Keita Bates-Diop

Wolves Notes: Offseason, Saric, Experimentation

It’s been a busy year for the Timberwolves, who find themselves in a very different position now than they did this time last year. Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider) recently broke down the offseason priorities for a front office still reeling from a whirlwind few months.

Among the first tasks will be figuring out what to do with interim head coach Ryan Saunders, who took the reins after Tom Thibodeau‘s firing with predictably modest results given the circumstances. Minnesota will need to hire a general manager following Thibodeau’s departure and that individual would likely want a say in who is coaching the team.

Marks also flags Derrick Rose and Andrew Wiggins as players that Minnesota’s brass will need to mull over. Just how much of a priority should Rose be, he asks, and is it finally time to consider dramatically downgrading Wiggins’ role?

There’s more out of Minnesota today:

  • There’s a strong possibility that veteran point guard Jeff Teague opts into the final year of his contract, Michael Rand of the Star Tribune writes. Although the $19MM he’ll earn through 2019-20 may sound steep to Wolves fans eager to rebuild, Rand notes that the team was distinctly better with the 30-year-old on the court in 2018/19.
  • After an underwhelming season, Dario Saric and the Timberwolves can take solace in the fact that they’ll have another full season in which to gauge how well they fit together before a free agency decision needs to be made, Britt Robson of The Athletic writes.
  • The Timberwolves won’t be sneaking into the postseason this spring so head coach Ryan Saunders will use the final games of the campaign to tinker with different strategies. Per Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune, Sanders is particularly interested in seeing how Andrew Wiggins and rookie Keita Bates-Diop fare in unusual situations.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/10/19

Here are Thursday’s NBA G League assignments and recalls from across the league:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/4/19

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled rookie guard Jevon Carter and big man Ivan Rabb from the Memphis Hustle, the team’s PR department tweets. Carter has appeared in 13 games with the Hustle, averaging 17.8 PPG and 5.5 APG in 33.0 MPG. Rabb has played five games with the Hustle and posted averages of 23.4 PPG and 10.2 RPG in 36.7 MPG.
  • The Trail Blazers transferred guard Wade Baldwin IV to the Texas Legends, according to a team press release. Baldwin has appeared in 13 games with the Trail Blazers but averaged just 5.5 MPG in those outings. He saw action in 17 games with the Legends last season. He joins forward Caleb Swanigan, who was transferred to the Legends on December 31st.
  • The Timberwolves assigned rookie forward Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s PR department tweets. The second-round selection has already played 13 G League games, posting averages of 17.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG in 35.7 MPG.
  • The Hornets recalled forward Dwayne Bacon, the re-assigned him to the Greensboro Swarm, according to team press releases. That allowed Bacon, who has appeared in 18 games with the Hornets this season, to play for the Swarm against the Lakeland Magic on Friday. He’s averaged 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 3.2 APG in six G League appearances.
  • The Pacers recalled forward Ike Anigbogu from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, according to a team press release. In 14 games with the Mad Ants, Anigbogu posted averages of 11.6 PPG and 10.1 RPG in 29.3 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/22/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Suns have recalled rookie guard Elie Okobo from their affiliate in Northern Arizona, the team announced on its website. The second-round pick spent five games in the G League in his second assignment of the season, posting an 18.6/4.2/7.4 line.
  • The Timberwolves tweeted that small forward Keita Bates-Diop has been recalled from Iowa. He is averaging 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 13 G League games.
  • The Hawks recalled forward Alex Poythress from their Erie affiliate, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/29/18

Here are Thursday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Pistons assigned guard Luke Kennard to the Grand Rapids Drive as he continues his rehab from a shoulder injury, announcing the news in an email. Kennard will play with the Drive in the team’s game on Friday.
  • The Grizzlies recalled then later assigned Jevon Carter to the Memphis Hustle, according to a tweet from the team. The move was made so Carter could practice with the Grizzlies Thursday morning.
  • The Suns have recalled guard De’Anthony Melton from Northern Arizona, the team announced. Melton is averaging 17 points, 6.6 assists and seven rebounds in five G League games this season.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, the team’s G League affiliate, announcing the news on Twitter. Bates-Diop has seen action in two games with the Timberwolves this season.
  • The Celtics assigned guard Brad Wanamaker to their G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, according to a tweet from the team. Wanamaker has scored 16 points in five games with Boston on the season.
  • The Knicks recalled Luke Kornet from the Westchester Knicks, the team announced. Kornet has played in four games with the Knicks.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/25/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/20/18

Here are Tuesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Spurs have assigned Chimezie Metu to the team’s G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, according to their website. Metu has seen action in nine NBA games this season, averaging 6.0 per contest.
  • The Timberwolves have assigned Keita Bates-Diop to the Iowa Wolves, per the team’s Twitter feed. This is Bates-Diop’s second G League stint this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/11/18

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

Fellow Rookies Pick Ayton, Sexton As RoY Favorites

For the 10th time in 12 years, John Schuhmann of NBA.com got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been particularly clairvoyant when it comes to their predictions — they haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Still, it’s an interesting exercise, and one that occasionally results in a dead-on prediction, like when last year’s rookie class named Donovan Mitchell the steal of the 2017 draft.

Here are a few of the most interesting responses from this year’s rookies about the 2018/19 class:

  • Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Collin Sexton (Cavaliers) are viewed as the co-favorites for the Rookie of the Year award this season, with each player earning 18% of the vote. No other rookie had more than a 9% share of the vote.
  • Opinions were a little more divided on which player would have the best long-term NBA career, with Wendell Carter Jr. (Bulls) narrowly earning that title by receiving 13% of the vote. Interestingly, reigning EuroLeague MVP Luka Doncic (Mavericks) wasn’t picked by a single player for this question.
  • No. 48 overall pick Keita Bates-Diop (Timberwolves) was named the steal of the 2018 NBA draft by his fellow rookies, edging out 14th overall pick Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets) and 18th overall pick Lonnie Walker (Spurs).
  • Trae Young (Hawks) is widely considered the best shooter and play-maker in this year’s class. Jevon Carter (Grizzlies) earned the most votes for best rookie defender, while Zhaire Smith (Sixers) is viewed as the most athletic rookie.
  • Be sure to check out Schuhmann’s full piece for the rest of the rookie survey results.

Contract Details: CP3, MCW, Nurkic, Anderson

The Rockets‘ four-year max deal for Chris Paul includes a player option in year four, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). While that added detail on CP3’s new agreement with Houston is interesting, the possibility of an opt-out probably won’t be a factor in 2021 when a decision is due. Paul will be 36 years old when he has to decide on that $44MM+ option, so he seems unlikely to turn it down.

Pincus has several more specific details on recently-signed contracts, so let’s round them up…

  • Michael Carter-Williams‘ one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Rockets isn’t fully guaranteed. The deal, worth $1,757,429 in total, has a $1.2MM partial guarantee for now (Twitter link).
  • The Trail Blazers‘ agreement with Jusuf Nurkic can be worth up to $54MM, but has a base value of $48MM, with $6MM in unlikely incentives. The fourth and final year is also currently only partially guaranteed for $4MM (Twitter link).
  • Kyle Anderson‘s new four-year contract with the Grizzlies features a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • Bruce Brown (Pistons) and Keita Bates-Diop (Timberwolves) got three-year, minimum-salary deals with two guaranteed seasons from their respective teams (Twitter link).
  • Of the two-way contracts signed so far this offseason, Billy Preston‘s deal with the Cavaliers is the only one confirmed to be for two years rather than just one (Twitter link).