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The rumor mill churns: Could the Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio?

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A caveat before we start: It's the offseason for the Timberwolves and rumors fly from that league left and right without much backing. But still, when your team isn't playing, sometimes it's fun to keep track of what people are buzzing about.

So take everything here with an appropriately sized block of salt.

ESPN NBA reporter Chad Ford, in his latest mock draft, predicts the Timberwolves will pick Kentucky center Karl Anthony-Towns with the first overall selection (despite believing Flip Saunders currently likes Duke big man Jahlil Okafor more).

However – Ford says Saunders, the head coach and team president, is a "big fan" of Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell. And the team "would be willing to move Ricky Rubio for the right deal."

The two aren't necessarily linked – while many consider Russell a point guard, others think he could play as a shooting guard and be on the court with Rubio. But the bacckourt would certainly be a bit more crowded if Russell were on board.

This comes a few weeks after Ford initially suggested the 24-year-old point guard's camp had been pushing the Timberwolves for a trade.

That was quickly disputed by local KSTP reporter Darren Wolfson.

Star Tribune reporter Jerry Zgoda said on Twitter however he wouldn't be surprised if Rubio's agents wanted to get Rubio traded, even suggesting Rubio's Timberwolves extension was negotiated by agents knowing other teams would be willing to take on the contract.

Rubio signed the 4-year, $56 million extension last fall.

All that doesn't mean Zgoda expects a trade to happen.

In a live chat May 21, he said it was "unlikely but not impossible."

Rubio himself said if his camp is pushing for a trade, his agent is telling him. In a Spanish language interview translated by Canis Hoopus, Rubio said he knows nothing about it. He said he called his agent, who denied anything was going on.

After that, he reiterated he plans to stay in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, local Associated Press report Jon Krawczynski weighed in with this:

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