Player News - Timberwolves

Date: Team: Pos:

Anthony Bennett is expected to join Shabazz Muhammad and Ronny Turiaf in California next week.

Shabazz and Ronny both went to school in California and they're expected to work out with an unconventional trainer. Fitness is the paramount concern for Bennett heading into the season, but at least he showed he can play 30 minutes in a game like he did in Las Vegas. He's a late-round lottery ticket in deeper leagues.
Aug 27 - 3:14 PM

Thaddeus Young said he is excited to play alongside Nikola Pekovic this season rather than against him.

Speaking on his upcoming first season with the Timberwolves, Young said of Pekovic, "I bumped him in a game last year and he didn't move!" The 26-year-old is coming off a breakout 2013-14 season during which he averaged 19.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.5 three-pointers over the last 28 games of the season. Young would be worthy of a top 20 fantasy pick if he beat the odds and sustained those numbers, but even a likely slip will help him return mid-round value.
Aug 26 - 12:29 PM

Flip Saunders said he plans to find more minutes for Gorgui Dieng this season, and will experiment with Dieng at PF.

Thaddeus Young will start at PF, backed up by Andrew Bennett, but Saunders floated the idea that Dieng, Andrew Wiggins and even Shabazz Muhammad could earn minutes at PF during the season. Dieng thrived with extended minutes last year so it's encouraging that Saunders wants to find him more playing time, but it could take a frontcourt injury for the second-year big man to truly break out in 2014-15.
Aug 24 - 7:20 PM

Anthony Bennett had surgery in May to correct his sleep apnea, involving the removal of his tonsils and adenoids.

Bennett also suffers from asthma, but he already feels he has "a lot more room to breathe" since the operation. His surgically-repaired shoulder has fully recovered and he looked noticeably slimmer at Summer League, so the Wolves are optimistic that he can meaningfully contribute off the bench following a disastrous rookie campaign. As long as Thaddeus Young is healthy, fantasy owners should watch Bennett's progression from a distance.
Aug 24 - 4:41 PM

Wolves coach Flip Saunders hopes that Shabazz Muhammad will lose 15 pounds before training camp.

Muhammad is attending a multi-week boot camp run by a former Navy SEAL, so apparently he's on board with Flip's plan. He's listed at 6'6" and 222 pounds but looked out of shape for most of his rookie campaign, and didn't do much in 37 games for Minnesota. He faces stiff competition for minutes once again this season with Andrew Wiggins, Chase Budinger and Shabazz Muhammad all filling out the wing positions.
Aug 24 - 3:02 PM

Ricky Rubio has been working with a shooting coach this summer, and Flip Saunders intends to add a full-time shooting coach to his staff.

Rubio's 38.1 percent shooting last season was the highest mark in his three-year career. He struggled to score as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and was conspicuously inefficient close to the rim, making only 43.2 percent of his attempts within 16 feet. He's still a top-40 option in eight-cat leagues, but a boost in scoring would vault him even higher.
Aug 24 - 2:33 PM

Flip Saunders is confident that Nikola Pekovic will be able to remain healthy for the 2014-15 season.

Saunders cited that the team has fitted Pekovic for a new shoe, and he's been working hard with trainers all summer. Saunders also mentioned that he plans to play more Gorgui Dieng in an effort to limit the stretches Pekovic plays. With that being said, Pekovic has never made it through more than 65 games in an NBA season, and he was only able to suit up for 54 games last year. Despite Flip's enthusiasm, Pekovic remains a huge injury risk, and that should be considered before drafting him.
Aug 24 - 2:06 PM

Ricky Rubio is unlikely to sign an extension with the Timberwolves this season, and it seems he's bound to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, according to ESPN writer Darren Wolfson.

The Wolves have reportedly offered Rubio a four-year, $43 million deal, but Rubio's agent Dan Fegan wants nothing less than a 5-year max-offer. That is not likely to happen, so all signs are pointing towards Rubio becoming a restricted free agent. Despite Rubio's ineptitude on the offensive end (38.1 percent from the field last season), he's still an elite guy with regards to assists and steals, making him worthy of an early-round selection.
Aug 24 - 12:30 PM

Andrew Wiggins' high school coach Rob Fulford said that Wiggins could "care less what LeBron James thinks of him."

"I think this whole process with the trade rumors, he could care less," said Fulford. "That kid just wants to play basketball. The fact that LeBron never reached out to him, Andrew could care less what LeBron James thinks of him." Wiggins had one of the stranger routes to the NBA for an extremely highly touted No. 1 overall pick, but the drama is now behind him, and he can start his career in Minnesota. Wiggins will have plenty of opportunity on a rebuilding Timberwolves team, and he profiles as a solid mid-round selection in this year's fantasy drafts.
Source: NBC Sports
Aug 24 - 9:31 AM

Wolves general manager Milt Newton said Thaddeus Young "will be better statistically than he's ever been based on all the options he will have in the offense."

That's a tall order for Young after a stat-stuffing finish to his Philly career. Thad carried his 76ers after the break with a usage rate of 26.7, averaging 19.4 points, 5.8 boards, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.5 triples in those 28 games. We're not really on the same page as Newton here and we're expecting Thad to see a mild dip in production. Still, we like him as a mid-round pick.
Aug 23 - 5:52 PM

Coach Flip Saunders scouted Andrew Wiggins and said he's the most ready-made, two-way player in the 2014 draft class.

Considering how the Wolves don't really have any guard or wing who can create in isolation, Wiggins is a good bet to start in his rookie season. Saunders also said Wiggins is capable of guarding any position except center, which also could help him get playing time. As long as you're not reaching too much, Wiggins could make a big impact for your fantasy team in his first season.
Aug 23 - 3:38 PM

Coach Flip Saunders called the additions of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and Zach LaVine a "point guard's delight."

Yes, this is a bit of coach speak, but reading between the lines a bit it shows the Wolves may play LaVine more at shooting guard this upcoming season. The UCLA product played both guard spots in summer league, and he's also said he'll be hitting the weight room to get stronger. Regardless, LaVine isn't worth drafting in standard leagues just yet.
Aug 23 - 3:30 PM

Anthony Bennett has been traded to the Wolves.

The Wolves did an outstanding job to keep Bennett and only parted with Alexey Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute instead. Bennett's rookie season was catastrophic, but he looked good in Las Vegas and was able to play big minutes. Unfortunately, the addition of Thaddeus Young pushes Bennett out of the conversation as a late-round target in standard leagues.
Aug 23 - 2:30 PM

Andrew Wiggins has officially been traded to the Wolves.

The Wiggins era didn't last long in Cleveland and the NBA stopped selling his jersey quickly. He'll wear No. 22 with the Wolves and is a good bet to crack the starting lineup given their lack of playmaking scorers. Wiggins is a solid mid-round target in fantasy leagues, as long as you're aware he could have trouble with efficiency early in his career.
Aug 23 - 2:28 PM

The Wolves placed an advertisement in Sunday's early edition of the Pioneer Press with pictures of Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and Zach LaVine.

That pretty much makes it official and today is the first day that the Cavs and Wolves can officially make a deal due to Wiggins signing his deal one month ago. Young will slide into a power forward role and Bennett will back him up. The former 76er is still a nice mid-round target in fantasy leagues. Feel free to click the link below if you want to get a look at the ad.
Aug 23 - 11:32 AM


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