The first thing on everybody's mind in regards to the Minnesota Timberolves is not the Summer League roster, but rather the immortal genius (complete idiocy?) of one David Kahn. This man just drafted two of the best point guards in this class and promised to play them together. To borrow from the excellence that is Shamsports.com: KAAAAHHHHHNNNN!!!
But let's put that aside for a minute and just look at what we're dealing with for the upcoming Summer League games. Listed below is the Timberwolves Summer League roster complete with everything from High School BFF's to a genetically engineered wonder to a simple small town boy who takes it hard to the hoop.
No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate From NBA Exp.
22 Corey Brewer F 6-9 188 3/5/86 Florida 2
1 Bobby Brown G 6-2 175 9/24/84 Cal State Fullerton 1
23 Pat Carroll G/F 6-5 190 9/10/82 St. Joseph's R
19 Wayne Ellington G 6-4 200 11/29/87 North Carolina R
11 Jonny Flynn G 6-0 185 2/6/89 Syracuse R
17 Devin Green G 6-7 212 10/25/82 Hampton 1
12 Paul Harris G/F 6-4 230 10/15/86 Syracuse R
15 Gerald Henderson G 6-4 215 12/7/87 Duke R
51 Steven Hill C 7-0 248 11/14/85 Arkansas 1
31 Rob Kurz F 6-9 232 3/5/85 Notre Dame 1
4 Oleksiy Pecherov F 7-0 234 12/8/85 Ukraine 2
20 Garrett Siler C 6-11 305 10/25/86 Augusta State R
7 Ben Woodside G 5-11 185 7/1/85 North Dakota State R
Hit the Jump for a full rundown of the players
In keeping with Jon L's categories, we're running the gamut with this group of virtual unknowns, NBA guys, D-League guys, and some incredible rookies. Hey look ma! Virtually no Retreads! (And if you're tired of reading, just click each guy's name for some youtubage).
The NBA Players:
Corey Brewer- In a land all by himself, Corey Brewer stands out as the one solid NBA guy who is coming off an ACL injury and ready to reassert himself. Having been in the league for two years, Corey just seems poised for a break out. After all, he did play the glue guy role on a Floirda team loaded with talented guys, though has since become somewhat of the forgotten player in Minnesota. This will be Brewer's first in-game action since his December surgery, so he may only play limited minutes. Brewer does have what Scott, Jon L and I consider the ugliest looking shot mechanics ever, but they seem to work alright, so we'll let him slide. And apparently he and Big Al have bonded over their bums knees.
Oleksiy Pecherov - Traded to the T-Wolves before the draft by the Wizards, along with what became the Rubio pick (will become? may never become?), Oleksiy is a Ukrainian PF who has seen limited NBA action in his two years in the League. Like many European post players, Pecherov is a fundementally sound shooter and rebounder, who excels in the high post as opposed to banging down low. Thus far his weaknesses in the NBA have been his lack of physicality and his thin frame, which hurts him on the glass and trying to gain post position. As a side note, Pecherov Apparently loves citrus fruit. "I like (Oranges), they are good for me." BONUS
Wayne Ellington - Fresh off an NCAA Championship and Tournament MVP, Wayne Ellington brings his smooth shooting stroke and solid perimeter defense to the Wolves. His career arc at UNC was similar to that of JJ Redick at Duke, in that he began primarily as an outside shooter and eventually worked his game into it's now more diversified form. Don't get me wrong, Ellington is a good bit more athletic than Redick, but his shooting stroke is comparable. Ellington will be a nice addition to the Wolves roster as he brings the outside shooting touch they could use with Love and Big Al clogging the paint.
Jonny Flynn - Touted as one half of Daivd Kahn's Evil Point Guard Duo, Flynn is a speedster and phenomenal athlete out of Syracuse. His game is one of speed and strength, making sharp cuts into the paint and either getting to cup or dishing to a teammate. Flynn has already been shown some strong leadership abilities while at Syracuse, including the six overtime game versus Uconn this past season. Clearly the PG situation is in flux in Minnesota, but Flynn has a future in the NBA regardless. Bonus: Coach Boeheim endorses him to the fullest.
Gerald Henderson - Henderson is in no way actually affiliated with the Timberwolves, he has just been cast off by the Bobcats since they are not fielding a Summer League Team this year. Henderson's game relies on his strength and athleticism to get him to the rim and he also possess a nice mid-range jumpshot. Henderson has a lot of potential to grow into an offensive threat, but has been lauded thusfar for his perimeter defense, which were cetnerstage during his three years at Duke. Bonus: Gerald and Wayne Ellington are best friends and high school teammates, so this works out nicely for them.
