mayo but probably not as physical or as good a defender.Played six-plus seasons in Orlando before being traded to Milwaukee for final 28 games last season. Said to be seeking $10 million a season, which is well out of Wolves’ $7 million-plus price range.
Ht.: 6-7 • Age: 30 • College: W. Carolina
2012-13 stats: Averaged 14.0 on 45 pct. field-goal and 42.6 pct. three-point shooting, 2.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals in 27.7 minutes and 77 games for Oklahoma City.
Drafted: 26th overall by Sacramento in 2004.
Comment: Still an efficient scorer, deft three-point shooter and mediocre defender who played for Wolves coach Rick Adelman in both Sacramento and Houston. Adapted to a sixth-man role with Oklahoma City last season after being involved in blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to Houston. Could very well return to Thunder, but his relationship with Adelman could prove meaningful for Wolves if their search comes to that.