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Utah Jazz, others may look to move up

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SALT LAKE CITY — For now, based on results from Tuesday night's NBA draft lottery, they're slated to pick ninth overall in the June 24 draft.

But if the Jazz are serious about wanting to move up — general manager Kevin O'Connor did not rule out the possibility Tuesday — they may have to fend off others who evidently intend to try to do the same.

Citing unidentified "league sources," Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted after the lottery that "Houston and Portland are two teams that will be working No. 3 (New Jersey) and No. 4 (Minnesota) hard to move up."

Houston holds the No. 14 pick in the draft and Portland has No. 22.

Minnesota is another team that reportedly will consider trading on draft night, though — in a bit of good news for the Jazz — the Timberwolves supposedly consider their biggest need to be on the wing.

The 'Wolves have the Nos. 4, 16 and 23 picks — and may want to move, especially after not winning one of the draft's top two picks via the lottery.

Washington wound up with the No. 1 choice, Philadelphia No. 2 and New Jersey No. 3.

"I tried to say before the lottery that we have enough arsenal and maneuverability to move around in the draft with the other picks we have and the assets we have," Timberwolves basketball operations president David Kahn told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Nothing tonight makes me feel our plans have been greatly disturbed."

The biggest competition for teams wanting to trade up, however, could come from Memphis — which owns not only the No. 12 selection but also Nos. 25 and 28.

According to Wednesday's Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, the Grizzlies "are open to dealing."

"We'll be trying to trade from now through the draft," Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the paper. "If we can get an impact player, we might trade all three of (the picks)."

Internet mock drafts, meanwhile, continue to back the widely held notion that the Jazz are targeting bigs.

According to updated post-lottery mocks, both ESPN.com’s Chad Ford and DraftExpress.com project that Utah will take Georgetown power forward/center Greg Monroe.

But NBADraft.net has Utah picking Kansas center Cole Aldrich, with Monroe gone to Detroit at No. 7.

e-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com