Archive for the ‘ NBA News ’ Category

Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play announcer Jim Paschke, who is entering his 33rd season calling Bucks games, was named the recipient of the NBA’s Todd Harris Spirit Award at the annual NBA Broadcast Meeting on Sept. 14 in New York. The Todd Harris Spirit Award, named in honor of longtime NBA executive Todd Harris, recognizes an NBA broadcaster or executive who is the ultimate team player and inspires people to make every day brighter.

“Jim Paschke is the perfect recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award, exemplifying the same dedication and spirit that Todd showed during his life,” said NBA Senior Vice President, Broadcast Schedule Management, Tom Carelli. “As one of the longest tenured announcers in the NBA today, Jim has brought a unique perspective to our game and to our fans throughout his 33 years as the play-by-play voice for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has also been a trusted advisor and friend to the NBA, its teams and its broadcasters.”

“This is such a well-deserved honor for Jim,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin. “Jim is a pro’s pro and we are fortunate to have such a terrific broadcaster and person with the Bucks organization. The team congratulates Jim on this meaningful recognition.”

Paschke is the second-ever recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award after the inaugural award was given to Travis Henderson of the Utah Jazz. In addition to broadcasting Bucks game on FOX Sports Wisconsin, Paschke is the Bucks Broadcast Director and works year-round on telecasts, television projects and other team broadcast ventures while regularly contributing video content to Bucks.com. Paschke is also a featured speaker in the community, addressing various civic groups and school assemblies throughout the year, and is a long-time supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The 2018-19 season will be Paschke’s 33rd season as the television “Voice of the Bucks” and 23rd as Broadcast Director for the team.

NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik to retire

Jeff Bzdelik, a longtime coach who is currently with the Houston Rockets, is reporting hanging up his clipboard and calling it a career. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Bzdelik, 65, had been weighing whether to return for a third season on Mike D’Antoni’s staff throughout the summer, reaching his decision this weekend, an individual with knowledge of the decision said. He had been uncertain about taking on the demands and time away from family of another season.

The Rockets will shift his responsibilities throughout the coaching staff, with assistant Roy Rogers likely to lead the defense. Former Vipers coach Matt Brase had already been added to D’Antoni’s staff.

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Timberwolves center Justin Patton out after foot injury

Minnesota Timberwolves center Justin Patton will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering an injury to his right foot during a recent workout. Surgery will be scheduled for the near future. Further updates to his progress will be issued when appropriate.

Patton, 6-11, played in one game for Minnesota in 2017-18, totaling two points and one steal in just under four minutes of action on April 1, 2018 vs. Utah. Patton appeared in 38 games for the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate, starting 28 of those and averaging 12.7 points on 47.5% shooting from the field. He also averaged 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 23.1 minutes a game.

The Wolves acquired the draft rights to Patton (selected 16th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft), along with Jimmy Butler, on June 22, 2017 from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft rights to Lauri Markkanen, the 7th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Dwyane Wade isn’t hanging up his sneakers yet. The future Hall of Famer has announced that he’ll play one more NBA season, and will stick with the Miami Heat.

Wade for weeks has stated openly that if he were to return for another NBA season, it would only be for Miami.

Here’s the Miami Herald on Wade’s decision:

This will help the Heat. After all, Wade was the only Heat player to finish last season’s five-game playoff run with a positive plus-minus while leading the team to its only playoff victory in Game 2 in Philadelphia with 28 points in 26 minutes.

But at 36 years old, how much will Wade really help the Heat this season?

“This decision is bigger than the game of basketball,” Wade said in the video posted Sunday night. “This decision don’t have nothing to do with the talent I have in my body. Yeah, I’m not as quick as I used to be. Yeah, I don’t jump as high as I used to. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t.

“But there are things in this game that I have that I can write a book on, that I can still do and I can still accomplish with the right organization, with the right individuals, with the right coach and in the right situation.”

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The Heat won’t be a contender this season, but they’re a solid team, and it’ll be cool to see fans get to applaud D-Wade on his retirement tour.

At the same time, the Heat’s primary need is to figure out their future. So this won’t be an all-about-Wade type of season the way Kobe Bryant’s final Laker season was all about him. The Heat will compete. Wade will contribute to that. And there will be lots of standing ovations in the process.

