Kyle Anderson

World Cup Notes: Latvia, Japan, Philippines, China, Australia

The Latvian Basketball Association has officially announced the national team’s 12-man roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup (Twitter link).

Thunder forward Davis Bertans is the only active NBA player on Latvia’s roster, but the team features a handful of former NBAers, including Bertans’ brother Dairis Bertans. Former Nets forward Rodions Kurucs and ex-Wizards big man Anzejs Pasecniks are the other Latvians with NBA experience.

Here are a few more notes on the 2023 World Cup:

  • Japan and the Philippines, two of the host nations of the World Cup, have announced their 12-man rosters for the event. Suns forward Yuta Watanabe is the only NBA player representing Japan in this year’s tournament, while Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson is the lone NBA player for the Philippines (Twitter link). Young center Kai Sotto, who committed to the G League Ignite in 2020 and has spent the past two seasons in Australia, is also suiting up for the Philippines.
  • China and Australia are among the other national teams to finalize their 12-man World Cup squads. There are no surprises in either case — while Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is China’s only NBA player (Twitter link), the Boomers have nine active NBAers on a loaded roster that includes up-and-comers like Thunder guard Josh Giddey and Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels (link via
  • A panel of ESPN’s basketball writers, including Brian Windhorst, has previewed the 2023 World Cup and made predictions for the event. South Sudan is a popular sleeper pick to make it to the knockout round and potentially earn an Olympic berth, but Team USA is widely expected to win the tournament — France was the only other team to receive a single vote.

World Cup Notes: Green, Brazil, Naturalized Players, U.S. Coaches

Mavericks guard Josh Green, who sat out Australia’s final World Cup tune-up game on Tuesday due to a minor ankle injury, is considered healthy and available for the Boomers’ World Cup opener on Friday, per Basketball Australia (Twitter link via Olgun Uluc of ESPN).

Green, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension with Dallas this offseason, is expected to play a key role for an Australian squad looking to improve upon its fourth-place finish at the 2019 World Cup.

Here are a few more notes on the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which tips off this Friday:

  • The Brazilian national team has officially announced its 12-man roster for the World Cup (Twitter link). While no current NBA players are on the roster, former NBAers like Raul Neto, Bruno Caboclo, and Cristiano Felicio will be representing the Brazilians.
  • FIBA is permitting each national team to have one “naturalized” player on its roster for the 2023 World Cup, prompting Meliksah Bayrav of Eurohoops to highlight some of the notable players who fall into this group, including Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Philippines) and Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (China).
  • As Joe Vardon of The Athletic writes, it’s not just the players who are asked to accept lesser roles than they’re accustomed to when they join Team USA. Vardon takes an in-depth look at a talented U.S. coaching staff under Steve Kerr, noting that accomplished title-winning head coaches like Erik Spoelstra and Tyronn Lue have happily performed the “grunt work” expected of assistants during the lead-up to the World Cup.

Northwest Notes: Anderson, Yurtseven, Williams, Waters

Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is set to play for Team China at next month’s FIBA World Cup after becoming a naturalized Chinese citizen, per Reuters.

Anderson represents the first American basketball player to acquire Chinese citizenship via naturalization, though plenty of other athletes in other disciplines have obtained it that way recently. He would also be able to compete for China in next year’s Olympics.

“I’m so happy to announce that I will be representing China at the World Cup,” Anderson said through a Weibo video. “Really proud and honored to wear the Team China jersey.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • New reserve Jazz center Omer Yurtseven has yet to talk the team about his role for the 2023/24 season, he tells Alex Vejar of The Salt Lake Tribune. “Not yet,” Yurtseven said. “But I met with coach [Will] Hardy and talked with [CEO] Danny Ainge as well. We haven’t talked, but we have some time during the summer. We’ll stay in contact and kind of go from there where I’ll be able to understand exactly what they want from me and execute.”
  • Trail Blazers shooting guard Jeenathan Williams is likely to be released before his contract can become guaranteed on August 1, reports Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (Twitter link). Williams, 24, went undrafted out of Buffalo last summer, and spent most of the 2022/23 season with the Jazz’s NBAGL affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars. The 6’6″ wing latched on with Portland in April. In his five contests with the Trail Blazers last year, he averaged 10.6 PPG on .615/.375/.667 shooting splits, along with 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG and 0.6 SPG.
  • Lindy Waters III is a “strong candidate” to return to the Thunder on a two-way contract, opines Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Oklahoma City converted his 2022/23 two-way deal to a standard roster contract, but declined his $1.9MM team option for this season earlier this summer.

