With Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined for the start of the Timberwolves‘ training camp due to a non-COVID illness, center Rudy Gobert didn’t get a chance to work with his new frontcourt partner in his first formal practice with the team on Tuesday. But Gobert said he felt “great” energy on Tuesday and spoke specifically about developing chemistry with new pick-and-roll partner D’Angelo Russell.
“He can see it all,” Gobert said of Russell, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “There’s a few times when I didn’t know that he saw me, and he still saw me. It’s really impressive and it’s really exciting.”
As for his partnership with Towns, Gobert said the two big men have been in contact since he was traded to Minnesota in July and have talked about how they’ll be able to maximize each other’s talent.
“On both ends on the floor and even off the floor, just be a great friend, be a great support for him and then on the court, just let that relationship carry over,” Gobert said. “Help him be the best Karl he can be and I know, just by being himself, he’s going to help me be the best Rudy I can be.”
Here’s more on the Wolves:
- Gobert’s friend and fellow Frenchman Nicolas Batum said he was glad to see the longtime Jazz center dealt to Minnesota and thinks Gobert will be better off for it, as Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times tweets. “I don’t think I will say I like it because (the Wolves) beat us in the play-in last year,” Batum said. “… But just for my friend, I am happy to see him with a good team, new spot, new everything, new life for him. He needed that.”
- Anthony Edwards added 11 pounds of muscle this offseason without increasing his body fat, multiples sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I feel like I’m in better shape, more than anything,” Edwards said. “That’s going to take everything to the next level.”
- Within the same story, Krawczynski examines a few takeaways from the Wolves’ Media Day, including why veteran forward Kyle Anderson signed with Minnesota as a free agent and what he’ll bring to the team. “Those guys in Minnesota really competed, one through 11, 12, those guys all played really hard,” Anderson said. “You could see the cohesiveness, they played hard for one another. So when it came down to this summer and which team I wanted to sign with, I think this was an easy call.”
- After working hard to keep Jaden McDaniels out of the trade package for Gobert this summer, the Timberwolves are working just as hard to unlock the young forward’s full potential, Krawczynski writes in a separate article for The Athletic. Among the interesting details in Krawczynski’s story: Minnesota determined that McDaniels’ optimal shooting arc is 47 degrees and used an app during summer workouts to ensure that he was consistently releasing it at that angle.