MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Minnesota Timberwolves pass on Southern California's O.J. Mayo with the third pick in the NBA draft, it won't be because of allegations the freshman received cash and gifts from a promoter in violation of NCAA rules.
Timberwolves basketball boss Kevin McHale said Tuesday night that the allegations made in an ESPN report will have no bearing on whether or not the Wolves consider him at No. 3 in the June 26 draft.
"No, not at all," McHale said after the draft lottery. "Tell you what, if you said that every person who ever took any money in college would not be drafted, it'd be slim pickings."
McHale quickly stated that it's been a long time since he starred for the University of Minnesota from 1976-1980 and said that he never accepted, nor did any of his Gophers teammates accept, improper money while at the school.
Mayo has denied allegations made by former associate Louis Johnson in the report that promoter Rodney Guillory received money from Bill Duffy Associates and funneled cash and gifts to Mayo, both during his time at USC and before as a high school phenom. McHale and Duffy were college teammates at Minnesota.
Mayo declared for the NBA draft last month after his one and only season with the Trojans and signed BDA vice president Calvin Andrews as his agent.
McHale doesn't see how those allegations of wrongdoing should affect his status as an NBA player.
"That's more news interest for people and probably very interesting for the University of Southern California wondering what's going to happen," McHale said.
McHale disputes that this is a two-player draft and said he likes the flexibility his team will have picking third.