Wolves Holding Pre-Camp Workouts As Players Begin To Roll Into Town

Wolves Holding Pre-Camp Workouts As Players Return

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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With 11 days remaining until Training Camp Timberwolves players continue to trickle in, and with that comes the opportunity to open up workouts in a 5-on-5 setting. That’s been the case at LifeTime Fitness Training Center this week, as a collection Wolves players coupled with additional guys filling in allowed for full-court scrimmaging.

Chase Budinger, Dante Cunningham, Ronny Turiaf, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Lorenzo Brown and Robbie Hummel were all on hand Friday and participating in a 5-on-5 scrimmage. The chance to come in early allows rookies like Muhammad, Dieng and Brown to get familiar with the facilities and some of the training regimens prior to Training Camp. For guys like Budinger and Cunningham, it’s a way to get re-acquainted with the day-to-day grind.

After a summer in all areas of the country, it’s their chance to come together and work out prior to heading down to Mankato.

Some have been here for extended time. Dieng, for instance, has been in Minnesota for three weeks working out. After Summer League in July, he made stops in Senegal and Louisville before coming up to Minnesota for training. Others, like Turiaf, came into town this week and are getting their first workouts in here with the club.

As the team gets together, there is a sense of optimism about the pieces in place and what the team could do this season on the court.

“Its’ going to be a great year,” Cunningham said. “Lot of fun, lot of expectations personally and as a team, so we just a lot going on, and we’re ready to play.”

The Wolves feel like they’re more balanced and deep across the board than they’ve been in past seasons, and with health they’ve got a group in place that can do some damage in the Western Conference. The rest of the personnel is on its way: Kevin Love tweeted on Friday he’s heading to Minnesota after completing his summer program in Los Angeles with trainer Rob McClanaghan. Kevin Martin expects to be in town early next week. Ricky Rubio, who is playing in the EuroBasket semifinals today in Slovenia for Team Spain, is expected to be back right before Training Camp opens up.

Budinger’s knee continues to improve

Chase Budinger missed nearly 60 games last year because of that left meniscus tear in November, and when he did return in late March he made his impact felt despite playing on a knee that was less than 100 percent. He spent the summer rehabbing and said while it was a different offseason program-wise, it paid off with how his leg now feels.

It will be a work in progress throughout the year, and he’ll need to continue rehabbing, icing and treating it. But compared to the end of last season, there’s a world of difference.

“It’s way better,” Budinger said. “The end of last season it felt like I had a brick on that foot. I’m starting to get my hops back a little bit and able to take off on it and land on it and not be able to think about it.”

Budinger spent his offseason in San Diego and said he did some workouts with his teammates in California midway through the summer. Since then he hasn’t worked out with Wolves teammates until returning to Minnesota earlier this month, and prior to his return he took a promotional trip to China with fellow NBA players Shane Battier and Carl Landry.

As for re-signing with Minnesota as a free agent, Budinger said it was an easy decision.

“I just fit so well in coach Adelman’s system,” he said. “He trusts me. I know the coaching staff, I know what they expect of me. It’s just all in all very comfortable here, and that’s the main reason I came back.”

Quick Hits

  • Cunningham has been impressed with rookie guard Lorenzo Brown early on. It’s a small sample size, but he likes the athleticism he sees: “He’s very young and talented is what it is,” Cunningham said. “It’s what he does with the ball, how he can score. It’s amazing what he can do. It’s crazy.”

  • Muhammad was showing off his athletic ability on Friday, highlighted by a thunderous dunk in the open court toward the end of practice. Budinger said both Muhammad and Dieng are doing great in their early workouts. The challenge will be getting up to speed within the system: “We’ll see how they do in Training Camp learning the offense,” Budinger said. “That’s probably the hardest thing going into training camp.”

  • Dieng tweaked his ankle during practice but said it feels fine. He might take it easy for a day or two but will be ready to roll prior to camp. Dieng’s been in town for three weeks and said he’s been working on his all-around game both on and off the court in his workouts. “I do a lot of drills with the guards, and after they’re done I just do some bigs drills with coach [David Adelman] and stuff. I’ve been working on everything since I’ve been here.”

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