July 6, 2018, 6:34 pm
The major moves of the Wolves’ offseason are more-or-less done with Anthony Tolliver signed, Derrick Rose back on board and Bjelica off to Philly. With a handful of roster spots to fill and little money available, the Wolves will target players on minimum contracts. Perhaps one of those can make an impression when the Wolves kick off the Las Vegas Summer League.
Of course the major draw for Wolves fans will be the debuts of their two draft picks, Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop. Minnesota fans may be familiar with Bates-Diop, the Big-10 Player of the Year at Ohio State (who had 17 points and 12 rebounds in their lone meeting with the Gophers last year), but Okogie went under the radar at Georgia Tech and fans are eager to see him in action.
As the roster currently stands, the two rookies have a golden opportunity to earn some playing time in Thibodeau’s rotation. The main bench pieces, Tyus Jones, Gorgui Dieng, Tolliver and Rose, are all strictly perimeter or interior players. Okogie and KBD are the only wings the team has in reserve. Thibs’ is notorious for a mistrust in rookies and a tight rotation, so nothing is certain, but perhaps one of the two can earn his trust and crack the rotation.
That mission starts here in Summer League.
Here’s the full roster:
Terrell was just signed to a two-way contract by the Wolves. He had a huge impact last season for Rhode Island, one that led to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, averaging 16.8 points, 2.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.2 3-pointers. He improved his numbers across the board, while seeing an uptick in volume as well. His 41.4 3-point percentage was a career high. He’s more of a scorer than distributor.
Jefferson signed a two-way contract for the Wolves last season, though he didn’t end up appearing in any games. He averaged 17.8 points and 12.8 rebounds for the Iowa Wolves, shooting 62.3 percent from the field. He’s strictly an interior player offensively, taking 89 percent of his field goals within 10 feet (including 74 percent at the rim). Jefferson broke the single-season double-double record last season.
White earned a two-way contract last season as well but with the Atlanta Hawks. He was able to get some time on the court, appearing in 15 games for the Hawks. He averaged 4.6 points and 1.2 3-pointers in limited minutes. White is an intriguing talent as a potential 3-&-D guy, with emphasis on the ‘3’. He averaged 3.3 3-pointers in his final collegiate season on 40.3 percent shooting, then went on to the G-League and made 2.6 3-pointers per game on 40.5 percent shooting. At 6′-7″ and 210 lbs., he has ideal size for the wing.
Not seen is Justin Patton, who’s recovering from foot surgery and will miss his second consecutive summer.
These games mean very little in the grand scheme and it’s not time to overreact. As a rule of thumb, a good performance means very little, but a poor performance is perhaps a reason to be somewhat concerned, but nothing too drastic. Second year players should also be a step ahead of the rookies, so guys like White and Jefferson may look the best on the floor.
Where to Watch:
10:00 pm CT on NBA TV
April 26, 2019, 9:23 amDerrick Favors - F/C - Utah Jazz
Derrick Favors said he is looking to cut more weight during the offseason.
“It’s something I’ll be focusing on again in the offseason,” Favors said. “I’ll be slimming down even more. Getting quicker so I’ll be able to guard on the perimeter and be able to guard in the pick and roll.” Favors dropped 26 pounds during heading into the 2018-19 season and just finished his second straight season with at least 76 games played. Favors has one more on contract with the Jazz and will likely pick up his player option this summer.
Source: Associated Press
April 26, 2019, 9:18 amKyle Korver - G/F - Utah Jazz
Kyle Korver is uncertain if he will return for the 2019-20 season and has contemplated retirement.
“There’s a real cost as you get older,” Korver said. “There’s all of what you need to put into the game, but there’s also a family cost. That’s probably where I’m at, is weighing that cost.” Korver has a player option for the 2019-20 season that becomes partially guaranteed after July 7. It would be his 17th NBA season if he chooses to return.
Source: Associated Press
April 25, 2019, 11:00 pmJakob Poeltl - C - San Antonio Spurs
Jakob Poeltl shot 4-for-6 from the field for eight points with nine boards, two assists and one block in 28 minutes for a 120-103 win over the Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday.
Poeltl was not able to shut down Nikola Jokic (43 points) but it didn't matter, as the Spurs shot 57.1 percent from the field to blow out the Nuggets. The Spurs will head to Denver for a winner-take-all affair in Game 7 on Saturday.
April 25, 2019, 10:54 pmGary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris scored 14 points in Game 6 against the Spurs on Thursday night as the Nuggets fell 120-103.
Harris scored a few points in this one but didn't do a whole lot else. The Nuggets will probably need him to have more of a visible imprint on the game to make major noise.
April 25, 2019, 10:53 pmDerrick White - G - San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White shot 4-for-7 from the floor for 13 points with one rebound, two assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.
White wasn't particularly effective on the stat sheet in Game 6, but his grit and solid defense helped the Spurs secure a win on their home floor. He limited his turnovers to just one in this game. White will need to stay efficient in a decisive Game 7 on Saturday in Denver.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmPaul Millsap - F - Denver Nuggets
Paul Millsap was almost a non-factor on Thursday night scoring just 12 points and adding four boards in heavy minutes.
Millsap has to be better for this team to make any major noise deep in the playoffs. He just hasn't been back to his normal self for long stretches this year, so here's to hoping he can find form.
April 25, 2019, 10:49 pmRudy Gay - F - San Antonio Spurs
Rudy Gay shot 7-for-11 for 19 points with four boards, two assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday.
After being a non-factor for much of the series, Gay played extra efficient as a savvy veteran on Thursday night. He led the bench in scoring and helped set the tone to force a Game 7. Gay will need another game like this if the Spurs want any chance of surviving in Denver.
April 25, 2019, 10:43 pmDeMar DeRozan - G - San Antonio Spurs
DeMar DeRozan shot 12-for-16 from the field for 25 points with seven assists and seven boards in 36 minutes to force a Game 7 against the Nuggets on Thursday.
DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points and 10 rebounds) took it to the Nuggets for their final home game of the opening round. For a team not making much noise in the regular season, all eyes will be on the Spurs and Nuggets Game 7 on Saturday. Never count out Pop and the Spurs.
April 25, 2019, 10:42 pmJamal Murray - G - Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray scored just 16 points (7-of-19 from the floor) on Thursday in the Game 6 loss to the Spurs.
Murray was quiet in this one as the Nuggets tried to close it out. He did manage six assists but Nikola Jokic is going to need some help from his supporting cast to cement a date with Portland.
April 25, 2019, 10:37 pmNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic scored a career-high 43 points and approached a triple-double with 12 rebounds and nine assists in Thursday's Game 6 loss.
It was a waste of a great performance from Jokic as the Nuggets couldn't close out the Spurs in Game 6. Home cookin' might be just what the doctor ordered.