The Timberwolves are a fascinating team right now. They won a solid but unspectacular 47 games last season, squeezing into the playoffs for a quick stint in the postseason. On paper, they should certainly keep improving. They boast a quality starting lineup, and several of their best players are young and presumably still improving. But Jimmy Butler’s future with the team will be a looming story throughout the next year — or until something happens to put an end to the speculation. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Timberwolves all-star guard Jimmy Butler and coach Tom Thibodeau will meet early this week to discuss the upcoming season and thoughts on the team, a source confirmed Saturday.

The Athletic was the first to report the meeting.

But there’s no reason to believe this is some type of make-or-break moment that will determine Butler’s future in Minnesota. While nothing can ever be ruled out, this meeting isn’t expected to deliver anything of major consequence.

There’s been a lot of drama surrounding the Timberwolves this offseason — some of which should subside once training camp starts in nine days. Much of it has involved Butler.

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Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune with a Timberwolves injury report that will presumably be confirmed by the team soon:

After two surgeries on his left foot cost him two summer-league and one training camp experiences, Timberwolves center Justin Patton now has broken his right foot in pre-camp workouts.

Patton will undergo surgery to repair that right foot in the coming days, a source with knowledge of the injury said.

Training camp begins Sept. 25, and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau had been hopeful that Patton would be cleared for contact practice by then.

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Bucks and WTMJ Radio expand partnership

The Milwaukee Bucks and WTMJ Radio have expanded their long-time partnership, with WTMJ continuing as the radio home of the team. Bucks games this upcoming season will air on 620 AM and 103.3 FM with Ted Davis and Dennis Krause calling the action. WTMJ Radio will remain the flagship station of the statewide BMO Harris Bucks Radio Network.

As part of the new agreement, Bucks games that will not air on 620 AM or 103.3 FM because of conflicts will now air on 94.5 FM WKTI, a partner of WTMJ Radio. New features of the agreement include a one-hour Bucks Weekly Show and a half-hour Coach’s Show that will air on WTMJ Radio each week during the season.

“WTMJ Radio has been a terrific home for Bucks games for 50 years, and we’re excited to extend our relationship as we enter our first season at Fiserv Forum,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin. “This is a great time for the Bucks and our fans, and we are excited to enhance our presence on WTMJ Radio with weekly Bucks shows.”

“The Bucks and WTMJ are proud partners,” said Tom Langmyer, vice president and general manager of WTMJ and WKTI and vice president, news/talk/sports for The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP). “We’re pleased to grow the partnership as the Bucks move into the beautiful new Fiserv Forum - and excited for WTMJ Radio as it segues from Scripps to Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands.”

As he enters his 40th season as the “Voice of the Clippers,” legendary broadcaster Ralph Lawler has announced his plan to retire after the 2018-19 NBA season. Over the course of his tenure, his commentary has captivated fans across the sports world, creating a legacy that will last far beyond his final season.

“My wife Jo and I have grappled with this decision annually for 15 years. I now realize that I have spent half of my 80 years as a part of this team. The Clippers are a big part of my life’s DNA,” said Lawler. “Yet, it is important that we have some ‘life after basketball.’ The current ownership and management team has been so supportive, and we are forever grateful for our years with the Clippers. I cannot express how much I appreciate the fans. I am looking forward to thanking as many of them as possible in person during this final season.”

Lawler, 80, joined the then San Diego Clippers in the team’s first year in California, 1978, where he spent six years before moving with the Clippers to Los Angeles. Since, he has called more than 3,100 games. Lawler has distinguished himself as one of the broadcasting industry’s elite, as he is one of a very few announcers who has called games in each of the four major U.S. Sports Leagues: NFL (Chargers), MLB (Phillies), NHL (Flyers) and NBA (Clippers and 76ers).

“Ralph Lawler isn’t just the voice of the team, he has been the heart and soul of the Clippers,” said Clippers Chairman Steve Ballmer. “Ralph has lived every single moment with this team and been an essential connection between us and our fans, who rightfully adore him. We will treasure every moment with Ralph and his wife Jo this season, and miss him incredibly next year. I’m looking forward to celebrating Ralph and his legacy, and want to sincerely thank him for everything that he has done for and meant to this team. His will be large shoes to fill.”

Lawler’s commitment to his craft has been recognized with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Emmys, a Telly Award and inductions into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the California Sports Hall of Fame.

