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Omri Casspi Arrives and Time to Talk Draft

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It’s a Tuesday Cup.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Morning all.

Some thoughts on the Omri Casspi signing

Casspi is someone we’ve talked about before as a good fit for the Wolves, so I’m happy to see him added, though a bit surprised given that playoff teams were interested in him. I suppose he saw the opportunity for more playing time with the Wolves over the last few weeks of the season, especially with Nemanja Bjelica out for the year.

Casspi will be looking to impress in order to earn a new contract this summer. Certainly the Wolves are a possibility, and given their cap space, developing a relationship now might be good for both parties. I certainly hope it works out; Casspi’s skills are a good fit for the Wolves—his ability to shoot the three remains a real need for this squad.

He’s not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Bjelica, as he’s played more small forward in his career than power forward, but given the Wolves lack of playable guys at the four right now, I would expect to mostly see him in small-ball lineups with two other wing players.

While they are not mutually exclusive players, I wonder if the real question is whether the Wolves view him as a replacement for Shabazz Muhammad going forward. It will be interesting to see the contracts those players wind up with this off-season. Muhammad is an RFA, and there remains question about the Wolves interest in bringing him back, while Casspi is unrestricted.

The (Ugh) Draft

Well, it’s that time of year again, when Wolves’ fans thoughts turn to the NBA draft. Another year in the lottery.

It appears that the Wolves are most likely going to be drafting in the 8-10 range this spring, an area where you are unlikely to get a star, but you always hope.

I of course know nothing about the potential draftees at this point, and as always defer to others who actually pay attention to something called college basketball.

I just looked at Draft Express, and they have the Wolves taking Jonathan Isaac with the 9th pick. Tall, skinny forward with some skills it looks like. Why not? What is he good at?

Other guys predicted to go around that area in the draft include Lauri Markkanen, Malik Monk, Robert Williams, Frank Ntilikina, and Miles Bridges, who I’ve seen mentioned a lot here.

It’s time for my education. Please explain these guys to me in comments and why you like them (or don’t, I guess.)

Wolves in China

The Wolves will travel to China along with the Golden State Warriors to play two exhibition games in October. No doubt part of the decision to include the Wolves is that the recently added a Chinese minority owner (Lizhang (John) Jiang.)

China is, of course, a huge market for the NBA, and Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine have all made individual trips to the country for marketing purposes. Now the Wolves will look to popularize their brand in the biggest overseas market for the NBA.

The Wolves host the Spurs tonight in a later start due to national television. 8:30 pm on ESPN tonight. Would like to see a strong showing after that disaster of a road trip. We’ll have more on this game later, and meanwhile Dane wrote another fantastic piece in his “Contenders” series about the Spurs, which you can read here.

One more plug: Go read Average Jer’s fanpost about the Wolves and violence against women, and how we as fans should approach this issue. Well worth the read and your thoughts.

Have a great Tuesday.