Wolves NBA Summer League Preview 2014

Our Pups will be participating in the Las Vegas edition of the NBA's Summer League again this season. (Photo: NBA.com)

Our Pups will be participating in the Las Vegas edition of the NBA’s Summer League again this season. (Photo: NBA.com)

(UPDATED 7/6 for final roster announcement)

The Minnesota Timberwolves will return to Las Vegas for their NBA Summer League action. Summer League play officially kicks off in Orlando from 7/5 – 7/11, which then runs right into the start of the action in Las Vegas. The Vegas league runs from 7/11 – 7/21 later this month.

Similar to last year’s Vegas league, each team will play three games and then be seeded accordingly based on their record for tournament style play. All of the action can be seen on NBA Digital and/or the NBA Summer League app.

The first three games are already scheduled around the league and here is what the schedule calls for in regards to our Pups:

Saturday, 7/12, 5:30pm (CT) vs. Dallas Mavericks

Sunday, 7/13, 9:30pm (CT) vs. Washington Wizards

Tuesday, 7/15, 3:30pm (CT) vs. Chicago Bulls

While the Timberwolves have yet to release their full roster, you can expect to see this year and last year’s rookie classes to be partaking in the events. (See “Update” below for full roster.) That means we’ll get our first look at Zach LaVine and Glenn Robinson III in Wolves’ uniforms (on the court at least). I would expect Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng to partake in the league as well.

As you may have seen this past week, the Wolves did not extend qualifying offers to Robbie Hummel or Othyus Jeffers, which made them free agents on July 1st. I wouldn’t expect them to play for the Wolves squad again this time around, as they are likely looking to catch on with another team for the 2014/15 season.

What do I expect out of the 2014 Summer League?

The short answer is “not much”. I never put too much stock in the results. However, I would like to see some form of progression from Shabazz and Gorgui. At the very least, I would like to see both of them in better physical shape – Shabazz from a muscle, leanness standpoint and Gorgui on an added weight front.

It will be interesting to see how minutes are dispersed on the wing positions given our two rookies from the 2014 NBA Draft. Will LaVine and Robinson play together, will they perform well enough to force the coach’s to put them on the floor, and what does all of this mean for Shabazz?

I’m also looking forward to seeing who else the Wolves put on the roster. One player on the current roster that I would like to see play on the team is Alexey Shved. Getting him in with the new coaching staff and philosophy can only help his cause for the coming season.

Finally, before heading to Las Vegas, the Wolves will hold one open practice in Minnesota this coming Wednesday, 7/9. Let’s go Wolves!

UPDATE:

On Sunday the Timberwolves released their Summer League roster. Here is who will be wearing the Wolves uniform next week in Las Vegas:

Guards

  • Brady Heslip
  • DJ Kennedy
  • Zach LaVine
  • Alexey Shved
  • Markel Starks

Forwards

  • LaRon Dendy
  • Mamadi Diane
  • Dennis Horner
  • Shabazz Muhammad
  • Glenn Robinson III

Centers

  • Gorgui Dieng
  • Kyrylo Fesenko
  • Jordan Morgan

Thoughts on the roster:  

As expected, this year’s and last year’s rookies will be on the squad. I’m looking forward to seeing Shabazz and Gorgui participate in the Summer League. Frankly, I expect both of them to look miles beyond their competition. If Shabazz doesn’t look strong, my hopes for him turning into a solid NBA player diminish five-fold. I’m glad to see Alexey Shved participating as well.

However, beyond these five players, I don’t see a person making the opening day roster. That is largely due to my personal perception that we’ll be taking in some talent / roster spots when Flip finally decides to trade Kevin Love this offseason. (Related: Please get this over with and make a/the trade.) It is good to see the team call on both NBDL (Fesenko and Horner) and overseas players in an effort to see what they have or can offer.

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