Northwest Notes: Towns, K. Anderson, Jazz, Thunder

The Timberwolves don’t appear to be making an effort to trade Karl-Anthony Towns, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North said in his latest podcast (hat tip to HoopsHype). There has been speculation that Minnesota might be open to moving Towns because of the financial issues his contract will eventually cause, but Wolfson hears that the market has been quiet so far.

“I’m not ruling it out,” Wolfson said. “But what I can tell you in real time is I’ve checked with two teams’ front office executives very high up, two teams that make logical sense if the Wolves were to trade Karl-Anthony Towns. If they let the league know, ‘Hey, we’re interested in trading Karl-Anthony Towns’, these two teams undoubtedly would at least inquire… Well, these two executives told me, ‘So far, crickets.’ They have not had any trade dialogue with the Wolves.”

Towns’ four-year super-max extension will take effect in 2024/25, resulting in an estimated $50MM salary for that season and then escalating to a $62MM player option for 2027/28. A calf injury limited the three-time All-Star to 29 games last season, and he often appeared to be an awkward fit alongside center Rudy Gobert.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves coach Chris Finch told Wolfson that Kyle Anderson is working out again after undergoing eye surgery following the playoffs (Twitter link). Anderson was forced to miss Game 5 of the series against Denver after inadvertently being struck in the face by teammate Anthony Edwards as they tried to block a dunk.
  • The Jazz are reportedly adding two assistant coaches to Will Hardy‘s staff. Mike Williams, who was head coach of the Wizards‘ G League affiliate this season, has accepted a job with Utah, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Chad Forcier, who coached under Mike Budenholzer with the Bucks, is also expected to join the Jazz, Marc Stein states in a Substack column.
  • Scheduling a workout with Villanova’s Cam Whitmore shows the Jazz are willing to consider moving up in the draft, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. Whitmore is viewed as a potential top-five selection who’s expected to be off the board by the time Utah picks at No. 9. Todd examines the many options the Jazz might have with all of their three first-round selections.
  • With Chet Holmgren expected to be the Thunder‘s starting center next season, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman looks at five potential backups available in the draft, either at No. 12 or in the second round.

Northwest Notes: Blazers, K. Williams, Anderson, Jazz

While Charlotte’s pick at No. 2 represents the first pivot point of the 2023 NBA draft, the Trail Blazers‘ decision at No. 3 is arguably even more interesting. That pick is a valuable one in a draft considered to have a consensus top three prospects, but Portland is eager to build a contender around Damian Lillard in the short term and may be more inclined to trade the choice.

In the view of Jason Quick of The Athletic, the Trail Blazers’ only real option – if they’re serious about keeping Lillard and building a winner around him – is to trade the pick. But ESPN’s Jonathan Givony isn’t sure Portland will take that route, suggesting during an appearance on Zach Lowe’s Lowe Post podcast that he believes the Blazers will hang onto the selection.

“I don’t see them trading it either, honestly,” Givony said, per RealGM. “I think they would be very happy with Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson. “I also think they’re going to kick the tires on the Thompson twins and Cam Whitmore. I think this is going to be a process here where they’re looking at a lot of different options.”

If the Blazers do shop the pick, the expectation is that they’ll be targeting two-way impact players, a league source tells K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. As Johnson observes, Lillard has strong relationships with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, but neither of those offensive-minded Bulls wings really qualifies as a two-way dynamo.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder wing Kenrich Williams underwent a follow-up procedure on Tuesday to remove hardware that was inserted during his March wrist surgery, the team announced. According to Thunder, Williams’ rehab process is still on the same timeline, and he remains on track to be ready for the start of the 2023/24 season.
  • Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson, who sustained an eye injury during the team’s first-round playoff series, underwent surgery on Wednesday to address the issue, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News and SKOR North. While there’s no official timeline for Anderson’s recovery, there’s no indication he won’t be ready for training camp.
  • Tony Jones of The Athletic sketches out an offseason to-do list for the Jazz, including identifying a point guard, resolving Jordan Clarkson‘s free agency, and comprehensively investigating what trade opportunities might be out there for them.

International Notes: Anderson, Embiid, Bacon, Stephenson

Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson is considered likely to be naturalized in time to play for the Chinese national team during this summer’s World Cup, sources tell Mike Chan of The South China Morning Post.

As Chan writes, Anderson’s maternal great-grandfather was born in China, making him one-eighth Chinese. Last summer, Anderson and his mother reconnected with some of their long-lost Chinese relatives in a village in Shenzhen.

