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Wolves Hire Dwight Lutz, Nick Restifo As Basketball Operations Analysts

Jan 11, 2017 11:00 AM

The Minnesota Timberwolves have hired Dwight Lutz and Nick Restifo as Basketball Operations Analysts.

Lutz comes to the Wolves after spending the past four years with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as Senior Manager, Game Analytics and Strategy. Prior to his time with the NBA, Lutz served as a Statistical Analyst for Harris Connect, LLC. Lutz also spent time as a Teaching Assistant and Instructor, as well as a Statistical Consultant, at the University of Florida, where he received his Master’s Degree in Statistics. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Trinity University in San Antonio. Lutz also played four years on the men’s basketball team at Trinity.  

Restifo joins the Wolves after serving one and a half years as an Associate Data Scientist, Advanced Analytics at Darden Restaurants. Restifo also spent time as a contributing writer for NylonCalculus.com and as a Basketball Analytics Coordinator at the University of New Haven where he developed, managed, and analyzed statistics for the men’s basketball team. Restifo’s basketball experience also includes time as an advance scout for the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League and remote consulting for other college programs. Restifo received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Connecticut before moving onto Central Connecticut State University where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Data Mining.

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Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Dunc'd On: Jim Petersen On The Minnesota Timberwolves Season

Jan 11, 2017 3:49 AM

Wolves color analyst and Minnesota Lynx Assistant Jim Petersen is one of the best local color men on the air. He joins to discuss his impressions of the Wolves season. Why have they disappointed, what are some silver linings of this season, how are the young players developing, what are the differences between Tom Thibodeau and Sam Mitchell, and much more.

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Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Dunc'd On

Wolves Waive John Lucas III

Jan 7, 2017 2:27 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived John Lucas III.

Lucas was signed to a camp deal by the Wolves in August and he made their regular season roster.

Lucas appeared in just five games for Minnesota.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: John Lucas, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

Donatas Motiejunas Agrees To Deal With Pelicans After Meeting With Lakers, Wolves

Jan 2, 2017 12:10 PM

The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed upon a one-year deal with Donatas Motiejunas.

Motiejunas will sign for the veteran's minimum after his four-year deal with the Houston Rockets dissolved. Motiejunas had agreed to a four-year, $35 million deal with the Rockets after months of negotiations Motiejunas also visited with the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Pelicans have stated a desire to add more spacing on the floor and Motiejunas will help in that regard.

Motiejunas was examined by Nets doctors earlier this season and Brooklyn was comfortable signing him to an offer sheet.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Donatas Motiejunas, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Nikola Pekovic Prepared To Retire

Dec 30, 2016 2:00 PM

Nikola Pekovic acknowledged this week that he's "more prepared for ending my career than returning" to the NBA.

Minnesota is expected to pursue a medical retirement for Pekovic after Jan 31st. Pekovic has had persistent ankle issues.

Pekovic has one year left on the five-year, $60 million deal he signed during the 2013 offseason.

Pekovic has been running Partizan Belgrade while away from the Wolves.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury

Wolves Interested In Trading For Frontcourt Player

Dec 13, 2016 8:50 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves are "looking to trade for a frontcourt player," according to Brian Windhorst.

The Wolves added Cole Aldrich and Jordan Hill in the offseason but both have played relatively limited minutes. Minnesota also has Nemanja Bjelica and Adreian Payne on their depth chart at the big positions.

Tom Thibodeau has been committed to playing Karl-Anthony Towns in two-big lineups.

The Wolves have a 6-14 record entering their game on Tuesday against the Bulls.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Andrew Wiggins Reminds Tom Thibodeau Of Paul Pierce On Offense

Nov 27, 2016 2:54 PM

Andrew Wiggins has improved his shooting dramatically to begin his third NBA season.

“I’m more confident,” Wiggins said. “I shoot more and take better shots. It comes from preparation.”

Said Tom Thibodeau on Wiggins’s improved shooting: “He’s put a lot of work into it and it’s the unselfishness of his teammates, too. Guys are making plays. They are sharing the ball and making the extra pass. The threes that we are taking, I think for the most part, are very good. There’s ball movement. There’s penetration. As long as they’re rhythm threes, we’ll shoot a high percentage. One of [Wiggins’s] great strengths is his versatility.”

“He can score so many different ways,” Thibodeau said. “In the post, with his cutting. He has the ability to draw fouls. The way he can score different ways reminds me of Paul [Pierce], transition, pick-and-roll, as a screen, as a ballhandler, so many ways he can score.”

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Tags: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Karl-Anthony Towns: I Play In Both Eras With Inside/Outside Game

Nov 18, 2016 3:42 PM

Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. is one of the most versatile young big men to ever play in the NBA with his inside/outside game.

When Towns arrived at Kentucky, he was taught to play the game from the inside out and he rarely drifted toward the perimeter during his lone season with John Calipari.

"Maybe it's fortunate to blend in with the new, current, modern-day NBA big, maybe it's not. What I can do is be as versatile as possible, where I could have played today or years ago when the 5s were rolling around. That's why I play. I play inside, and I also play outside. I play in both eras."

"His skill set is so unique for a 7-footer," Tom Thibodeau. "He can shoot the 3 with ease from all over the floor -- from the corners, from above the break, from the top of the key. He can put it on the floor. He can change direction. He can Euro-step. He can play back to the basket. He can play a face-up combo game. You can pick-and-roll with him where he's the screener. You can pick-and-roll with him where he's the ball handler. He has guard-like skills. He has great vision. He has playmaking ability. There's a defensive component and there's a drive to be great."

