Minnesota Timberwolves

And-Ones: Zanik, Kidd, Brown, Cousins

The Bucks will hire Justin Zanik as GM-in-waiting and are working on a contract extension for coach Jason Kidd, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Currently an assistant GM in Utah, Zanik will have a similar title with the Bucks. A provision of the move is that Zanik will eventually take over for Milwaukee GM John Hammond, although it’s uncertain when that will happen. Hammond has been GM of the Bucks since 2008 and has one year left on his contract.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • California forward Jaylen Brown worked out for the Bucks, Raptors and Sixers today, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. A source told Spears that Brown was in “great shape” and “super explosive.” He is expected to be a top 10 pick and could be in the running for the No. 3 choice. New Timberwolves GM Scott Layden also traveled to California to see Brown and came away impressed, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
  • Oklahoma point guard Isaiah Cousins worked out for the Suns on Friday, and has upcoming sessions with the Raptors on Tuesday and the Hawks on Thursday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Anthony Bennett and Quinn Cook were the most recognizable players invited to a Nets mini-camp this week, according to NetsDaily. Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, played 19 games with the Raptors last season. Cook, the point guard on Duke’s 2015 NCAA title team, was cut by the Cavaliers in training camp. Also receiving invitations were Alex Stepheson, Scotty Hopson, Alex KirkJerrelle BenimonFuquan Edwin, D.J. Newbill, Will CummingsJarrid Famous, Victor Rudd, Josh Magette and Joel Wright. International journalist David Pick says the Nets are planning another session.

2015/16 D-League Usage Report: Timberwolves

The NBA’s relationship with the D-League continues to grow, and this season a total of 19 NBA teams had one-to-one affiliations with D-League clubs. Those NBA organizations without their own affiliates were required to assign players to D-League clubs associated with other NBA franchises. D-League teams could volunteer to take on the assigned players, and if no volunteers emerged, the players were assigned at random.

This significant change from the 2014/15 season came about after the Pacers purchased the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and turned them into their one-to-one partner for the 2015/16 campaign. Other NBA teams have interest in following suit in the years ahead, and the NBA’s ultimate goal for the D-League is for all 30 NBA franchises to have their own D-League squads. You can view the complete list of D-League affiliates here.

We at Hoops Rumors are recapping the D-League-related activity for the 2015/16 campaign for each team and we’ll continue with the Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the 11 NBA franchises without their own D-League affiliate:

The Wolves made 2 assignments for the 2015/16 season, sending two players to the D-League for a total of 23 days. Listed below are all the assignments and recalls made by Minnesota for the 2015/16 campaign:

Here’s how Minnesota’s players performed while on assignment to the D-League this season:

  • Tyus Jones: In six appearances the point guard averaged 24.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 35.2 minutes per outing. Jones’ shooting line was .487/.426/.923.
  • Adreian Payne: In three appearance Payne averaged 26.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 35.1 minutes per contest. His shooting line was .444/.286/.808.

Poll: 2016 Community Mock Draft (Pick No. 5)

The 2016 NBA Draft lottery was held on Tuesday night and the Sixers finally landed the elusive No. 1 overall pick after missing out the past two seasons. Now that the exact draft order is locked in, teams can begin targeting specific players who are likely to still be on the board when it is their time to choose. Drafting players is far from an exact science, and many a GM has been second-guessed for his draft night decisions. I’m willing to bet that every team executive has at least one pick that he would like a mulligan for. We at Hoops Rumors thought it would be fun to give our readers the chance to predict the results of this June’s draft, which is what we intend to do with a series of polls.

With the first few picks out of the way, things have begun to get interesting. We’ll continue with the Timberwolves, who are looking to add pieces to their young core. Readers, you are now on the clock! Cast your vote for Minnesota’s pick and check back Wednesday for the results, as well as to cast your vote for who the Pelicans will select with the No. 6 overall pick. But don’t limit yourself to a simple button click. Take to the comments section below and share your thoughts on the No. 5 overall pick and why you voted the way that you did.