Heat exercise contract options on Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat yesterday exercised their third-year team option on Bam Adebayo.

Adebayo, who was selected in the first round (14th overall) by the HEAT in the 2017 NBA Draft, appeared in 69 games (19 starts) last season with Miami and averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 19.8 minutes while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. Among NBA rookies last season, he ranked fourth in field goal percentage, sixth in rebounds per game and ninth in blocks per game as his 41 blocks ranked fourth on the HEAT’s all-time rookie list.

During the season, Adebayo posted a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double while blocking five shots on January 9 at Toronto, becoming just the second rookie in NBA history to post at least those numbers off the bench (since blocks became a stat in 1973-74) and just the fourth HEAT player ever to post a 16-point, 15-rebound, 5-block game, joining Rony Seikaly, Alonzo Mourning and Hassan Whiteside. In that same game, he helped Miami out-rebound the Raptors by a +27 margin (64-37), tying for the fifth-highest rebound margin in team history. He started last season with a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double in just his fourth NBA game on October 30 vs. Minnesota, marking as the fifth-fastest HEAT player to post a double-double in franchise history. His 10 offensive boards in the contest are the most by a rookie in team history during a single-game and tied for the sixth-most by a rookie in the NBA over the last 17 years. Additionally, he grabbed 16 rebounds on March 14 at Sacramento, tying the second-most by a rookie in team history and he shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the field on November 28 at Cleveland, becoming the only rookie in HEAT history to not miss a shot with at least that many attempts as he was also a perfect 5-of-5 from the line in the contest, marking just the second time in franchise history a HEAT player was perfect from the field and the charity stripe with a minimum of five attempts each. The former Wildcat appeared in 38 games (all starts) as a freshman at Kentucky and averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.50 blocks and 30.1 minutes while shooting 59.9 percent from the field. He was selected to the All-SEC Second Team and the All-SEC All-Tournament Team after helping the Wildcats win the SEC Championship.

Former Spurs assistant Don Newman dies

Here’s the San Antonio Express News with some sad news on a former Spurs assistant:

Don Newman, an assistant coach who served on the staff of a pair of Spurs championship teams, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 60.

Newman was a member of coach Gregg Popovich’s staff from 2004-2012, helping the Spurs win titles in 2005 and 2007.

He left the Spurs in 2012 to become the lead assistant under Randy Wittman in Washington, where he remained until 2016.

Newman died Tuesday. Funeral services are pending.

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Russell Westbrook undergoes knee surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has undergone arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.

The Thunder, Westbrook and his representation determined that after he experienced inflammation in his knee this past weekend that the best course of action was the proactive procedure, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache with Thunder medical personnel present at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

According to the Oklahoman, “Westbrook felt stiffness and experienced inflammation in his knee last weekend, and elected to have surgery as opposed to missing time deep into the season. The surgery, which the Thunder is calling a “proactive procedure,” was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache with Thunder medical personnel present at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.”

The seven-time All-Star averaged a triple-double for a second straight season during the 2017-18 campaign, with 25.4 points, a league-leading 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds, making him the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons.

More from the Oklahoman: “The surgery will inevitably raise questions about Westbrook’s durability going forward. He’s entering his 11th season, the first year of a five-year, $205 million contract extension he signed in 2017. Westbrook turns 30 on Nov. 12.”

Westbrook will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks, at which time a further update will be provided.

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has decided that in his spare time during the NBA season he’s going to learn about business at Harvard. A problem is, players really have very little spare time during the season. Watching film, reading scouting reports, etc. is really their best use of time when not standing on a basketball court. We’re surprised he’s doing this now, instead of, say, taking a summer class somewhere. Anyway, here’s Boston.com reporting:

On Monday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was at Harvard University for the kick-off of “Crossover Into Business,” a semester-long program at Harvard Business School taught by HBS professor Anita Elberse. According to its description, the program is designed to help pro athletes better prepare themselves for “business activities during and after their active sports careers.” Irving and the other participants will each be matched with a pair of HBS’s MBA student mentors who will “develop their business acumen and empower them to make better business decisions.”

In an interview with Boston.com in June, Irving expressed interest in potentially pursuing other passions and noted he was aware of the opportunities at Harvard.

