With training camp's start a week away, the Timberwolves are negotiating a contract buyout with third-year forward Anthony Bennett, a source with knowledge of the discussions said.
Unable this summer to trade him without taking back a player with a similar salary, the Wolves would save a chunk of the $5.8 million they owe Bennett — the 2013 draft's first overall pick — for this coming season and reduce their number of fully guaranteed contracts to the maximum 15 allowed on opening night Oct. 28.
Such a move also will presumably place Bennett with a team that has fewer power forwards than the Wolves.
If the two sides reach a buyout, Bennett will be released. If no one other NBA team claims him through the waiver process, he'd become a free agent.
Cleveland chose Bennett first overall in 2013, but he hasn't yet reached such high expectations, partly due to injuries sustained each of his first two NBA seasons.
The Wolves appear stockpiled at the power-forward position with veteran Kevin Garnett, newly signed Nemanja Bjelica, second-year man Adreian Payne and newly acquired Damjan Rudez, even though Bennett is just 22 years old and was healthy and played well for Canada this summer in the Pan Am Games and an Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico.
Bennett was acquired in the August 2014 trade that also brought Andrew Wiggins and Thaddeus Young to the Wolves in the deal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland.
Mankato is voted favorite to win WCHA
Minnesota State Mankato was picked to win the WCHA men's regular-season hockey championship in polls by WCHA coaches and the media. Bowling Green, Michigan Tech and Bemidji State were picked second, third and fourth in both polls; Bowling Green was voted second by the media and third by coaches, flip-flopping with Tech in the two rankings.
Minnesota State, which has the most wins (79) in Division I hockey over the past three seasons, got eight of 10 coaches' first-place votes and 12 of 29 in the media poll. Last season, the Mavericks won their first MacNaughton Cup in program history, finished the regular season No. 1 in the PairWise rankings, advanced to a third straight NCAA tournament and posted the country's best overall winning percentage at .762 (29-8-3).
•ESPN's "SportsCenter on the Road" will broadcast live from Collegeville, Minn., on Saturday before the MIAC football game between No. 8 St. John's (3-0) and No. 12 St. Thomas (2-0). The broadcast will air from 6 to 8 a.m. Gates at Clemens Stadium will open at 5 a.m.
• Gophers volleyball setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson was chosen the Big Ten freshman of the week for the third consecutive week, sharing the award with Nebraska' Mikaela Foecke, after totaling 96 assists in three matches.