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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29

Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29

Minnesota Timberwolves Notes, Quotes 2008-05-29
--Corey Brewer, Chris Richard, Rashad McCants and Greg Buckner have returned to town and are working out already in preparation for next season. Al Jefferson and Craig Smith, the latter of whom will be a restricted free agent on July 1, are expected back next week.

"The biggest thing is our guys who we already have need to make improvement from what happened last year," Hoiberg said. "If you add a player in the draft, you're bringing in a rookie and not many rookies have made a huge impact in this league. Our guys need to get better over the summer."

--If the Wolves don't win one of the draft's first two picks, one of the players they might have to decide upon is USC's O.J. Mayo, who, according to an ESPN report, received thousands of dollars in improper benefits from a sports agent when he was in high school and a college freshman.

Two connections to keep in mind: Mayo's agent -- Bill Duffy, head of a North California sports agency that allegedly supplied cash and gifts in return for the right to represent Mayo when he turned pro -- is the former college roommate of Timberwolves executive Kevin McHale. And Mayo's college coach was Tim Floyd, who coached Wolves assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State.

When asked if the allegations about Mayo would affect the Wolves' draft opinion about him, Hoiberg said he had talked to Floyd "a lot" about a number of his USC players.

"I can't really comment specifically, but when you get to know the kids and get the chance to talk to them, that plays much more important role," Hoiberg said.

Hoiberg knows all about No. 1 picks. He was one once.

"Me and Joe Smith," he said with a smile.

Of course, Joe Smith was the No. 1 overall selection out of Maryland in the 1995 NBA draft. That same year, the Omaha Racers took Hoiberg first overall in the Continental Basketball Association's draft.

"They probably figured I didn't have a chance of making it in the NBA," said Hoiberg, who played 10 NBA seasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'll tell you: I feel lucky to be alive right now. I was lucky to find out about my heart condition when I did. So if you look at it that way, I do feel like I am a lucky person." -- Lottery-bound Wolves exec Fred Hoiberg, whose playing career essentially was ended by a life-threatening heart condition that required open-heart surgery in 2005.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 29, 2008


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