Speaking to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor praised Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s performance during training camp and the preseason, explaining that the team’s decision to release him was an “insurance policy” for roster flexibility.
“If we’d (retained Hollis-Jefferson), then we’d have the roster. We wouldn’t have any room for any movement at all,” Taylor said. “And I just think that you want to go into this year leaving a little bit of flexibility to see if you get some injuries or something like that, that you can bring in somebody to fill it.”
While Taylor’s point is a fair one, it’s worth noting that Hollis-Jefferson had a non-guaranteed contract, as do Jaylen Nowell and Naz Reid, who remain on the roster. So even if the Timberwolves had carried a full 15-man roster into the regular season, they would’ve had some flexibility to make changes if necessary prior to February’s league-wide salary guarantee deadline.
Here’s more on the Wolves:
- Although Taylor has done his due diligence on a potential sale of the franchise, he suggested in his conversation with Wolfson that no agreement is close and acknowledged that he could still own the club a year from now. “There’s probably a good possibility that could happen,” Taylor said.
- Within his discussion with Wolfson, Taylor also said he expects Timberwolves assistant coach David Vanterpool to eventually become an NBA head coach and said that president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas remains on the lookout for trades that could upgrade Minnesota’s roster.
- Ricky Rubio started in place of D’Angelo Russell in the Wolves’ opener because Russell was late for his coronavirus test on Wednesday, writes Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune. As Reusse notes, Russell tested negative and ended up playing 33 minutes, but the Wolves’ decision not to start him sent a message that they expect their players to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols.
- Following the death of his mother and several other loved ones this year, Karl-Anthony Towns is playing with a heavy heart and is no longer the “happy-go-lucky” player he was during his first five seasons in the NBA, Jon Krawzyncski writes for The Athletic. “You may see me smiling and stuff, but that Karl died on April 13,” an emotional Towns said following the Wolves’ win on Wednesday. “He’s never coming back. I don’t remember that man. I don’t know that man. You’re talking to the physical me, but my soul has been killed off a long time ago.”