Practice Report - July 6 | First Day Of Summer League Practice
For the last few weeks, the talk was all about who will be on the court for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Who will be the No. 1 pick? Will the Wolves trade into the first round? How many players on the team can legally get into a bar?
Those questions have been answer (well, maybe not the last one) and finally, the Wolves are back on the court. Not for the regular season. It’s only Summer League, but for a team with as much young talent as the Wolves have, Summer League is pretty important.
The Wolves announced the roster on Monday morning, headlined by rookies Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones. Also on the team will be Zach LaVine, Adreian Payne and Lorenzo Brown.
The team will be coached by assistant coach Ryan Saunders. For Saunders, it’s a fantastic opportunity, but like everyone else (talking to the media for the first time in a while), he said all the right things.
“It’s about the team,” Saunders said about any personal goals he had. “… This is all about the team. Getting these guys better and getting these guys comfortable.”
With four first-round picks on the Summer League squad, the Wolves will probably be considered favorites during Summer League and while a championship in Vegas would be a confidence for the team, the main focus will be to get the players familiarized with the NBA pace, rules and their new teammates.
“Definitely the three seconds in the lane, both offensively and defensively,” Jones said on adjustments he needs to make at the NBA level. “It’s just smaller gaps, smaller windows. You’ve got to be quicker. You’ve got to make decisions quicker; things like that. Everything is amped up a notch.”
While Summer League has never been considered the most competitive 10 days in the world, it is an opportunity for future teammates to gel with each other, such as Jones and LaVine or Towns and Payne. While Towns and Jones will be the first to tell you that they have plenty of chemistry off the court, chemistry on the court isn’t as easy sometimes.
We got a lot of great stuff today at practice. We’ll save some of it for features. Here are a few quick hits from today’s practice:
State Of The Art Facility
You’re probably sick of hearing it by now, but it doesn’t change anything. The Wolves have a top-notch practice facility and the players have taken notice.
“I think we have the best facility in the NBA, so this is crazy,” LaVine said. “We have a movie theater over there. For people who know me, they know I love movies. I’m going to be spending a lot of time over there. Go shoot and then going to the movie theater.”
“I’m going to be here anytime eight to 12.”
By eight we are thinking LaVine meant 8 a.m., and by 12, we think he meant midnight. Four hours isn’t really that impressive...
Welcome To The House Of Payne
Well, that is if Adreian Payne had a house. He said he’s in the process from moving from Atlanta (where he was traded from) to Minneapolis.
“I haven’t found a place out here yet because the market I crazy out here,” Payne said. “I’ve been doing a little bit of everything. Moving, unpacking…. Hoping I can find a place out here in town.”
Big man Nikola Pekovic was at The Courts at Mayo Clinic Square rehabbing after his right ankle surgery that he underwent in April. It’s probably too early to tell where he’s at and whether or not he’ll be 100 percent before Training Camp.