Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

These days, every good NBA player is up for a huge payday once they’re past their rookie contract and have proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with. As for the specific case of young Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Karl-Anthony Towns’ potential pay day just got a little bigger.

Towns, who’s eligible to sign an extension this summer, can now earn up to $188 million on a five-year extension after earning All-NBA honors on Thursday, per ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks.

The extension would come into effect at the start of the 2019-20 season. Minnesota signed Andrew Wiggins to a five-year, $146 million max extension last offseason. The All-NBA honors mean Towns can make up to 30 percent of the Wolves’ salary cap, which is higher than the extension for which Wiggins was eligible.

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Timberwolves announce staff changes

Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden announced today the following people have been released from their duties: Player Development Coach Vince Legarza, Shooting Coach Peter Patton and Assistant Video Coordinator Wes Bohn.

The Timberwolves in their statement said they “would like to thank all of these individuals for their contributions to our organization and wish them well in their future endeavors.”

It’s smart for most pro athletes to avoid social media during the playoffs. But some have little use for it altogether. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins:

Criticized much of the season on Twitter and elsewhere for his inner flame burning too low, Wolves young star Andrew Wiggins’ cool now maybe is serving him well with the heat turned up in the playoffs.

Wiggins has been the Wolves’ most consistent player in this best-of-seven series with Houston so far and he said at Monday’s shoot before Game 4 that he hasn’t — and won’t — pay attention to the words of those who want more from a guy who last fall signed a max contracts that begins next season.

“I don’t really go on social media too much,” Wiggins said. “I just watch movies, play video games and play with my dog. That’s it. Everything else I don’t see.”

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The assist to turnover radio tells a lot about what a team is doing with the ball. If it’s high — if a team has way more assists than turnovers — the night probably belongs to them. As for the Timberwolves, who lost games 1 and 2 to the Rockets but secured a Game 3 victory, here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Against a Rockets team that has been creative in the way it switches on defense and brings extra defensive help, the Wolves struggled a bit while losing the first two games. In a Game 2 blowout loss in Houston on Wednesday night, the Wolves had only 15 assists and 16 turnovers while being held to 82 points.

What a difference a game makes.

In Saturday night’s 121-105 victory over the Rockets at Target Center, the Wolves had 29 assists and seven turnovers. Those 29 assists are tied for the second-most in the playoffs by a Wolves team. Four starters had three or more assists seven players had multiple assists. It is no coincidence the Wolves set all kinds of franchise playoff scoring records; their 35 points in the third and 34 in the fourth are their top two quarters. Their 121 points was a franchise record, too.

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The Nuggets and Timberwolves play in Minnesota tonight. The winner makes the NBA playoffs. The loser has to go home and stare at a wall. Or they can watch TV. Maybe eat something. Or hop on a plane and fly to an exotic overseas beach destination. Which sounds cool. But making the playoffs is better. Beaches can wait.

The Western conference playoff seeding situation is complicated. Regarding these two teams, here are the possibilities:

If the Nuggets win tonight, they will either be the 6 or 7 West seed.

If the Timberwolves win, they’ll be the 6, 7 or 8 West seed.

Why? Because a big stack of West playoff teams have almost identical records, and therefore tiebreaker rules come into effect.

Here’s what’s set in the West through Tuesday:
Rockets are the 1-seed.
Warriors are the 2-seed.
Blazers or Jazz are the 3-seed.
The rest will be determined tonight.

InsideHoops.com will turn things things up for the 2018 playoffs. Roll with us daily.

Timberwolves lose 3rd straight game

The Timberwolves, playing without Jimmy Butler, are struggling lately. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting on what went down Thursday:

With five off days to prepare for a pivotal March contest played in front of their home crowd at Target Center and in front of the country on national television, the Timberwolves managed to come out flat.

The Wolves fell 117-109 to Boston on Thursday, marking their first three-game losing streak of the season — which unsurprisingly has come without Jimmy Butler. That streak is in serious danger of running to four with the Warriors coming to town Sunday.

Something needs to change between now and then. And that change is going to have to revolve around the Wolves’ effort. They were outclassed in that department on Thursday by Boston. Boston had 18 second chance points to Minnesota’s nine. The Celtics (46-20) had 14 fast break points to Minnesota’s two.

