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Continued: Wolves training camp preview: Five things to know

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 28, 2013 - 11:41 PM

That usually is a no-brainer decision for a former No. 2 overall pick, but Williams’ first two uneven pro seasons and the team’s salary-cap situation will create plenty of Internet chatter between now and then over what the Wolves should — and will — do.

Williams will become an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team next summer if the Wolves don’t exercise their option. His salary would push the Wolves close to the luxury-tax line and rob them of flexibility to add a player by free-agent signing.

The big question: Where — and how much — does he play now that Love presumably is back healthy? Budinger’s injury creates more time for him at small forward for now.

“I know what he’s done this summer, we’ll see how it translates,” Saunders said. “I’ve said all along I’ve always been a big fan of his. I feel and I believe he’s going to be here. We’ll see what all transpires.”

5Who’s the 15th and final man?

After signing Pekovic to a five-year, $60 million contract, the Wolves now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts. So it would appear they have one spot left from among training-camp invitee draft picks Robbie Hummel and Lorenzo Brown and free agents Othyus Jeffers and A.J. Price.

Not so fast.

Former basketball boss David Kahn quietly signed big man Chris Johnson to a one-year deal guaranteed for $916,000 this year before he was replaced by Saunders, who could opt to pay off Johnson’s salary so he can add another point guard in either Brown or Price AND keep Jeffers for his defense or Hummel for his shooting.

Saunders said Budinger’s season-starting absence won’t affect that decision because Brewer, Williams, Muhammad and Dante Cunningham all can play small forward until Budinger returns.

“They all bring something different,” Saunders said. “What it comes down to is, what do we value, what’s most important that last week of the preseason? If the guy at that spot can help you win a couple games, you’ll be happy.”

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  • Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said of Kevin Love: “He’s very enthusiastic about the team we have, the changes we’ve made, the direction we’re going.” Love played only 18 games last season because of injuries.

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