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Timberwolves sign Luol Deng

The Minnesota Timberwolves yesterday signed forward Luol Deng.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Deng “will get a one-year, $2.4 million deal — the veteran’s minimum — from the Wolves. Deng recently reached a contract settlement with the Los Angeles Lakers on the final two remaining years of a massive $72 million contract he signed in summer 2016. That made him an unrestricted free agent and he chose to reunite with his former coach from Chicago. The Wolves tried to sign him in 2016, but offered a two-year deal compared to the Lakers’ four.”

A 14-year NBA veteran, Deng has appeared in 880 career games (826 starts) over 14 seasons with Chicago, Miami, Cleveland and L.A. Lakers. Over his career he owns averages of 15.0 points on 45.5% shooting, 6.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Deng played under Head Coach Tom Thibodeau for three-plus seasons (234 games) in Chicago from 2010-14, averaging 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds during the stretch. Under Thibodeau’s tutelage, Deng was named to the NBA All-Star Game in 2012 and 2013, as well as earning a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2012.

More from the Star Tribune: “He joins former Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose and gives the Wolves another two-way player who can guard multiple positions, including both forward spots. ”

Deng has appeared in seven different postseasons between Chicago and Miami, including reaching the Eastern Conference Finals with Thibodeau and the Bulls in 2010-11. Deng has averaged 14.6 points on 45.5% shooting in 62 postseason contests (56 starts) over those seven seasons.

Andrew Bynum seeks NBA comeback

Here’s NBC Sports Philadelphia discussing center Andrew Bynum, who reportedly seeks a return to NBA action. Which sounds to us like a longshot, but it’s fun to ponder, because Bynum was quite a character.

I have no idea what Andrew Bynum has been up to over the past few years. I’d guess he has made a trip or two to the King of Prussia Mall and maybe even hit up his local bowling alley. But now we know the former face of the Sixers’ franchise — for like 30 seconds! — has actually been spending time in a gym lately doing something he never did in a regular-season game for the 76ers.

Bynum has been playing basketball. The former NBA lottery pick and total bust in Philadelphia is attempting to make a comeback at the age of 30, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He last played in the NBA in 2014 for the Indiana Pacers after quickly flaming out with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier that season.

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The Charlotte Hornets have named Joe Wolf head coach of their G League team, the Greensboro Swarm. Wolf becomes the second head coach in franchise history.

“We are excited to have Coach Wolf join our organization,” Kupchak said. “Joe has a wealth of experience at the collegiate and professional level and knows what it takes to develop young players. Coach Wolf will be an integral part of the program we are building. He is familiar with the region’s passion for basketball and we are excited for him to lead the Swarm in Greensboro.”

Wolf, 53, joins the Swarm after being an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington under C.B. McGrath. Prior to UNCW, Wolf was an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets (2014-17) and Milwaukee Bucks (2008-13). In total, Wolf brings over 14-years coaching experience to the job.

“I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Greensboro Swarm and join the Hornets organization,” Wolf said. “I want to thank Michael Jordan, the Jordan family, Mitch Kupchak, Buzz Peterson and James Borrego for giving me this opportunity in the G League. I am looking forward to developing young players, implementing Coach Borrego’s system and playing an exciting brand of basketball. I cannot wait to get to work.”

A native of Kohler, Wisconsin, began his coaching career after playing professionally for 11 seasons in 2003-04 at William & Mary. Wolf was the head coach for the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association from 2004-06 before becoming the head coach/general manager of the Colorado 14ers in the NBA Development League (2006-08). During his tenure with Idaho and Colorado, 17 players were called up to the NBA. At the international level, Wolf served as an assistant coach the Ukrainian National Team, helping the court qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Wolf played for seven franchises since being drafted as the No. 13 overall selection in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Including two stints with the Hornets, he played for the Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks. He also played one season in Spain’s top league, the ACB, with Leon.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

The Miami Heat have re-signed forward Udonis Haslem.

“It’s great to have our captain back,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We’re looking forward to having UD back for his 16th season with the HEAT.”

Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion, has played his entire 15-year NBA career with the HEAT and currently holds the second-longest streak by any active player with only one team in the league. He has appeared in 844 career regular season games (498 starts) averaging 7.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 25.4 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 75.5 percent from the foul line. The Miami native is the franchise all-time leader in offensive, defensive and total rebounds and also ranks among the HEAT’s all-time leaders in games played (2nd), starts (2nd), minutes (2nd), double-doubles (4th), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (6th), points (7th), field goal percentage (7th), free throws made (8th), free throws attempted (8th), double-figure scoring efforts (8th), blocks (9th), steals (10th), assists (16th) and free throw percentage (18th). Additionally, he is the only undrafted player in NBA history to lead a franchise in total rebounds and has served as captain of the HEAT in each of the past 11 seasons, the longest tenure in team history.

