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Celtics and 76ers trade would affect Jamal Murray; He wants Timberwolves

A trade between the 76ers and Celtics may be a good thing for Jamal Murray.

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For a good chunk of the offseason, Jamal Murray has been mentioned a strong contender to be who the Boston Celtics take with the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft.

Maybe that's still the case, but as is always the case with professional sports drafts, there are a lot of rumors, smokescreens and flat-out lies going around, making the draft hard to project after the first two picks. There is virtually no doubt that LSU's Ben Simmons and Duke's Brandon Ingram will be the first players to be drafted this year, but after that is anyone's guess.

One thing that continues to look more and more likely is Murray not being the third pick. A big reason why is Boston is working hard to trade said pick with names like Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor and even Nerlens Noel being possible targets.

Speaking of Noel, the 76ers have been working on a trade with the Celtics that would give Philly the No. 3 pick, to which they're expected to use on Providence's Kris Dunn. Whether it's Boston, Philly or another team picking at No. 3, there's a growing belief that Dunn is the third-ranked prospect in many NBA team's big boards, making him a slight favorite to be the third-overall pick.

If that happens, it's very hard to see Murray going No. 4 to the guard-loaded Phoenix Suns. While the thought of Murray teaming up with Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin seems fun, you just can't fit all four of them in there and give them adequate playing time.

That's why Murray going No. 5 to the Timberwolves is looking more and more possible as the draft inches closer. Making this scenario even better is that Murray wants to land in Minnesota and team up with fellow Wildcat Karl-Anthony Towns.

That's what John Calipari said during Tuesday's meeting with the media, while also mentioning his relationship with new Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau

"I'm saying this to you and no one else. He loves Minnesota," Calipari said. "As a matter of fact, that's where he'd like to go." [Thibodeau] and I are great friends. He helped my career, helped me basketball-wise and every other way. I'm a big fan of Thibs.

"And he (Murray) looked at that situation and said, 'They need me and I'd love to be there,'" Calipari said. "And he's met Karl and been around Karl and knows what a great kid he is. I'm not saying Thibs has to take him. But I know that's what Jamal likes, that situation: The young guys and what they have and what he'd add to that team.''

There's no question the Wolves are a team on the rise with Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. If they can add some quality free agents this summer, who knows. Maybe we'll see KAT and Murray in the playoffs together sooner rather than later.