While starting the season without Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, who are both recovering from injuries, will be a challenge for the Timberwolves, the early-season schedule may help keep the team afloat. Nine of the T-Wolves' 15 November games are against clubs that played sub-.500 ball last season, while three more come against the Magic, Bulls, and Mavericks, teams whose '11/12 stars have either been traded away or injured. As the Wolves prepare for the regular season to get underway, let's check out a few updates out of Minnesota….
- A source close to Will Conroy is convinced the point guard will earn a spot on the Wolves' opening night roster because of the $100K guarantee on his contract, says Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- The Timberwolves have brought aboard longtime NBA consultant Steve "Hat Man" Gordon, according to Wolfson, who notes that Gordon had plenty of influence in Portland when he worked for the Trail Blazers.
- Gordon has a good relationship not only with Conroy and Brandon Roy, but also Greg Oden, who could be on the Wolves' radar when he gets healthy, says Wolfson.
- There have been no talks about a contract extension between the Wolves and offseason acquisition Chase Budinger, reports Wolfson. Budinger will hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
- With Rubio and Love out to start the season, Budinger will be tasked with carrying more of the scoring load, writes Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.