"Everything has to be cohesive. Everything has to jell together -- that's what makes the great ones great," Towns says. "Every day I'm just trying to find ways to keep my versatility high but keep every single aspect of my game working in sync. That's what I try to do on the court. I mean, why limit yourself? I don't limit myself. If my coach needs me to guard 1 through 5, I have worked tremendously hard to have the ability to do that. If I need to shoot, I can shoot. If I need to post up and be a bruiser, I can be a bruiser. I try to be great at all skills."

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Tags: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

Ricky Rubio Agrees To Extension With Adidas

Nov 8, 2016 6:14 PM

Ricky Rubio has agreed upon a multi-year extension with Adidas.

Rubio previously signed an endorsement deal with Adidas in 2012.

Rubio is signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves through 2019 but his future with the franchise remains uncertain due to the presence of Kris Dunn.

Nick DePaula/The Vertical

Tags: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

Gorgui Dieng Comfortable Leaving $16M+ On Table To Stay With Wolves

Nov 2, 2016 11:41 AM

Gorgui Dieng signed a four-year, $64 million extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves before the deadline on Oct. 31st.

Dieng would have likely commanded a contract of at least $80 million in free agency.

"I want to be here. I didn't want to be here I wouldn't have bought a house this summer," he said. "Everybody knew it. I wanted to be here. I don't like moving around back and forth. I like here. I like the organization. Great people. They help you. It's an easy task for me being here."

Dieng spoke about the impact his new contract would make in Senegal.

"It doesn't matter how much you make but what can you do with it," Dieng said Tuesday,. "I'm sure a lot of people make more money than I did before and they didn't do the right thing with it. I always wanted to help and I'm going to keep helping. I'm going to do the best I can to my ability to make peoples' lives better."

Dieng met with Wolves owner Glen Taylor on Monday to chart out the vision for the franchise over the next five years.

"If I go to another team, am I going to be happy? I don't know," Dieng said. "I just wanted to be happy and make sure I'm comfortable where I am at. I'm looking forward (hoping) they're all going to do the same and be honest with their teammates, because at the end of the day it's not all about the money."



Tags: Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

RealGM Radio: Extension/Option Deadline With Dan Feldman
Host Danny Leroux and Dan Feldman of NBC's Pro Basketball Talk break down the NBA's rookie scale extension and option deadline.

RealGM Staff Report

Ricky Rubio Out Indefinitely With Sprained Right Elbow
Ricky Rubio suffered the injury in the fourth quarter against the Kings.

RealGM Staff Report

Gorgui Dieng, Wolves Finalizing Four-Year, $64M Extension
Gorgui Dieng's future with the Wolves has been uncertain due to how he fits beside Karl-Anthony Towns.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Wolves Exercise 17-18 Options On Towns, Wiggins, LaVine, Jones
The Timberwolves have exercised the third-year options on Tyus Jones and Karl-Anthony Towns, along with the fourth-year options on Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins.

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Dunc'd On: Minnesota Timberwolves Season Outlook w/ Zach Harper; Miami Heat Season Outlook w/ Albert Nahmad
Zach Harper on the Wolves and Albert Nahmad on the Heat.

Real GM Staff Report

Wolves Still Exploring Tyus Jones Trade Scenarios
The Wolves have received interest on Tyus Jones from the 76ers amongst other teams.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Cavs Receiving Trade Calls On Iman Shumpert
The Timberwolves are one of the teams that has expressed interest in Iman Shumpert.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Thibodeau, Towns Cite LaVine As Big Factor In Opening Up Space For Wolves
Zach LaVine is widely expected to have a breakout season as the Wolves take another step forward building around Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

Adi Joseph/Sporting News

76ers, Pelicans Express Interest In Trading For Tyus Jones
The Timberwolves are open to moving Tyus Jones.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Wolves Plan To Keep Ricky Rubio Until Kris Dunn Establishes Himself
The Timberwolves are receiving trade interest from several teams on Ricky Rubio.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Kris Dunn Favored By 46.7 Percent Of GMs To Win 16-17 ROY
The Wolves have had the Rookie of the Year in each of the past two seasons in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

John Schuhmann/NBA.com

GMs Pick Karl-Anthony Towns As Player To Build Franchise Around
While Anthony Davis received 86.2 percent of the vote before last season, Karl-Anthony Towns now ranks first at 48.3 percent.

John Schuhmann/NBA.com

Karl-Anthony Towns: KG Expedited My Learning Curve
While nothing surprised Karl-Anthony Towns during his rookie season, he credits Kevin Garnett for how he was mentored.

Jonathan Abrams/Bleacher Report

Wolves Have High Hopes For Ricky Rubio Under Tom Thibodeau
Ricky Rubio is signed through the 18-19 season and is one of the NBA's best defensive point guards.

Frank Isola/New York Daily News

RealGM Radio: Northwest Division With David Locke, Adam Mares
Host Danny Leroux, David Locke of the Utah Jazz and Locked on Podcast Network and Adam Mares of Denver Stiffs break down the Northwest Division.

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Tom Thibodeau Wants To See Wolves' Core Up Close Before Deciding Needs
Tom Thibodeau believes he's evolved his coaching techniques during his sabbatical from coaching.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Wolves Hire Ed Pinckney As Assistant Coach
Ed Pinckney spent last season as an Assistant Coach with Denver, and spent the previous five seasons with Tom Thibodeau in Chicago.

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Milt Newton Still Seeking Return To An NBA Front Office
Milt Newton said it's "a little disheartening" to lose the job that he's confident he would still have if Saunders were alive.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Nikola Pekovic Ruled Out For Entire 16-17 Season With Ankle Injury
Nikola Pekovic has career averages of 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Garnett Reaches Buyout With Wolves, Announces Retirement
Kevin Garnett returned to the Wolves in 2015 and appeared in 38 games last season.

Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune