Wolves Notes: KAT, Alexander-Walker, Nowell, Roller Coaster

Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns was able to do some light on-court work on Thursday for the first time in months, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

He can feel like he’s got the bit in his teeth right now,” head coach Chris Finch said. “He probably wants to do a little bit more than he’s actually allowed. That’s good.”

However, there’s still no timetable for the former No. 1 overall pick to return from a calf strain that has kept him on the shelf since November 28. When Finch was asked if the Wolves would consider shutting Towns down if there were only a few games left in the season and getting him re-acclimated might negatively impact the team, he said they want him back whenever he’s ready.

Regardless of what happens between here and the rest of the season, getting KAT with this group is such a priority just to see what we have,” Finch said, per Hine. “I wouldn’t say it’s not worth it, unless we were to fall completely out of the race. But even at that point, we need to discover for offseason evaluation, tweaking, strategy, game plan, whatever it might be, we got to see what this thing looks like.”

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker has made a positive impact on his new club, Hine writes in another story. The fourth-year guard, who was acquired from Utah in a trade last month, has claimed a rotation role in part due to a left knee injury to Jaylen Nowell, but he’s capitalized with strong defense and versatile offense. According to Hine, teammates have praised Alexander-Walker’s work ethic. “He’s passionate and it’s how hard he works,” center Naz Reid said. “The effort he puts in on the court. Playing with him is like having another teammate like myself. All effort and he’s willing to do whatever, and it shows.” Alexander-Walker can be a restricted free agent in the offseason if the Wolves tender him a qualifying offer.
  • Hine also provides an update on Nowell, who is dealing with knee tendinopathy and had “imaging” done earlier this week. When asked if Nowell was any closer to returning now than he was last week, Finch sounded skeptical. “Doesn’t feel like it, but I’m not exactly sure what his timetable is,” Finch said. The 23-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, last played on February 24.
  • Minnesota’s coaches and players have been exasperated by the team’s roller coaster season, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The Wolves have had some “truly inspiring victories” this season, but those have often been followed by bad losses to the teams at the bottom of the standings, notes Krawczynski. “Just gotta stay positive, continue to keep working, continue to keep getting better, and hopefully we don’t have some of those efforts like we’ve had against the lesser teams,” forward Kyle Anderson said. After losing in overtime on Friday to the Nets, the Wolves are now 34-34, the No. 8 seed in the West.
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