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Timberwolves sign Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose isn’t done with basketball just yet.

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Rose, a former league MVP, on Thursday.

Rose, a 6-3 guard, appeared in 16 games (seven starts) with Cleveland this season, averaging 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game. He was traded to Utah in a three-team deal on Feb. 8 before being waived by the Jazz on Feb. 10. A three-time All-Star, Rose has averaged 19.2 points on 45.1% shooting and 5.8 assists in 486 games over nine seasons. His best season came in 2010-11, when under Tom Thibodeau he became the youngest player to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award after averaging 25.0 points and 7.7 assists, while leading the Chicago Bulls to the best record in the NBA and the Eastern Conference Finals.

Timberwolves waive Shabazz Muhammad (contract buyout)

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday waived forward Shabazz Muhammad.

Muhammad appeared in 32 games this season for the Wolves, averaging 3.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “by agreeing to the buyout, Muhammad forgoes a veteran’s minimum player option for next season. He re-signed with the Wolves to $1.6 million veteran’s minimum last fall after he turned down $40 million in October 2016, the same time teammate Gorgui Dieng signed a four-year, $64 million contract. The 14th player taken in the 2013 draft, Muhammad was one of the Wolves’ most active players during training camp in San Diego, but didn’t play well early in the regular season and played less and less as the Wolves played better and better.”

After the Muhammad move, Minnesota’s roster stands at 15 players.

Jimmy Butler suffers knee injury

According to the Minnesota Timberwolves, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) taken this afternoon on Wolves forward Jimmy Butler’s right knee revealed a meniscal injury. The evaluation and MRI was conducted by Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm at Mayo Clinic. Further updates as to Butler’s progress will be issued when more information becomes available.

The injury occurred during last night’s 120-102 loss to the Houston Rockets.

In 56 games this season, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “the team has not yet announced what this prognosis means, in terms of whether Butler will require surgery or if his season is over. Still, it is a more optimistic prognosis than a torn anterior cruciate ligament would have been. What remains clear is that Butler, at the very least, will be out for an extended period. And that means the Wolves will have to survive – indeed thrive – without him in order to stay a factor in the NBA’s Western Conference playoff race.”

Timberwolves to host Flip Saunders Night on Feb. 15, 2018

The Minnesota Timberwolves will host “Flip Saunders Night” at home in Target Center on Thursday, February 15. The visiting team for that game is the Lakers.

That night, the Timberwolves will unveil a permanent banner in Target Center to honor the memory of Flip.

“Flip meant so much to our organization as a coach, but he meant so much more to all of us as a friend,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “His impact on our organization and what he meant to the Minnesota basketball community is something that will always be with us. It is appropriate that we honor the man who meant so much to us with of a banner in our home arena that will forever fortify his memory.”

All fans in attendance will receive a Flip Saunders commemorative coin. The back story behind giving a coin is this: One of Flip’s trademarks during his tenure with the Wolves was to create a new team coin each season for players and front office staff, then randomly give them to people he would encounter as a way to include fans on that season’s journey.

“Minnesota has always been our family’s home”, said Debbie Saunders, widow of Flip Saunders. “Flip not only had a passion for the Timberwolves but for basketball in the State of Minnesota. We are incredibly grateful to the Timberwolves for memorializing Flip in such a moving way and having his memory live on inside Target Center forever.”

Saunders compiled an overall record of 427-392 (.521) in 12 seasons covering two different stints with the organization.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed forward Amile Jefferson to a two-way contract.

Jefferson, 24, has played in 22 games this season for the Iowa Wolves, the Timberwolves’ NBA G League affiliate, averaging 18.0 points and a league-best 13.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 64.0% from the field. Jefferson, 6-9, has 16 double-doubles on the season, including one in each of his last seven games dating back to Dec. 29. The Duke graduate was recently named to the NBA G League Showcase First Team, averaging 22.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 65.0% from the field over two contests. Jefferson’s best games include a 28-point, 21-rebound performance Jan. 6 at Texas and 29 points, 15 rebounds and six assists Jan. 10 at Canton (G League Showcase).

