Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is urging fans to be patient after the team’s slow start to free agency, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota hasn’t made any significant additions since the signing period began on Monday, but Rosas said the plan is to keep the core of the team intact and try to build on the momentum from late last season. The Wolves had a .500 record over their final 22 games.
“We just want to see this team come together,” he said. “As well as this team played down the stretch last year, we didn’t have Malik Beasley available because of injury. This group, the value of continuity, the value of growth together and just repetition together as a team, we’re excited about what that growth might mean.”
The immediate concern will be keeping restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin, Krawczynski adds. Both are facing a market where teams are left with limited resources and limited roster spots. Rosas spoke to them and their agents shortly after the signing period began.
Head coach Chris Finch foresees an expanded role for both players if they return. McLaughlin may become the primary backup at point guard now that Ricky Rubio is on the way to Cleveland, while Vanderbilt is one of the team’s most versatile defenders.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard helped Team USA capture a gold medal despite playing with an abdominal injury, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He will require further testing once he returns from Tokyo. Lillard, who was determined to keep playing despite the injury, logged 27 minutes and scored 11 points in Friday’s gold medal game.
- The Jazz were shopping for versatility in this year’s free agent market, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. General manager Justin Zanik said that’s what the team was lacking in the playoffs, which is why it pursued Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside, while trading for Eric Paschall and rookie Jared Butler. Zanik added that he’s likely done with significant moves for the offseason, and Walden points out that means Joe Ingles will probably remain with the team.
- The Jazz won’t have Butler as part of their Summer League squad, Walden adds. The rookie had a health issue during the pre-draft process and hasn’t been in a contact setting for a long time. Zanik said management might have let him play if the games were “10 days later,” but they opted to be safe.