A New-Look Pack, Wolves Workout

A New-Look Pack, Wolves Workout

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Ricky Rubio with a no-look alley-oop dish to Derrick Williams for the one-handed flush high above the rim…

Has a nice ring to it?

Starting this past weekend, veteran Wolves and a bunch of fresh faces joined forces at the Life Time Fitness Training Center for player organized practices. Rubio, Williams, former UCLA guard and 2011 draft pick Malcolm Lee hit the hardwood floor with Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Wes Johnson, and Martell Webster. The group of players was chomping at the bit to finally run together and provide a snapshot of what hopes to be an upward swing for the franchise.

“I'm very excited with the crew that we have and I think the fans and organization should be very excited,” Love exclaimed. “With Ricky, Derrick, Malcolm, and all the new guys and fresh faces, we have a lot of flavor on our team, so it's going to be a fun thing to be a part of.”

Fans and NBA analysts have voiced concerns with the potential logjam at the small forward position, especially after the Wolves selected Williams on Draft night. Contrary to the outside assumptions, Beasley supported the decision to add the former Arizona standout and does not predict any chemistry issues.

“I’ve been working out with Derrick up until the Draft. I mean, I love him – great guy, great kid, good-hearted, kind, and can flat out hoop. I didn’t think he could shoot as good as he can shoot but he can just flat out hoop. Why wouldn’t I want somebody like that on my team? Not really fighting for minutes, just fighting to get a win,” Beasley said.

The 20-year old flashy point guard streaked up and down the floor, consistently finding open teammates while throwing perfectly placed dimes. His knack for executing spectacular passes and exceptional ball-handling skills on the run is hard to ignore and grabbed Beasley’s attention as the two searched for easy buckets during the pick-up games. After a highly anticipated arrival, Rubio and his new teammates shared mutual admiration.

“I like him,” Beasley stated with a smile. “I missed a couple of oops today but I jumped for them, so it’s going to be a lot more exciting with Ricky because he can run, jump, and shoot. It’s fun.”

Rubio added, “Only played two days with them but they are so athletic. You can throw the ball and they are going to catch it anywhere and that’s going to make my job easier because I’m a point guard.”

Throughout the second day of a two-hour session, several intriguing matchups developed as Williams and Beasley squared off along with Rubio and Lee. On one play, Williams drilled a step-back jumper over Beasley and then, Beasly quickly answered, utilizing his strong handle to get the rack on the left side of the rim.

It should be noted that Randolph was a beast in the paint and on the perimeter. After remaining in Minneapolis since the end of the season, Randolph has added some weight to his frame and seems poised to take the next step in his career.

Lee, the 2011 43rd overall pick was also impressive running the point and moving to the shooting guard spot. He should be a solid option with Jonny Flynn heading to Houston after a Draft night trade.

The team plans on working out for the next couple of days before returning to their hometowns to continue offseason training. While it’s only June and there is plenty of work ahead for a team that is attempting to make substantial strides in the wins department, optimism around the Wolves is sky-high. The small glimpse of the basketball potential the team posses should create a tremendous amount of buzz for this young squad heading into next season.
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