The Timberwolves originally signed Jefferson to a training camp contract on Sept. 18, 2017. Jefferson appeared in one preseason game for Minnesota, totaling one rebound in 4:15 of action. Jefferson was waived on October 16, 2017.

Two-way contracts allow teams to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular-season roster. Players signed to a two-way contact can accrue no more than 45 days of service with their respective NBA club during the regular season and will spend the remainder of their time with the team’s NBA G League affiliate. Jefferson is the second Timberwolves player to sign a two-way contract, joining Anthony Brown.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced the hire of Shawn Parker as the team’s public address announcer. The hire follows an extensive search that drew over 400 interested applicants.

Shawn Parker, a Washington D.C. native, has an extensive sports background and is certified by the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA). Shawn was most recently the PA announcer at George Washington University and for the Women’s Football Alliance’s three-time national Champion D.C. Divas. He has also been the hockey voice of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games and the 2016 USA Hockey High School National Championships, as well as has experience as a boxing announcer for several D.C.-based champions including world light middleweight champion, Jarrett “Swift” Hurd.

Timberwolves waive Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble and Shawne Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves finalized their 2017-18 Opening Night roster on Saturday, October 14 by waiving Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble and Shawne Williams.

The Wolves open their 29th season of basketball on Wednesday, October 18 at the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 pm CT. Opening night will be broadcast on ESPN, Fox Sports North and the radio home of the Wolves, 830 WCCO. The team’s home opener is Friday, October 20 vs. the Utah Jazz.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have exercised the fourth-year options on Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones.

Towns, 21, averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season, starting all 82 games for the second consecutive year. The 7-0 forward/center set a franchise single-season scoring record with 2061 points while recording 1007 rebounds, becoming the youngest player in NBA history (15th overall and first since Tim Duncan in 2001-02) to collect 2000+ points and 1000+ rebounds in a season. In 2016-17 he ranked 12th in the NBA in scoring, 6th in rebounding, 12th in field goal accuracy (54.2%) and 19th in blocked shots (1.26 bpg). The Wolves selected Towns with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Jones, 21, posted averages of 3.5 points and 2.6 assists in 12.9 minutes per contest in 60 games last season, his second in the NBA. The Wolves originally acquired the draft rights to the 6-2 guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 25, 2015.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble and Shawne Williams.

Jefferson appeared in one preseason game for Minnesota totaling one rebound in four minutes of action. The Wolves originally signed Jefferson on September 18, 2017.

Trimble registered four points and one rebound in his lone appearance this preseason. Trimble was originally signed by the Wolves on September 18, 2017.

Williams was signed by Minnesota on October 13, 2017.

Timberwolves sign Shawne Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed free agent forward Shawne Williams.

Williams, 31, last played in the NBA in 2014-15, averaging 5.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 63 games for the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons. In eight NBA seasons, the 6-9 forward has career averages of 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds in 314 games. Williams was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played his first two seasons with the Pacers and has also seen action with the Dallas Mavericks (2008-10), New York Knicks (2010-11), New Jersey Nets (2011-12) and Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13).

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed forward Andrew Wiggins to a multi-year contract extension.

According to the St Paul Pioneer Press, “Wiggins believes he’s worth the five-year extension worth nearly $150 million he signed with the Timberwolves on Wednesday, which comes into play following this season and theoretically keeps him in Minnesota through the 2022-23 campaign. He thinks his play has warranted that type of deal. The people who matter most tend to agree.”

Wiggins, 22, registered a career-high 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 37.2 minutes in 82 games last season, making a career-best 103 three-pointers on a career-high 35.6% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Wiggins averaged 26.0 points over the final 30 games in 2016-17, including 28.3 ppg in eight April starts. The 6-8 forward registered five 40+ point games a season ago, including a career-best 47-point performance on November 13 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m pleased that we’ve reached an agreement with Andrew on a contract extension,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “Andrew is one of the best young players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years.”

“I’m very excited to continue my career with the Timberwolves,” said Wiggins. “I love it here. The fans and organization have supported me from my first day here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, the entire coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me. We’ve had some good times over the last three seasons, but the best is yet to come. I look forward to doing right by them and bringing this team to the postseason.”

