MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Timberwolves would like to find a true center and let budding star Al Jefferson focus on the power forward position, where he should have more advantageous matchups.
Next week's draft could be the place to do that.
The Timberwolves hosted four post prospects for a workout Tuesday at their practice facility. Highlighting the list was Kevin Love of UCLA, a 6-foot-10 sure bet to be among the first 10 picks and perhaps tantalizing enough for vice president for basketball operations Kevin McHale and company to choose at No. 3.
The Wolves are thinking hard about ex-Southern California guard O.J. Mayo, whom they're scheduled to work out in Chicago on Saturday. But they'll also take a second look at Stanford's Brook Lopez in Los Angeles on Friday. Assuming there are no trade shake-ups at the top of the board and Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley are taken with the first two selections as most analysts expect, the Wolves could have a choice between Mayo or a big man.
One of the NBA's true greats in the paint, McHale can't hide his fondness for guys who can play around the basket. Reflecting on the NBA finals, McHale smiled about the offensive evolution from the post to the perimeter and the decreased need for old-fashioned big men.
Case in point: his old Boston Celtics.
``I never thought I'd see a finals where the center would be Kevin Garnett and the power forward would be James Posey,'' McHale said. ``I was born too soon. I'd like to take my chances against Posey down there. He'd be sitting right next to Doc Rivers very quickly.''
McHale expressed a desire to land the Wolves another player who can flex his muscle underneath.
``It's a smaller league right now, so it's nice to see big guys,'' McHale said.
Love sounded confident he could be that guy.
``There's some stuff you can't teach. You can't teach toughness. You can't teach being a winner. You can't teach height,'' he said.
Though Love spent only one season in college, he's shown a unique ability to pass as well as score.
``I think he's a pretty complete player. He's kind of his own player,'' Timberwolves assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg said.
M, Kosta Koufos of Ohio State and Alexis Ajinca of France. They're all 7-footers.
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