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Busy Day For The New Wolves At State Fair

by Kyle Ratke

Web Editor

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When most new players – whether it be free agency or via draft - are introduced to a team, there’s normally a press conference with a few media members, perhaps a few television interviews and that’s that.

But when you make one of the biggest trades in NBA history and acquire the top prospect since LeBron James entered the league, well, the Wolves decided to make their new arrivals known across the state – literally.

Rookies Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine and veteran forward Thaddeus Young were all acquired by the Wolves this offseason. Wiggins, Bennett and Young through Saturday’s Kevin Love trade, and LaVine in the 2014 draft. The four were introduced to the State Fair crowd on Tuesday at the Fox 9 booth.

The State Fair has already attracted 693,365 fans in just five days and despite it being a little colder and a Tuesday, there were still plenty of fans surrounding the booth with their Wolves gear, ready to hear from the new players for the first time. There were plenty of howls.

“It shows the level of loyalty fans have for this team,” Wiggins said. “As soon as I stepped foot in Minnesota, I've been shown nothing except love.”

It’s worth noting that Wiggins knows a thing about fans, as his lone college season was spent at the University of Kansas.

The four players made media rounds separately throughout the day, going to different radio and TV stations through the fairgrounds. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any fun to be had, though.

Anthony Bennett tried fried alligator, Zach LaVine won a stuffed animal, Thaddeus Young took a selfie in front of all the fans and Andrew Wiggins slid down the fair’s giant slide.

On their way to the grounds, they were asked for autographs (and obliged) and it seemed like there was a youthful excitement for these new players, a chance for a fresh start.

LaVine, who is oddly the senior member of the team, had a much different team two months ago when he was drafted by the Wolves. He told the crowd on Tuesday that he’s just fine with these changes.

“This is crazy, just watching everything go down, I’m more excited than everyone,” the high-flying star out of UCLA said. “I excited they’re here. The new look of this team is just going to be crazy. I’m ready to get to work already.”

Also in attendance at the Fair was President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Flip Saunders, General Manager Milt Newton and team owner Glen Taylor.

It’s safe to say it was a good and busy day for the new Wolves. Off to the couch for a nap after the long day? Nope, the four were off to speak with Timberwolves members about the upcoming season – and after such a long day, they actually seemed pretty excited about it.

We’ve said it a lot, but this certainly does feel like a new age of Timberwolves basketball.

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