Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

New Timberwolves logo coming April 11

The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new chapter in their franchise history by unveiling a new team logo as part of Fan Appreciation Night at Target Center on Tuesday, April 11. The Wolves will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule that evening by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m.

The logo will be unveiled during a special halftime show and all fans in attendance will receive a commemorative t-shirt with the new identity featured.

While the new identity won’t fully take effect until the 2017-18 season, the unveiling marks only the fourth identity in the franchise’s 28-year history. The announcement is also the beginning of an eventful summer as the Wolves brand continues to evolve. There will be several future announcements regarding the unveiling of the new team uniforms, new court designs and additional events throughout the coming months.

“We are incredibly excited to share the new logo with our fans. This is but the first of many changes that fans will see that reflect our growing relevancy at home and abroad,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. “These are exciting times for our state and our franchise, and this new logo embodies the hunger, drive and passion that will define us in this new era of Timberwolves basketball.”

Timberwolves sign Omri Casspi

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed forward Omri Casspi.

Casspi, 28, joins the Wolves after playing in 23 games with Sacramento and New Orleans this season, totaling season averages of 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 46.0 percent from the field, including a 39.4 percent mark from the three-point line. Casspi, 6-9, appeared in 22 games with Sacramento before being acquired by New Orleans on February 20, where he played in one game before suffering an injury. He was waived by the Pelicans on February 25.

Casspi has played parts of eight seasons in the NBA with Sacramento, Cleveland, Houston and New Orleans. Originally drafted by the Kings with the 23rd overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game over 486 contests, 138 starts. Casspi is a career 44.2 percent shooter, including a 36.9 percent mark from the three-point line. His best season came in 2015-16 with Sacramento when he averaged 11.8 points, on 48.1 percent shooting and 40.9 percent shooting from the three-point line, and 5.9 rebounds while making 69 appearances, 21 starts.
Casspi will wear No. 18 with the Wolves. With the signing, Minnesota’s roster now stands at 15 players.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Like that mythical guy pushing the boulder, the Timberwolves still have lots of uphill work to do before they reach the playoffs this season, but Wednesday’s 107-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers showed again that they’re beating the rock, step by step.

The Wolves won for the seventh time in 11 games, and they did so against a Clippers team featuring Chris Paul and Blake Griffin back in the lineup together.

The last time these teams played, the Clippers played without either superstar and the Wolves prevailed by a mere three points in L.A. in January. This time, the Wolves won in both measurable and immeasurable categories, starting with the lopsided scoreboard, of course, but also including rebounding (50-36) and points in the paint (62-40).

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

The NBA announced today that the March 6 game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves, which was postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET at Target Center.

Timberwolves sign Lance Stephenson to second 10-day contract

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed guard Lance Stephenson to a second 10-day contract today.

Stephenson, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the Wolves on February 8th, has appeared in four games for Minnesota this season averaging 4.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.

Stephenson’s NBA career has taken a nosedive in recent seasons. He’s trying to get himself back on the map. Using this 10-day deal to earn a rest-of-season contract would be a good start.

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that the Timberwolves frontcourt is about to get a bit deeper:

Adreian Payne was back participating in practice Tuesday after he was medically cleared to play.

Payne has been out since early February with a low platelet count. He is officially questionable for the Wolves’ home game against the Clippers on Wednesday. Thibodeau said Payne has a long way to go conditioning-wise but added it was good to have him back on the floor.

“It’s very nice,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “You always worry about his health, and just to see him out here playing with us, working out, everything is a huge bonus. It’s been definitely a journey for him recently, but just glad to see he’s getting healthy and he’s ready to play.”

The NBA game scheduled for this evening between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN has been postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Timberwolves may want Derrick Rose

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the Timberwolves and Knicks PG Derrick Rose:

Timberwolves may want Derrick Rose

The Timberwolves are among several teams that have talked to New York about acquiring point guard Derrick Rose before Thursday’s trade deadline, reported Monday night.

Rose played for Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago for five seasons, and his contract with this season’s $21.3 million salary expires this summer

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine underwent surgery today to reconstruct the torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in collaboration with Timberwolves Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic. Timberwolves Director of Athletic Therapy Matt Duhamel accompanied LaVine.

The injury occurred during the Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons game on Friday, February 3.

A timeline for his return to activity will be established at a later date, but he is expected to be out at least for the rest of the season.

Timberwolves sign Lance Stephenson to 10-day contract

Lance Stephenson is trying to get back on the basketball map.

The Timberwolves, who recently lost guard Zach LaVine to a season-ending injury, signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract today.

