Shanoff's W.U.C.: NBA Draft, Favre, Manny

Today's Calls: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. the NBA Draft, Richard Jefferson vs. Rajon Rondo, Brett Favre vs. Reality, Manny Ramirez vs. Ryne Sandberg, Zack Greinke vs. Tim Lincecum, USA vs. Spain, LSU vs. Texas, Phil Jackson vs. Barack Obama and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The Minnesota Timberwolves are officially the most intriguing team in tomorrow night's NBA Draft. ↵

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↵By reportedly trading Mike Miller and Randy Foye for the Wizards' No. 5 pick (and change), they put themselves in a position to make the most dramatic moves of the draft. ↵

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↵Do they package the 5 and 6 picks for, say, the No. 2 pick of the Grizzlies, then snag all-world PG Ricky Rubio? (Hint: Unlikely.) ↵

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↵Or do they keep the 5 and 6 -- as any rebuilding team should, even in a so-called "down" draft -- and take a brand-spanking-new backcourt of, say, Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans to go with the burly frontcourt of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love? ↵

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↵Or do they entertain any of the half-dozen reported offers that were coming the way of the Wizards for that No. 5 pick, which could net the T'wolves more picks, more players or just plain more cachet -- which they desperately need as much as anything? ↵

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↵I say: Keep the 5 and 6 and relaunch the franchise around the pair of guards -- ideally, Curry and Evans -- and the pair of big men (Baby Al and K-Love). ↵

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↵The draft is now in the Timberwolves' hands. ↵ ↵

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↵As for the Wizards, this is interesting -- it's my team. They get a sharp-shooting guard in Mike Miller to pair with Gilbert Arenas, and a decent backup combo guard in Randy Foye. Plus they shed some salary weight. If "win now" is the mantra, they just got better. ↵

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↵More pre-draft trades: The Spurs get Richard Jefferson, who might not be a great "1st wheel" (like he was supposed to be in Milwaukee), but will make a great "4th wheel" in San Antonio ... and I'm not that down on the Bucks, who got more economical (if not better), then offset the infusion of age from the Spurs by trading for Amir Johnson, a Shoals favorite and a player who still has huge potential. That franchise needs a reboot. ↵

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↵Rondo on the block? Danny Ainge keeps insisting that Rajon Rondo isn't on the trading block, yet credible rumors keep popping up about the Celtics offering him around -- the latest has Rondo to Memphis for Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. ↵

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↵Favre is back? Favre is back! Eh ... Favre is back. ↵

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↵MLB PED Watch: ↵

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↵• Manny Being Minors: He gets cheered, wildly. ↵

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↵• Sandberg says no HOF for Sosa: Hmm, cranky. ↵

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↵• HOF voters to talk PEDs: This can't end well. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• WS Rematch: No contest. ↵

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↵• Zack is back: Greinke gets 1st win since May. ↵

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↵• Lincecum rules: 12 Ks in rivalry win. ↵

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↵• Nats solve attendance issues: Be the Red Sox. ↵

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↵• MLB ASG voting: Tex Youk, for now ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Chad Gaudin (7 IP, 2 ER, 11 K) ↵

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↵US Soccer: Versus Spain? Best-in-the-world Spain? Remember how Brazil creamed Italy 3-0? And how both Brazil and Italy creamed the U.S.? That's sort of how it's going to go today, I suspect. ↵

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↵CWS: It's not quite the Game 7 of a Stanley Cup series, but LSU-Texas (and the entire college baseball season) is down to a must-see do-or-die Game 3 today. ↵

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↵CFB '09: Why is Florida the prohibitive favorite to win the national title? Because of Tebow & Co. on offense, yes. Because of the best-in-CFB special teams, yes. But mainly because of the absurdly talented D: The DL ranks 1st nationally, LBs 3rd, DBs 2nd (according to Hayes). ↵

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↵Coaching Carousel: Phil Jackson has earned this kind of special treatment. ↵

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↵Logos: Kudos to the 76ers for going back to the old-school design. ↵

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↵Politics: President Obama will throw out the 1st pitch at the All-Star Game in a few weeks, but he may have no greater honor than Obama Night for the "Barack-lyn" Cyclones last night. ↵

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↵YouTube Must-See: "Practice?" "Puh-puh-puh-practice?" Have you seen this brilliant video mash-up yet, featuring AI, Jim Mora and more -- oh, and the clever use of auto-tuning, obviously. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I'm not LeBron yet." -- Bryce Harper. I like that he says "yet," like he WILL be the next LeBron, just not as a 16-year-old. But eventually. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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