Previous Selections

  1. Sixers — Ben Simmons (LSU)
  2. Lakers — Brandon Ingram (Duke)
  3. Celtics — Dragan Bender (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
  4. Suns — Jaylen Brown (California)

Draft Notes: Ingram, Maker, Briscoe

One league executive told Chad Ford of ESPN.com that Brandon Ingram’s future in the NBA will be at the shooting guard position. “Back when the Pacers used to play Paul George at the 2, I felt like that was his best position,” the executive told Ford. “I feel the same way about Ingram. That’s where he can be devastating and his lack of strength won’t come back to haunt him. If he becomes a superstar, I think it will be because he developed the ability to play that spot.” Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors profiled Ingram earlier today.

  • Thon Maker will play the five spot as he develops in the league, one anonymous GM tells Ford, as he writes in the same piece. Ford speculates that the Celtics, Nuggets, Sixers and Suns may look to draft the Australian. All four of those teams have multiple first round picks.
  • Most scouts aren’t optimistic about Perry Ellis’ chances of hearing his name called on draft night, though some have him going in the second round, Ford adds in the same piece.
  • Isaiah Briscoe has worked out for the Wolves today, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets. Briscoe will also work out for the Hawks on Tuesday, Zagoria adds.

Wolves Announce Multiple Front Office Changes

The Timberwolves are under new management in Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden. As is often the case with new regimes, they wish to bring in their own people to surround themselves with. In keeping with that theme, the team has announced via press release that a number of front office personnel have been let go from their respective positions. The franchise did not name any replacements in its official statement:

Effective immediately, the following individuals will be relieved of their respective duties: previous General Manager Milt Newton, Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Babcock, Vice President of Sports Performance Arnie Kander, assistant coach Sid Lowe, Director of Sports Performance Koichi Sato, Manager of Team Travel/Facilities Coordinator Bill Hohenecker, Head of Video Department and Manager of Basketball Technology Brice Long and Scouts Milton Barnes and Jason Hervey. We Would like to thank all of these individuals for their contributions to our organization and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Team owner Glen Taylor had stated back in March that Newton would be in charge of the draft and free agency for the team this summer, but that was well in advance of Thibodeau being hired. Newton wasn’t assured of holding onto his post beyond this season anyway, after he inherited the role this past fall upon the death of president of basketball operations Flip Saunders. One potential landing spot for Newton is in Washington, where he had previously served as vice president of player personnel for the Wizards, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.

Wolves Should Consider Drafting Buddy Hield

  • The Timberwolves hold the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune makes the case for the team to select former Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield. The scribe opines that Hield is the best available combination of talent, maturity and polish available where the team’s pick falls.
  • New Wolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau has offered Travelle Gaines, who is Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler’s personal trainer, a post as the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago tweets.

Wolves Interviewed Thon Maker

  • The Wolves interviewed Thon Maker last week in Chicago, reports Darren Wolfson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Latest On 2016 NBA Draft

  • The Timberwolves have workouts scheduled on Wednesday for Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Amida Brimah (UConn), Angel Rodriguez (Miami), Williams and Tonye Jekiri (Miami), Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (Twitter link).

Karl-Anthony Towns Named Rookie Of The Year

Karl-Anthony Towns has officially been named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year for the 2015/16 season in a unanimous vote, the Timberwolves announced today (via Twitter). A 20-year-old out of Kentucky, Towns was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month each month this season.

Towns was the top pick in the 2015 draft and immediately moved into Minnesota’s starting lineup. He started all 82 games and averaged a double-double with 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per night.

Towns quickly won the respect of Wolves veteran Kevin Garnett, who praised the rookie center for his IQ and understanding of the game. Sometimes [it’s] a little difficult teaching him because he is so smart,” Garnett said. “I guess that’s a young thing. But he gets a lot of things you teach him very quickly.’’

Towns’ Rookie of the Year nod represents the second consecutive time a player from the Timberwolves organization has earned the honor. Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins was named Rookie of the Year in 2015.

ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter links) first reported on Sunday that the Wolves were expected to announce that Towns had been named Rookie of the Year at a news conference Monday, adding that it wouldn’t be surprising if the final vote was unanimous.

Here is this year’s full list of vote-getters for the award, along with their point totals:

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves): 650
  2. Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks): 363
  3. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets): 59
  4. Devin Booker (Suns): 49
  5. Jahlil Okafor (76ers): 34
  6. Justise Winslow (Heat): 7
  7. Emmanuel Mudiay (Nuggets): 4
  8. Myles Turner (Pacers): 3
  9. D’Angelo Russell (Lakers): 1

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Timberwolves Interview Point Guard Jamal Murray

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