There’s a catch, however: According to Chinese law, Anderson would have to renounce his United States citizenship to become naturalized in China, as the country doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Anderson did not respond to Chan’s request for comment and was noncommittal about his decision at the end of the season.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • On the other hand, it seems unlikely that Sixers center Joel Embiid will compete in the 2023 World Cup, at least for France, according to French outlet L’Equipe. “Joel hasn’t made a decision, but it seems difficult for him to be able to play this summer,” French national team head coach Vincent Collet said (hat tip to Eurohoops). “But that does not call into question the fact that he can play with us next year. He is going to get married this summer, and it really falls into the wrong period, during the preparation of all the teams.” As Eurohoops notes, Embiid is a citizen of three different countries: his native Cameroon, France, and the U.S.
  • Panathinaikos, a Greek club that competes in the EuroLeague, is expected to part ways with former NBA player Dwayne Bacon after he was suspended two games for disciplinary reasons, according to Stavros Barbarousis of Eurohoops (Twitter link). Bacon, 27, played for AS Monaco last season. The former second-round pick’s last NBA campaign was in 2020/21 with Orlando.
  • Veteran guard Lance Stephenson has signed with Puerto Rican side Leones de Ponce, the team announced in a press release. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files was the first to report the news. Stephenson finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and four assists in his debut Friday night, Agness writes. The 32-year-old played 46 games for the Hawks and Pacers last season, but an NBA opportunity for ’22/23 didn’t materialize.

Injury Updates: Anderson, Leonard, George, Fox, Embiid

Forward Kyle Anderson has been ruled out by the Timberwolves for Game 5 of the first-round series against the Nuggets on Tuesday, the team’s PR department tweets.

Anderson suffered an eye injury on Sunday when he was struck by teammate Anthony Edwards as the two Timberwolves teammates defended a dunk attempt by DeAndre Jordan. Anderson is averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the series, which Denver leads 3-1.

We have more injury-related news:

  • The Clippers will be without both of their superstars again for Game 5. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have been ruled for Tuesday’s game as their team faces elimination against the Suns, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN tweets. Leonard received treatment on his sprained right knee on Monday but didn’t practice, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • While Kings star guard De’Aaron Fox was initially considered doubtful for Wednesday’s game against the Warriors due to a fractured index finger on his left hand, there is internal optimism that Fox will try to play, Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic report. The medical staff will try to figure out if it’s feasible for Fox to play with the injury, which is on his shooting hand. The Kings have confirmed Fox has an avulsion fracture, Marc Stein tweets.
  • Joel Embiid‘s status for the second-round series remains unclear as he tries to recover from a sprained LCL in his right knee. “I’m told he’s doing better and he’s moving around better,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said on the NBA Today show (video link) regarding the Sixers’ center. “The swelling has subsided … (but) you’re not going to push it with something like that.”

Timberwolves Notes: Gobert, Back, Anderson, Offseason

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert rejoined the team on Thursday after being suspended for Tuesday’s overtime loss to the Lakers, writes Dave Campbell of The Associated Press.

However, Gobert remains hampered by the back spams that he was experiencing on Sunday when he got into an altercation with Kyle Anderson that led to his suspension. He said he probably wouldn’t have been able to suit up on Tuesday either way, and his status for Friday’s matchup against the Thunder is up in the air.

“‘Still pretty sore, still not moving like I would like to be able to move, but small progress every day,” Gobert said.

Gobert, Jaylen Nowell (left knee tendinopathy) and Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) are all questionable for Friday’s game, the team announced (via Twitter).

As for his relationship with Anderson, Gobert says they’ve moved past the incident, according to Campbell.

“We both apologized to each other and you move on. That’s life,” Gobert said. “It’s different when you have millions of people all watching videos and have an opinion on things that happened, but that we can’t control. What we can control is the respect that we have for each other and our relationship.

“I still love Kyle. He’s still my brother. I tell people, ‘Sometimes you fight with your family. Sometimes you fight with people that you have a lot of love and respect for.’ It’s life. No one is perfect. Mistakes happen and then you grow and you move on.”

