Player News - Timberwolves

Date: Team: Pos:

The Timberwolves officially announced that Nikola Pekovic (right ankle) will not play during the 2016-17 season.

Previous reports suggested that it is "highly doubtful" Pekovic will play again in the NBA due to his chronic ankle injuries. Insurance will cover his salary for this season, and the Wolves will likely negotiate a buyout for the $11.6 million he's owed in the final year of his deal in 2017-18. Minnesota signed free agents Cole Aldrich and Jordan Hill this summer, improving their depth despite the loss of both Pekovic and Kevin Garnett.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 25 - 10:15 PM

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau recently praised Nemanja Bjelica's playmaking ability and "very unique skill set."

"I’m excited about [Bjelica]," Thibodeau said. "He’s had a great summer. He’s in really good shape. He can shoot the three, he can put it on the floor. The one thing that is probably overlooked is his playmaking ability. You can run pick-and-roll with him. He’s got great vision, he can pass over people." He's worth monitoring closely, but Bjelica faces serious competition for minutes on a roster that includes Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad.
Sep 25 - 9:45 PM

Tom Thibodeau didn't rule out starting Kris Dunn alongside Ricky Rubio this season.

"We’re going to get a lot of those questions answered in the preseason," he said. "I like guys who can play multiple positions, I like different combinations. There are times when you play two point guards together. I did that a lot in Chicago, just the speed of the game changes." Dunn could start the season as a reserve behind Rubio and Zach LaVine, but we'll have a better feel for the rotations once training camp gets underway.
Sep 25 - 9:41 PM

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau hasn't committed to starting Zach LaVine.

When asked whether LaVine will start or come off the bench, Thibodeau replied, "I don't know yet. I want to see how things unfold in practice. I have an idea of who we’ll start off with. But that doesn’t mean it stays that way." LaVine took off after the All-Star break, including March averages of 17.8 points on 49.8 percent shooting, 2.4 threes, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals. He's likely to earn heavy minutes no matter where he begins games, and is a popular target in the middle rounds.
Sep 25 - 9:37 PM

Cole Aldrich has "figured out who he is" as a basketball player, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.

"The last two years have been very good for [Aldrich]," Thibodeau said. "He fits in well, plays to his strengths, covers up his weaknesses, makes the team function well. And [Jordan Hill] has been a very good player in this league. That gives us quality depth up front." It's doubtful that Aldrich or Hill will have standard-league appeal while the Wolves are healthy, but they'll be popular targets if injuries strike the Wolves' frontcourt.
Sep 25 - 9:24 PM

Nikola Pekovic (foot) is "highly doubtful" to play again in the NBA, according to the AP's Jon Krawczynski.

This report also confirmed Pekovic will not play this season, and insurance will cover the Wolves on Pek's contract. He has one year and about $12 million left on his deal, so there might be some sort of buyout agreement. He's 30 years old and has played just 43 games combined in the last two seasons.
Sep 23 - 11:56 PM

Kevin Garnett officially announced his retirement from the NBA on Friday.

No. 21 is done after 21 seasons and proved to us all anything is possible. He revolutionized the position at power forward and was one of the best defenders ever during his prime. Over his career, he averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Garnett also has 12 All-Defensive Team nods and 15 All-Star selections to go with his MVP in 2004 and championship in 2008. There is no press conference scheduled at the time of this announcement.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 23 - 6:38 PM

Owner Glen Taylor said Nikola Pekovic (foot) will not play for the Wolves this season and the team may buy him out.

This isn't surprising to hear as the Tom Thibodeau era takes over. Pekovic just can't stay healthy anymore and it's already been announced he won't be ready to start camp. If he's bought out, another team might pick him up as a third center.
Sep 23 - 4:15 PM

Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves came to a buyout agreement Friday and a retirement announcement from Garnett is expected shortly, according to Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.

The 40-year-old is a no-brainer Hall of Fame player and will join Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as arguably the best class ever. Garnett will end his career ranking 17th on the all-time scoring list, 10th on the all-time rebounds list and among the elite for the other stats among big men. On top of his MVP in 2003-04 and championship in 2008, KG is one of a kind for his energy and emotion. His retirement announcement will be must-see TV.
Sep 23 - 4:00 PM

The Wolves will sign Rasual Butler to a non-guaranteed deal.

While it's just a training camp deal, it's worth noting that Butler made the Pacers, Wizards and Spurs over the past three seasons by impressing in camp. He has a decent chance to make the final 15-man roster, but he's not going to be relevant in fantasy leagues.
Sep 22 - 10:42 AM

Kevin Garnett and the Wolves are reportedly in "serious buyout talks" to end Garnett's contract with Minnesota.

KG is owed $8 million in the final year of his deal, but he's an afterthought in a frontcourt that includes Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Cole Aldrich, Jordan Hill, Nemanja Bjelica and potentially Nikola Pekovic. Garnett wasn't on the fantasy radar anyway, so this shouldn't affect any draft boards.
Sep 21 - 8:32 PM

The Timberwolves are considering giving a training camp invite to Rasual Butler.

"[Butler] was in for a couple days," Thibodeau said regarding a workout Butler had with Minnesota in early September. "So we’ll make a final decision in the next day or so." Butler may be able to hook on with the Wolves to serve as a veteran presence in the locker room, but his fantasy value will be non-existent in Minnesota.
Sep 21 - 1:17 PM

Tom Thibodeau said that Nikola Pekovic (foot) will not be ready to participate during training camp.

Pekovic's career may be a wrap considering that he barely played in 12 games last season, and even with a full offseason to recover, he's still not ready. Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng are the future in Minnesota, and guys like Cole Aldrich and Jordan Hill will be picking up most of the reserve minutes for the Wolves, so there's really no reason to draft Pek in any setting.
Sep 21 - 10:18 AM

The Timberwolves reportedly have not had any meaningful negotiations with Shabazz Muhammad on a contract extension.

Through three years of NBA experience, Muhammad hasn't been able to prove that he's an above average player, so there are no guarantees that the two sides strike a deal on an extension. Muhammad will spend time backing up Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine this season, so it'll be tough for him to earn enough minutes to make a difference in most leagues.
Sep 21 - 10:08 AM

Tom Thibodeau said that to this point the team hasn't had any meaningful discussions regarding a contract extension with Gorgui Dieng.

Minnesota has until Oct 31 to come to terms on an extension with Dieng, although it wouldn't be surprising to see him opt for free agency, given that he'll have every opportunity to increase his value this year as the starting power forward under Thibodeau. Dieng got off to a slow start last year, as Sam Mitchell gave too many minutes to Kevin Garnett and Nemanja Bjelica early on, but it's a safe bet that that won't be an issue with Thibs at the helm. He's a high-upside, mid-round target.
Sep 21 - 10:03 AM


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