The Timberwolves completed shootaround not long ago in Philadelphia, in preparation for tonight's game against a 76ers team that, according to multiple reports, will sign veteran Elton Brand tonight.
The Sixers have changed course since hiring longtime NBA executive and Team USA leader Jerry Colangelo last month as a special advisor to get the rudderless franchise back on track. Their acquistion of point guard Ish Smith has had immediate impact and now they're adding a real locker-room presence to a young team that has had none.
Sixers coach Brett Brown sounded jealous when his team came to Target Center in November and he was asked about how the Wolves have surrounded their young core with veterans Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince, Andre Miller and Kevin Martin.
Rookie Jahlil Okafor's off-the-court missteps have been well documented this last month. Brand's presence is intended to help resolve such matters.
Brand, 36, last played 36 games for Atlanta last season.
Philadelphia has won two of its last five games after it started the season 0-18 and 1-30.
A couple other things:
* The NBA today fined Milwaukee's O.J. Mayo $25,000 for his outburst during Saturday's first quarter against the Wolves at Target Center. He received two quick technical fouls and was ejected from the game after he had to be restrained by an assistant coach and teammates from going after a game official following a call. According to a league statement, he was fined for "aggressively pursuing" a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after his ejection.
* Wolves president of sports performance Arnie Kander organized a team field trip to the "Rocky steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sunday night as part of Nikola Pekovic's 30th birthday celebration. Pek grew up watching American movies, particularly Westerns, because his dad is a huge film fan and Pek loves 'em, too. He seems to be something of a Rocky purist. "I like the first three," he said.
* Kevin Martin has sat out the last six games, coach's decision after Sam Mitchell and Milt Newton decided to play Zach LaVine more at the 2 and open the backup point guard job to Tyus Jones. From what I saw at the end of Monday's shootaround he attended and watched and didn't seem to participate at all. I've gotten no indication a trade is imminent. We'll see how and when this matter gets resolved.