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Anderson told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game that he and Gobert had moved on by Sunday night, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “We definitely hashed it out,” Anderson said. “That happens all the time in sports. I feel like people are acting like they’ve never seen it before. We’re grown men. We’re able to put it behind us. We both want to win. We spoke about it that night and just seeing how everything is playing out is kind of lame, honestly. We’re teammates at the end of the day. I don’t want it to be a Kyle vs. Rudy thing. That’s never the case. I always got my teammates’ back, and we moved on.”
  • Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune downplays the significance of Friday’s play-in game against the Thunder, as he doesn’t think the Wolves stand a chance against the top-seeded Nuggets anyway even if they win and advance as the No. 8 seed. However, Souhan does believe it could be a critical moment in Gobert’s career, writing that the center’s “remarkable immaturity” on Sunday was just the latest in a string of questionable decisions the 30-year-old has made over the past few years.
  • The altercation between Gobert and Anderson wasn’t the only unfortunate incident on Sunday — Jaden McDaniels punched a wall out of frustration after picking up a couple early fouls and broke his hand. Did those events — combined with the team’s inconsistent play and a limited sample size of the Gobert/Towns pairing — make the Wolves’ offseason plans even more complicated? Michael Rand and Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune explored that topic in a recent podcast.
  • Anderson’s on-court versatility and strong defense were key factors in the Wolves finishing with a winning record in 2022/23 despite missing Towns for most of the season. Anderson’s blunt yet effective communication style also played a role in the team’s success, as Hine writes for the Star Tribune.

Western Notes: Gobert, Anderson, Irving, Doncic, Dunn

The confrontation between the Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson got physical when Anderson profanely told Gobert to shut up during a timeout, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. The argument began with Anderson telling Gobert to block some shots and Gobert replying that Anderson should grab some rebounds.

The duo also had a heated verbal exchange in the locker room at halftime, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Timberwolves guard Mike Conley played a crucial role in calming things down and getting the team refocused.

After being told to leave the building, Gobert sent an apologetic text message to his Timberwolves teammates in a group chat, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez tweets. Anderson said he’ll talk things over with Gobert. “We’ll speak about it and move on. We’re grown men,” Anderson said.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Kyrie Irving is headed to unrestricted free agency. What are his plans? He kept that to himself after the Mavericks’ disappointing season ended on Sunday. He declined to speak to the media, the only Dallas player to do so, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets.
  • As for the Mavericks’ franchise player, he provided some comforting words to the team’s fans. Luka Doncic says he’s happy where he is, MacMahon adds in another tweet, an indication that he won’t be asking for a trade any time soon. “I’m happy here, so there’s nothing to worry (about),” Doncic said.
  • Kris Dunn gave the Jazz a boost in the second half of the season and looks poised to help the team next season as well, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune opines. Dunn showed improved scoring form, compared to his previous NBA stops, and he remains a quality defender. Dunn signed a multiyear deal with Utah last month, though his veteran’s minimum deal for next season isn’t guaranteed until October 23. Dunn had 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists against the Lakers on Sunday.

Rudy Gobert Punches Kyle Anderson; McDaniels Fractures Hand

5:23pm: McDaniels has a fractured hand, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, addressing the Gobert situation, didn’t specify whether he would take further action against Gobert, Wojnarowski tweets: “We made the decision to send Rudy Gobert home after the incident in the second quarter. His behavior on the bench was unacceptable and we will continue handling the situation internally.”

4:23pm: Rudy Gobert was sent home by the Timberwolves after he punched teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout on Sunday afternoon, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

In a video posted by Backcourt Alerts (Twitter link), Gobert and Anderson could be seen standing up and arguing with each other. Gobert lurched forward and took a swing at Anderson, hitting him in the chest. Anderson then had to be restrained from retaliating.

Minnesota is in the midst of a pivotal game against New Orleans. The Timberwolves could be seeded anywhere from seventh to ninth in the Western Conference play-in tournament, depending on the outcome of that game and the Lakers’ game against Utah.

Interestingly and somewhat ironically, Gobert commented about Anderson’s leadership skills to Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link) on Saturday.

“Kyle wants to win and sometimes he’s a little aggressive in the way he talks, but I don’t take it personally,” Gobert said a day ago. “I receive it in a positive way because it comes from a place of wanting me to be the best Rudy I can be and wanting us to win. I love his competitiveness, love the way he plays the game.”

In a separate development, forward Jaden McDaniels left the game with a right hand injury, the team’s PR department tweets. McDaniels apparently suffered the injury when he punched a wall while exiting the court, Pelicans Film Room tweets.

It’s obviously an ominous way for Minnesota to enter the play-in tournament for the second straight season. It remains to be seen whether Gobert will draw a team suspension for his actions, which would put it at a disadvantage up front. Minnesota’s key frontcourt reserve, Naz Reid, underwent wrist surgery on Wednesday.