Jace Frederick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Serving as tournament director of the Howard Pulley Invitational in May, Jason Birr wasn't going to be able to also coach his eighth-grade team at the AAU tournament that weekend in Maple Grove. So a capable replacement filled in — Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones. Jones led the team's practice that week and coached the team throughout the tournament. When it comes to his Team 1 Tyus AAU basketball organization, there's no limit to Jones' involvement.
ST. PAUL — On the eve of free agency, Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said his players were already committing to their offseason workouts. Andrew Wiggins was in the gym early in the offseason, Derrick Rose was getting in his workouts in Los Angeles and Tyus Jones is a frequent visitor to the Wolves' practice facility. Even incoming rookies Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop quickly showed an eagerness to work and improve.
ST. PAUL — More alleged offseason Timberwolves drama came down the pipeline Tuesday, July 3, as a Chicago Sun-Times report surfaced stating, among other things, that Wolves guard Jimmy Butler is "fed up" with Karl-Anthony Towns. The report, which cited a league source, said Butler "has no intentions of signing an extension with Minnesota, all but fed up with the nonchalant attitude of his younger teammates, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns."
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Timberwolves are welcoming back a familiar face. The Wolves agreed to a one-year deal with sharpshooting forward Anthony Tolliver on Monday, July 2, a source confirmed. The deal reportedly is worth $5.75 million, draining Minnesota of most of the mid-level exception money it could use without going into the luxury tax. In a corresponding move, Minnesota rescinded the qualifying offer for Nemanja Bjelica, making the Serbian an unrestricted free agent. The Wolves didn't have the cap space to bring Bjelica back after signing Tolliver.
MINNEAPOLIS—Derrick Rose is sticking with Minnesota. The veteran point guard agreed to a one-year with the Timberwolves late Saturday night, July 1, soon after the start of free agency, a source confirmed. The deal is reportedly worth the NBA veteran's minimum of nearly $2.4 million.
MINNEAPOLIS—Jimmy Butler was the Minnesota Timberwolves' best and most valuable player last season. The Wolves were 37-22 with their star guard in the lineup during the 2017-18 campaign, and 10-13 when he was out. He's the biggest reason Minnesota ended its 14-year playoff drought. On many occasions throughout the season, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler "changed everything." "We know how important he is," Thibodeau said Thursday, "and we feel he's one of the best players in the league."
MINNEAPOLIS — The purse strings are a little tighter for the Timberwolves this summer. After going on a spending spree of sorts last offseason, trading for Jimmy Butler, and signing Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson to relatively big-money deals, the team has little to no financial flexibility as free agency kicks off Saturday night. So don't expect any big-money moves. Unless, of course, the Wolves can get creative and trade away salary to free up some cap space. What do you say, Tom Thibodeau?
MINNEAPOLIS — The Timberwolves improved by 16 games last season and snapped a 13-year playoff drought. So, maybe it makes sense to keep the band together, which looks like the mostly likely outcome for a team with little room to move when the free agency season officially begins Sunday, July 1. Jeff Teague, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Jimmy Butler and Tyus Jones — seven out of the 10 players who finished last season in Minnesota's rotation — are under contract for next season.
MINNEAPOLIS—In more ways than one, the Timberwolves' newly drafted rookies, Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop, fill many of the team's needs. "Probably the reason we were brought here was our versatility," Bates-Diop, the Wolves' second-round pick, said at Tuesday's introductory news conference.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Timberwolves added some desperately needed wing depth on Thursday night. Minnesota selected Josh Okogie with the No. 20 pick in the NBA Draft. The 6-foot-4 guard out of Georgia Tech provides a long perimeter defender. Okogie shot 38 percent from 3-point range last season. He isn't widely viewed as a knockdown shooter but proved capable of hitting catch-and-shoot attempts in college. Any floor spacing help would be welcomed by Minnesota, which again was one of the NBA's worst teams in 3-pointers made and attempted last season.