As the brilliant readers of Ridiculous Upside probably gleaned from the title, the Minnesota Timberwolves are working out free agent prospects on Thursday and Friday even after news broke of the team signing Ricky Rubio late Wednesday night.
This doesn't make a lot of sense considering Rubio gives the Wolves 14 guaranteed contracts entering the 2011-12 season. Even after the inevitable trade of Jonny Flynn (and whoever else is thrown in), the Wolves wouldn't seem to have much room in the rotation for a prospect considering the team has plenty of money already invested into higher profile prospects, but I'm not going to complain about players outside the NBA getting an opportunity.
In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to talk about some of the invitees expected to participate in the two-day workout. The majority have prior NBA D-League experience if not a cup of coffee or so in the NBA, meaning they're exactly the types of players that would be talked about on this very blog in the eight or so months when the NBA Draft and Summer Leagues aren't relevant talking points.
So without further adieu (and this is something I think about more than those out there in Internet Land could even imagine), the following players are players I'd be most interested in if I was president of basketball operations David Kahn.
Quincy Douby is a player I've never been particularly fond of, but if a team just needs someone who can score off the bench, there are a lot worse options out there. Douby's a former first round pick, excelled for the brief stretch he was in the NBA last (with the Toronto Raptors during the 2008-09 season) and has been the top scorer in Turkey and China over the past two years.
Orien Greene is intriguing, if nothing else, as a defensive stopper that the Wolves might need considering Rubio and Luke Ridnour aren't going to help in that department. Greene has good hands, is versatile and filled up the box score this past season in the D-League. The nice thing about Greene is that he can be played at either guard position.
DeShawn Sims suffers due to his lack of position, but he's as young as most seniors in this 2011 NBA Draft class and showed quite a bit of potential during his time with the Maine Red Claws in the NBA Development League this season. Sims shot 40 percent from beyond the arc (on 129 attempts, mind you) and could probably improve his lateral quickness -- when working with an NBA trainer -- enough to be able to defend NBA small forwards. With a year of professional experience, he's better prepared for the NBA than most second round picks in this year's draft.
Alexander Johnson was a beast in the D-League during the 2009-10 season and I've been infatuated ever since. He's undersized in a less muscle-y Joey Dorsey way, but he makes up for it by playing big (and being better on the offensive end than Dorsey). I have to wonder where his head is at, however, as he almost certainly would have earned a call-up this past season had he played there rather than waiting until February to sign over in China.
Last, but not least, Minnesota native Matt Janning probably deserves some publicity. He's scrappy, he can shoot and he impressed the entire NBA with his playing during the Summer League season less than a year ago while earning a spot on the Phoenix Suns' opening day roster.
For a listing of the rest of the prospects expected to be in attendance, check here.