Stephenson, 26, played in six games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists before being waived on November 7.

The 6-5 guard played his first four seasons (2010-14) with Indiana after being drafted by the Pacers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. His best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 78 games and led the NBA in triple-doubles with five.

In addition to Indiana and New Orleans, Stephenson has also played with Charlotte, LA Clippers and Memphis. He has career averages of 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 346 games. Stephenson has appeared in 46 playoff games, posting averages of 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Stephenson will wear uniform No. 7.

It’s been a rough season for the Timberwolves. At 19-33, they have yet to live up to their potential, and are currently on a 4-game losing streak. Though with a young squad and new head coach,  there’s still hope they will show improvement in the second half of the season.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are only 16-28 this season but taking a step in the right direction lately:

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

They’ve won two straight and five of their last seven games overall and for the fourth straight at home. For the second straight game the Wolves won a game decided by four or fewer points. This after going 0-for-10 to start the season in that category.

“We’re trying to establish a home court,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We want to make it tough for people to come in here. We have to understand, you don’t win because you’re at home, but because of what you put into winning.’’

They did tonight. Denver shot 51.2 percent for the game, but 45.5 percent in the second half, 40.0 percent in the fourth quarter, and just 3-for-12 after taking a nine-point lead with 6:06 left in the game.

The Wolves responded with a 20-8 run.

Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Justin Anderson has been fined $25,000 for striking Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kris Dunn in the head, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which was called a Flagrant Foul 1 on the floor and upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 upon league office review, occurred with 10:45 remaining in the second quarter of the Timberwolves’ 101-92 victory over the Mavericks on Jan. 9 at Target Center.

Timberwolves waive John Lucas III

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard John Lucas III today.

Lucas III, originally signed by the Wolves on August 24, 2016, appeared in five games this season while averaging 0.4 points in 2.2 minutes per contest.

The Timberwolves roster now stands at 14 players.


Antetokounmpo and Towns might be different players. But both represent where the NBA big man is going.

Antetokounmpo plays the point-forward position for the Bucks while Towns is more of a traditional big man in terms of his play in the post. But both can stretch the floor, score off the dribble and find their teammates. Towns had his first triple-double in Denver. Antetokounmpo has two triple doubles this season.

“I’m playing catch-up,’’ joked Towns.

Said Thibodeau: “I think you’re seeing that’s the way of the league, versatility. It’s hard to, or harder to, put a particular player in a particular box.’’

Now, the point-forward isn’t exactly new. Thibodeau threw out old-school names like Paul Pressey, the former Bucks player, as an example, and Oscar Robertson.

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

Quick Take: Giannis this season is averaging 23.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.0 spg and 1.8 bpg. Towns is putting up 22.0 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.6 spg and 1.4 bpg. Both are worth watching every night.

Andrew Wiggins putting up huge stats

Andrew Wiggins a dominant offensive player lately

Andrew Wiggins is starting to become the player everyone expected him to be. Dubbed a prodigy in high school, the Timberwolves wing was always supposed to be an NBA superstar, the type of player who can carry the weight of a franchise.

Now, at the tender age of 21, yet two years into his professional career, he appears to set fulfill every expectation.

Wiggins has averaged 33 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his past six games, shooting 51 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three-point range. He ranks eighth in NBA scoring at 27.4 points a game, and is the league’s leader in three-point shooting at 54 percent…

Wiggins has been aggressive nearly every night, as shown by his 94 free-throw attempts, ninth-most in the NBA.

St Paul Pioneer Press

The Timberwolves are off to a 3-7 start this season. Too early to panic, especially with a new coach in charge and changes that will materialize in the weeks to come. But a few things are clear: their offense looks very good, while Wolves defense needs big improvement. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau has acknowledged Minnesota’s offense is further along than he thought it would be. The Timberwolves are fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency and shooting a league-best 42 percent from three-point range.

“The issue,” he said, “is our defense — and the commitment to being consistent with it.”

Among 30 NBA teams, the Timberwolves are tied for 28th in defensive efficiency. Opponents are shooting 48.1 percent from the field, the worst mark in the NBA — and that includes a 116-80 victory over Memphis for which the Grizzlies rested its best players. Both of those numbers are worse than where Minnesota finished last season.

None of that lines up with the Tom Thibodeau way. The Wolves coach has churned out top-five defenses at every stop, from his work as an assistant in Houston and Boston to his recent head coaching tenure in Chicago. This offseason, 60 percent of NBA general managers voted Thibodeau as the coach with the best defensive schemes. Defense is his trademark.


The Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday exercised the third-year options on Tyus Jones and Karl-Anthony Towns, along with the fourth-year options on Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins.

Jones, 20, posted averages of 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes per contest in 37 games over his rookie season. The Wolves originally acquired the draft rights to the 6-2 guard from the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 25, 2015.

LaVine, 21, owns career averages of 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 159 contests. The 6-5 guard tallied 14.0 ppg, on 45.2% shooting, including a 38.9% mark from three-point distance, a season ago. Minnesota drafted LaVine with the 13th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Towns, 20, averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game last season on his way to being named 2016 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year. The Wolves selected the 7-0 forward/center with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Wiggins, 21, has averaged 18.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 163 career contests over two seasons with Minnesota. The 6-8 forward tallied averages of 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists a season ago. Wiggins, who was named the 2015 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year, was acquired by the Wolves via trade on August 23, 2014 after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by Cleveland.

Timberwolves waive Rasual Butler and Toure` Murry

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived forward Rasual Butler and guard Toure’ Murry.

Butler averaged 0.8 points and 0.8 rebounds in five preseason games. He has appeared in 809 games over his 13-year NBA career, averaging 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds. In 2015-16, he played in 46 games for the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 2.7 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game. Butler, the 53rd overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by Miami, has played with the Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and Spurs. Butler played six games under current Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago during the 2010-11 NBA season.

Murry averaged 2.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in three preseason games. He has played in 56 games with three teams between two NBA seasons, including appearing in 51 contests with the Knicks in 2013-14 where he averaged 2.7 points. Originally undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Wichita State, the 6-5 guard spent 2015-16 in the NBA D-League, starting the season with the Texas Legends before being acquired in a trade by the Sioux Falls Skyforce late in the season. Murry played in 45 games between the two stops, averaging 11.5 points, 4.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.

With the moves, the Wolves training camp roster stands at 15 players.

The Wolves open up their 28th season of basketball on Wednesday, October 26 at the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 pm CT. Opening night will be broadcast on Fox Sports North and the radio home of the Wolves, 830 WCCO. The team’s home opener is Tuesday, November 1 vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.

Timberwolves loaded with young talent

Each year, many teams get praised for having potential simply because they have a young roster. The problem there is, just because players are young doesn’t mean they’re going to improve enough to collectively turn a lottery team into a winner. A force. A contender. Sure, second and third-year players tend to perform at a higher level the following season. But usually not enough to propel a team into playoff contender discussions. But the Timberwolves have a lot of great pieces, a great new coach, and as much potential as any team in the NBA to go from mostly losing (29 wins, 53 losses last season, 16 wins and 66 losses in 2014-15) to respectable status. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Timberwolves loaded with young talent

Kris Dunn is the exciting new Wolves rookie. Karl-Anthony Towns, at least according to NBA GMs, is the team’s franchise player — the one they would pick from the entire league right now if they were going to take one player to start a team. Zach LaVine is the super-athletic dunk champion. Ricky Rubio is the floor general.

But maybe, just maybe, Andrew Wiggins is the key to just how far the Wolves will go this year and beyond. He was the NBA’s top rookie two years ago and took a small step — but not a leap — forward last year. There doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus as to where his ceiling is — a nice wing but a volume scorer? An All-Star once or twice? A superstar? — but this is year three and those answers should start to come into focus.

Wiggins’ presence at the team’s media day a few weeks back suggested he’s emerging as a team leader along with Towns. But more important will be his play on the court — and while every NBA player works in the offseason in some way to stay sharp, a video that went live Tuesday of Wiggins’ summer work indicates a level of focus and intensity aimed at achieving greatness.

The Timberwolves have a young, talented roster that will be worth watching this season. They also have some space at the end of their bench for another player with a guaranteed contract that will keep him on the roster this season. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Timberwolves have room for another guaranteed contract

Thibodeau was asked about the final roster spot. The team currently has 14 guaranteed contracts, and that includes Nikola Pekovic, who won’t play this season. That means one more spot will need to be filled. The team currently has Toure’ Murry, Rasual Butler and John Lucas III on non-guaranteed deals vying for that spot. But Thibodeau could also bring someone else in from the outside. “For us, the (preseason) games will be very helpful,” Thibodeau said. “It will reveal the things that we need to do better. It will reveal the things we’re doing well and, also, it will give us a better idea of who may help us the most with practice in the event you have an injury.’’

In other words, it’s likely too early to speculate. A potential injury could mean the need for a shooter, or another big man.

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