The Undrafted College Players:
Ben Woodside - An explosive scorer and solid PG, and Woodside is Scott's favorite player ever. In his last season at NDSU (that's North Dakota State), Woodside had some truly memorable performances, including a 60 point outing that was the first in the NCAA's since Eddie House in 2000. He's a truly scrappy, tough player who , like House, is a bit undersized for the League. From Scott Schroeder:
I want people to know that Ben Woodside goes hard to the basket a lot, but may be too short to be an NBA player... Not a great defender, but he has a buzz cut. Nearly led NDSU over Kansas and scored 60 points in some game that made Sportscenter 2 years ago. I don't care about anyone else on Minnesota really or even Minnesota.
Well, Scott loves the guy. He did alright at the Portsmouth Invitational for College Seniors this year, but if he can adjust to the physicality of the NBA game, and work on his ball distribution he could be somebody's back up.
Garrett Siler - Having attended Division II school Augusta State, Siler has not seen much exposure in his four years there. But in the case of most DII players that get Summer League invites Siler has one thing going for him: massive size. At 7'0" and weighing 300 lbs, Siler is a behemoth in the paint. His game is not very diverse, he gets a lot of bucks from within five feet oh the basket, but boasted a DII record 79% shooting average because of this. Siler is also a very physical player, managing to finish strong around the hoop, rebound a decent clip and get to the foul line with regularity. On the downside, Garrett Siler is slow, not well conditioned, and fairly raw. He is a project Center to say the least. (Scott's note: Isn't that what Summer League is? A project center? Garrett Siler is Summer League)
Pat Carroll - Carroll comes from an athletic family. He's practically a mutant. His brother, Matt Carroll, has played in the NBA....yeah that white stiff, remember him? Pat's Dad played football at Penn, and his grandfather is the winningest HS basketball coach in PA history. All of that aside, Pat was part of the St. Joe's team that included Delonte West, Jameer Nelson, and Dwayne Jones (one of our favorites at RU). Since graduating in 2005 he's mostly been overseas (should have come to the D-league - worked for his brother), and unless his game has changed since his last Summer League venture, I'd say his chances are limited.
Paul Harris - Another Syracuse guard/SF, Paul Harris is an explosive athlete with a chiseled NBA frame. Harris was an up and down player at Syracuse, never quite finding his groove. Early in his collegiate career Paul was believed to be the second coming of Melo (read: homeless version), but for some reason he seemed to never progress. He's an athletic, albeit somewhat raw slasher, with great strength and finishing capabilities around the hoop. I think he'll find a place to stick this year, because his upside (it's ridiculous) is hard to deny. I'm hoping he'll get D-League time this year to improve his handle and jumpshot.
Devin Green - I honestly don't know where to place Devin Green. He's been in the NBA with the Lakers and Spurs, he's been in the D-League with the D-Fenders and he's been in Germany playing for something called the RheinEnergie Köln, which I'm pretty sure is run by a guy who looks like this. Green is a solid, yet unspecatcular SG/SF who has some experience and could probably make an NBA roster this year if he stuck with the D-League. While not the most explosive of athletes, Green is a solid defender and a fundemantally sound player. Fringe NBA guy who has the potential to stick somewhere as a role player.
Steven Hill - After going undrafted last year, Hill, a 7'0" athletic PF, was signed by the Spurs, traded to the Thunder and then assigned to the D-League Tulsa 66ers. Unfortuntely the D-League didn't get to see much of Hill as he was recalled by the Thunder and then cut shortly thereafter. Hill is a promising prospect, he has tremendous athleticism and great hands around the basket. Despite sounding cliche, I can see his ceiling being somewhere around Denver's Birdman, with slightly less defensive prowess. Hill hasn't displayed much offensively besides put-backs, dunks, and the occasional jumpshot. Look for Hill to try to make a splash in the Summer League as he is coming off knee surgery as well.
Rob Kurz - Kurz spent the last season as the 12th man on the Golden State Warriors, who chose to cut prominent D-Leaguers DeMarcus Nelson and Richard Hendrix instead. Golden State seemed to love the guy, as Nellie opted to keep him around for the entire season, often praising his hard work and basketball IQ. But as the GSoMers like to say: Smokescreen! Kurz was eventually cut and is now fighting for his NBA life. He's a somewhat versitile SF/PF who shoots the three and generally plays the scrappy, glue guy role. Will he fit on the another team, or was Nelson just being stubborn last season about Kurz's talent level? Tune in and find out.