SEPTEMBER 16TH: Kabongo failed to impress in his tryout with Södertälje, and the Swedish team has released him, reports Jacob Sjölen of LT.se (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia and translation via SwedishBasketball.com. That presumably clears the path for Kabongo to join the Wolves, though an underwhelming performance at that level of professional basketball doesn’t bode well for Kabongo’s chances in the NBA.
SEPTEMBER 5TH: Point guard Myck Kabongo had been in line to join the Timberwolves for training camp, a source told Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link), but he has a tryout slated with the Sweden’s Södertälje Kings, according to Peter Hegethorn of Hegethorns Basketblogg, as Wolstat translates. It’s not uncommon for players to continue to pursue overseas opportunities even after they secure camp deals with NBA teams as insurance in case they don’t make it to opening night, so perhaps Kabongo is indeed headed to Minnesota, though that remains unclear.
Kabongo, a native of Toronto, was once a highly touted prospect, coming in 10th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index ratings as he entered college in 2011. An NCAA suspension cost him the second half of his sophomore season at the University of Texas, and he went undrafted after turning pro in 2013. The Spurs signed the Rich Paul client for training camp last year, but he spent the season with their D-League affiliate after San Antonio waived him midway through preseason. The 6’3″ Kabongo averaged 9.2 points, 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game for the D-League Austin Toros.
The Wolves have agreements with 17 players, 15 of whom have guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show. The team is reportedly shopping J.J. Barea, whose contract is guaranteed, but if Minnesota can’t find a way to unload him without taking back guaranteed salary in return, it would be difficult for camp invitees Brady Heslip and Kyrylo Fesenko to make the opening-night roster. The same would be true for Kabongo if he were to indeed sign with the team for camp, which lends further credence to the idea that he’d turn to the international market for a backup plan.