For his career, Wiggins has played in 245 of a possible 246 games, averaging 20.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.2 minutes per game. Only three players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony) scored more points before their 22nd birthday and Wiggins’ 4,995 career point total ranks sixth on the Wolves’ all-time scoring list. Wiggins won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year following the 2014-15 season in which he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, becoming the first Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honors.

“We’re very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him. We look forward to watching his development in the coming years.”

More from the Pioneer Press: “Wiggins attributed the delay in the deal to the fact he was navigating the final stages of the contract without an agent after he parted ways with his agent, Bill Duffy, in August. Flying solo at the end of the process, Wiggins said he just wanted to take the time to make sure he did things correctly.”

Wiggins was selected first overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded to the Wolves on Aug. 23, 2014.

The Timberwolves are doing a ton of traveling this preseason. The good kind of traveling. Where you get on planes and go visit interesting places. Not the bad kind of travel, where the referee is forced to blow a whistle at you. Well, maybe they’ll do that as well. We’ll see! Anyway, here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

The Timberwolves rolled out the basketballs on a new season Saturday morning, convening in a University of California-San Diego gym more than 1,500 miles away from their downtown Minneapolis training facility.

Why, you very well might ask?

Well, it’s sort of on their way to China, where they will play two preseason games against defending NBA champion Golden State next week.

It’s also a sunny and chic version of Mankato, Minn., — former training-camp home to both the Wolves and the NFL’s Vikings — and a getaway where they’ll drill during the day with the Pacific Ocean shimmering in the distance and bond at night.

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Timberwolves sign Aaron Brooks

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed guard Aaron Brooks.

With the signing, the Wolves have finalized the team’s training camp roster at 17 players.

Brooks, 32, appeared in 65 games last season with Indiana averaging 5.0 points and 1.9 assists in 13.8 minutes per contest. The 6-0 point guard shot 37.5% from long distance in 2016-17, making 48 of his 128 attempts from beyond the arc.

Brooks has played in 613 career NBA contests over nine seasons with Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver, Chicago and Indiana. The Seattle, Washington native owns career averages of 10.1 points on 41.3% shooting and 3.1 assists in 21.6 minutes per game. Brooks has appeared in 38 playoff games, including 13 starts, averaging 8.7 points and 1.8 assists in 18.4 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks played under Tom Thibodeau in Chicago during the 2014-15 season averaging 11.6 points and 3.2 assists over 82 contests, 21 starts.

Timberwolves add to coaching staff

The Minnesota Timberwolves have added to the team’s coaching staff for the 2017-18 season, naming Larry Greer as Advance Scout, John Lucas III as Player Development Coach, Steve Molina as Video Assistant and promoting Sam Newman-Beck to Coaching Associate/Video Scouting Director.

Greer joins Minnesota’s staff as Advance Scout after spending two seasons as the Advance Scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He began his NBA career in Houston, serving as an Advance Scout for two seasons under Jeff Van Gundy (2005-07). Greer worked for Portland from 2007-12, serving as an advance scout for five seasons before working as an assistant coach on Nate McMillan’s staff during the 2011-12 season. His coaching background also involves 17 seasons as an Assistant Coach in the college ranks with stops at Arizona State University (2012-15), Boston University (1994-2003), Brandeis University (1989-92) and Wright State University (2003-05).

Lucas III begins his first season as Player Development Coach after an NBA career that featured stops in Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Toronto and Utah. He appeared in 242 games over his nine-year career and averaged 4.7 points and 1.5 assists in 12.1 minutes per game. Lucas played under Coach Thibodeau for two seasons in both Chicago (2010-12) and Houston (2005-07).

Molina joins the Timberwolves after spending two seasons as a Video/Basketball Operations Intern with the Detroit Pistons. Prior to joining the Pistons, Molina interned with the Philadelphia 76ers. A graduate from Marquette University, Molina was a student manager during his four years in Milwaukee.

Newman-Beck is entering his eighth season with the Timberwolves, ninth in the NBA and his first as Coaching Associate/Video Scouting Director. Most recently, Newman-Beck served as Head Video Coordinator for the past two seasons. Before joining the Timberwolves in 2010-11, Newman-Beck worked alongside Coach Thibodeau with the Boston Celtics, serving as a video intern during the team’s 2009-10 run to the NBA Finals.

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