Haslem has also seen action in 147 postseason games (84 starts) as a member of the HEAT and has averaged 5.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 21.7 minutes while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 71.3 percent from the foul line. In addition to being the HEAT’s all-time leader in offensive rebounds in postseason play he also ranks among Miami’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (2nd), total rebounds (2nd), games started (3rd), minutes (3rd), defensive rebounds (3rd), double-doubles (4th), field goals made (5th), field goals attempted (5th), free throws made (5th), steals (5th), dunks (5th), points (6th), free throws attempted (6th), double-figure scoring efforts (tied-6th), blocked shots (7th) and assists (10th).

Cavs re-sign Rodney Hood

LeBron James is gone from Cleveland, but at least Rodney Hood is back.

That’s not really the same thing. But it’s the offseason, and now is the time to type silly things.

The Cavaliers re-signed Hood today, after originally extending a qualifying offer to him way back on June 29, 2018.

Hood is a solid contributor. A good member of a supporting cast, and a player who can do more than he showed last season in Cleveland. But the Cavs are in rebuilding mode. That’s what happens when LeBron leaves a team. Kevin Love can put up points and rebounds but isn’t about to carry a squad. This is a team in transition, and it will take multiple seasons to transform.

In 21 games (11 starts) with Cleveland last season, Hood averaged 10.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game. He was acquired by the Cavaliers from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade on Feb. 8, 2018. On the season in 2017-18, Hood averaged 14.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game over 60 contests (23 starts) with Utah and Cleveland. Hood also appeared in 17 playoff games (one start) during the Cavaliers’ 2018 NBA Finals run, averaging 5.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per contest.

The 6-8 guard out of Duke was originally selected by the Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He owns career averages of 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 27.5 minutes per game over 248 total contests (178 starts). He has appeared in the playoffs in two seasons, averaging 6.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game over 28 postseason contests (one start) with Utah and Cleveland.

Devin Booker undergoes hand surgery

The Suns signed young star scoring guard Devin Booker to a big extension this summer. But he reportedly has something important to take care of before starting the 2018-19 NBA season. Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting:

The Phoenix Suns will likely start training camp without Devin Booker, whose injured hand is inflamed and may require surgery, a source close the Republic reports.

Booker, the Suns’ leading scorer and highest paid player, was bothered by the right-hand injury throughout the closing months of last season, missing the last 12 games.

At the time, Booker and the Suns took criticism, with some suggesting it was a tactic to improve the team’s position in the draft.

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UPDATE: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker today underwent successful surgery to repair an injury to the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Booker’s expected recovery time is approximately six weeks.

Cavs sign guard David Nwaba

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed guard David Nwaba today.

Nwaba (6-4, 219) spent last season with the Chicago Bulls, playing in 70 games (21 starts) and averaging 7.9 points on .478 shooting and 4.7 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures in 32 games and recorded three double-doubles on the season.

The 6-4 guard out of Cal Poly, who went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, holds career averages of 7.5 points on .494 shooting and 4.3 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game during 90 games (23 starts) over two NBA seasons with Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers. Nwaba also played in 40 games (31 starts) with the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League in 2016-17, averaging 14.1 points on .647 shooting, 6.9 rebounds, 1.35 steals and 1.15 blocks in 28.7 minutes per contest while earning NBA G League All-Defensive Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team honors.

Nwaba will wear jersey number 12 with the Cavaliers.

Hawks reportedly signing Cole Aldrich

Here’s the latest on center Cole Aldrich, who must work hard to solidify his place in the league beyond the training camp signing reported below by the St Paul Pioneer Press:

Hawks reportedly signing Cole Aldridge

Cole Aldrich is signing a training camp deal with the Atlanta Hawks, he told the Pioneer Press on Thursday.

In a cost-cutting move, the Timberwolves waived the veteran center earlier this offseason after inking Aldrich to a three-year, $21 million deal in 2016. The Bloomington Jefferson standout ended up on the end of the bench last season, playing in just 21 games.

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