Brewer, Wolves Have Changed Since First Time Around

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Brewer, Wolves Have Changed Since First Time Around

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Corey Brewer seems genuinely happy to be back with the Timberwolves, the team that originally drafted him out of Florida back in 2007. Circumstances led to him being dealt as part of the Carmelo Anthony to New York three-team deal in 2011, but despite never thinking he’d have the option to return to Minnesota, Brewer inked a deal with the Wolves this week ensuring he’d be back at Target Center this winter.

“I’m happy for the opportunity to be able to [come back],” Brewer said. “I never really wanted to leave, so I’m happy for the opportunity to be back.”

A lot has changed since then. In Minnesota, Rick Adelman’s leadership coupled with the development of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio began a transformation within the Wolves organization. The team is competitive, brimming with optimism and ready—barring injuries—to take the next step with the complementary pieces they’re placing throughout the roster.

Brewer hasn’t been too far away. After a quick stop in Dallas at the end of the 2011 season where he won a championship with the Mavericks, he’s been in the Northwest Division playing for the Denver Nuggets. He’s become more comfortable with his own game and developed into a guy who not only can play perimeter defense but also get out and run while hitting the occasional shot.

He thrived in Denver because he was able to be a complementary piece in a system that featured Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, among others. Here in Minnesota, with Love, Rubio and Kevin Martin. He’s looking forward to being able to provide support while also bringing that defensive presence.

And as he returns, he’s bringing with him the growth and maturity he’s gained over the last three years playing with playoff teams in the league.

“I feel like I’m a lot better than three years ago when I left,” Brewer said. “I’ve been in the league going on seven years now. I know what I can do and what I can’t do. I’ve had the opportunity to play and get better.”

Saunders said this week he’s seen Brewer’s game change dramatically since his time in Minnesota, and with Rubio running the point he expects Brewer to be able to get out and run the floor while thriving in Adelman’s system in the half court. While he only shot 30 percent from 3-point range last year, Saunders said Brewer hit 38 percent of his corner 3s—a positive since Adelman’s system should generate the opportunity for corner 3-point opportunities.

For Brewer, getting the chance to come back as well as seeing the direction of the organization made it seem like returning to Minnesota was the right fit.

“It was just looking at the teams, when I looked at Milwaukee, Sacramento, I felt like this team was going in the right direction,” Brewer said. “I feel like I’m going to fit right in.”

Quick Hits

  • Brewer said Saunders and owner Glen Taylor talked with him during the process, but Kevin Martin was also a big factor in signing with the Wolves. He and Martin have worked out together the last 4-5 years in the offseason, and with Martin joining Minnesota he offered his take on why Brewer should join him. “He kind of recruited me like Flip and Glen were recruiting me. He was calling and texting me all the time, saying I could come and play here.”
  • Brewer said Taylor told him he was happy to have him back in the organization and that it was tough to see him go. “I knew it wasn’t his decision really. It was no problem coming back.”
  • One of the biggest elements of Brewer’s affinity for Minnesota was his dynamic with the fans. “I liked the fans. The fans were great to me in Minneapolis,” he said.

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