NBA Notes: Cavs, EJ Liddell, Timberwolves, Hawks

Cavaliers

Several sources have told Hoops Wire that the Cavs don’t only like Ohio State shooting guard Malaki Branham. They are also fans of Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell. Both have worked out for Cleveland, and while Branham is in play with their No. 14 pick, the Cavs also find Liddell to be a strong NBA prospect.

Also with No. 14, the Cavs own the Nos. 39 and 58 picks, but Liddell is highly unlikely to still be on the draft board for either. Right now, most respected mocks have him going in the 20-25 range. (Actually, Hoops Wire has him at No. 19.)

Of course, the Cavs could always trade up if they’re big enough fans. That’s pure speculation, but it’s never outside the realm of possibility to package a pair of second-rounders to get another first. After all, we all know Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman has done it before.

Timberwolves

New head of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the Timberwolves are approaching the draft with a positive mindset and the belief they will find some help at No. 19 overall.

Minnesota also owns the Nos. 40, 48 and 50 picks as well. So along with picks, trades are a reality.

“We feel good about adding another valuable piece, a good player at 19,” Connelly said, via Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “There will potentially be some pretty cool opportunities to use that as a trade asset as well. Anytime you have four draft picks, it’s exciting. It’s the one day of the year where you really control what you can do, largely.”

The Timberwolves are reportedly on the lookout for more size after making a return to the playoffs. Connelly, of course, came over from Denver, where he held the same position.

  • In case you missed it, former T-Wolves coach Ryan Saunders apparently will resurface in the NBA as an assistant with the Nuggets. You can read our full post on that right here.

Hawks

  • The Hawks are scheduled to workout five players on Monday, with the draft a mere three days away. Per Chris Kirchner of The Athletic, the Hawks will bring in Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji, Spanish center Olek Balcerowski, LSU center Shareef O’Neal, Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. and Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams
  • We’ve written a lot about the Hawks lately, as they are expected to be one of the offseason’s most aggressive teams on the trade and free agency fronts. You can check it all out on our Hawks page right here.

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