The Minnesota Timberwolves sent seven officials, including coach Randy Wittman, to watch draft prospect O.J. Mayo work out in Chicago on Saturday for the Wolves and four other teams.
The 6-foot-5 Mayo, who played one season at Southern California, is one of the "four or five" players the Timberwolves are considering with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, assuming Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley are taken with the first two.
General manager Jim Stack, in a conference call with Minnesota reporters, said the Wolves contingent spent about an hour interviewing Mayo afterward. Much of the discussion centered on improper benefits Mayo allegedly received through an agent while playing at USC.
"We wanted to pin him down on some things," Stack said. "I'm really impressed with the fact that he was very much a standup person. He knows he's got to be accountable for whatever happens in his life. He wasn't looking to make excuses for anything. Regarding the allegations, he basically told us that he didn't do anything wrong. I tended to buy into what he was saying.
"At the end of the day I think it really taught him some lessons about being careful with his inner circle and understanding where people are coming from and that they might have different agendas."
Stack said he thought Mayo, who will turn 21 in November, was more mature than most of the other prospects. The Wolves see him as capable of playing both guard spots, like Randy Foye, their first-round draft pick in 2006.
The Wolves will host three more prospects at Target Center on Monday: Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless, Indiana guard Eric Gordon and Oklahoma center Longar Longar. Bayless and Gordon are considered top six picks by most analysts.
NBA WANTS SHOE MONEY: The NBA is so angry at disgraced referee Tim Donaghy that it wants him to reimburse the league for the cost of his basketball shoes.
The NBA said in a court filing it spent $750 over three seasons to buy sneakers for Donaghy, who pleaded guilty last year to taking payoffs from gamblers.
Now, the league wants its money back. It also wants a court to force the referee to repay his salary, his airfare expenses and meal allowances, and cough up at least $4,500 for complimentary tickets he received over the years. All told, the league is seeking $1.4 million from Donaghy.
The written demand was filed Thursday at a federal court in Brooklyn.
Donaghy's attorney has called the league's demands an attempt to retaliate against his client for alleging widespread misconduct by NBA executives and employees.