It’s been 85 days since the Wolves were last officially all together on a basketball court, meaning the players are nearing the end of their third month of summer vacation.
While the summer of 2018 hasn’t been nearly as exciting (or positive) as the summer of 2017, there have still been some good moments — most notably drafting Josh Okogie/Keita Bates-Diop and signing Anthony Tolliver for his second stint with the club.
With the NBA Draft and majority of free agency now behind us, the NBA offseason has officially slowed down to a snails pace. (Full disclosure: I wrote this exact same line Tuesday night, only to wake up Wednesday morning to the blockbuster Kawhi Leonard trade, so I fully expect the news of a three-team mega trade with Dennis Schroder to Orlando, Jonathon Simmons to Oklahoma City, and Carmelo Anthony to the Shanghai Sharks to break before this posts.)
Nevertheless, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of enjoyable things to talk about right now with the Wolves, so let’s quickly check in on what some of the Wolves most popular players have been up to during their summer break.
Jimmy has spent a majority of his 2018 offseason doing what James Harden does best, and that of course is traveling. From Greece to Italy and everywhere in between, Jimmy Buckets has been racking up sky miles nearly as fast as he’s been burning calories:
J. Buckets also touched down in Spain to reunite with his former ex-Bulls teammate Pau Gasol (and possibly reconcile with his former adversary, Ricky Rubio):
If you follow Butler on social media, you’ll know he is now back stateside, and for good reason. Jimmy recently participated in ESPN’s annual “My Wish” series, which included athletes such as Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Judge, and Jordan Spieth this year.
While it doesn’t officially air until tonight at 5pm CT on SportsCenter, the Internet remains undefeated, so you can catch the entire 9-minute video below:
Regardless of your stance on Jimmy and his current relationship with the franchise, stuff like this is much bigger than basketball (and also really, really cool):
As for the Wolves best and most important player (never forget that), he too has been moving and shaking this summer. As we wrote back in June, Towns spent the early part of his offseason training for his appearance in ESPN the Magazine’s 2018 Body Issue. From there, he too traveled overseas to visit some European countries (although my gut tells me he did not meet up with Jimmy for beignets and/or tea):
Most recently, Towns returned to the US where he met up with Minnesota’s own Miracle Man in California for a fashion show:
And just this week, Towns put on another one of his extremely popular basketball camps for children, this time in Plymouth, MN. As the video below shows, the young campers weren’t the only ones working on their game:
According to all reports, KAT’s camp was another huge success. However, it was a few things he said to the local media after the camp that may have drawn the most attention (stay for the end of the clip):
We were warned that #Twolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns would only take questions about his camp today. So specific questions about Butler, Legarza, Thibs, contract extension, etc. were tough. But he did offer up a little something at the very end. More on @KSTP at 10:20. pic.twitter.com/9PqrGHK9jk— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) July 19, 2018
At this point, I personally am so over the drama and passive aggressive back-and-forth through the media that certain players on this team have been involved in, so I’m not going to put much energy into Towns’ comments. As I wrote above, Towns is not only the most important player on this team, he’s also the single most important person in the franchise. Rookies almost never turn down a max contract extension, so I fully expect a deal to eventually get done.
Adults own the team, adults coach the team, and younger adults play for the team. It’s time for all of those parties to get in a room and air out their differences, otherwise it may be time for the less important adults to hit the road.
While the Wolves two All-Stars have been busy so far this summer, the franchise’s only (current) max contract player has chosen a simpler summer path. Outside of his athleticism, nothing about Andrew screams “exciting” or “entertaining.” Nonetheless, despite locking up his financial security long-term, it appears young Maple Jordan is back in the gym, attempting to match his physical size with the size of his checking account:
As for the other young Wolves player in search of a future contract extension, Tyus Jones has been up to his usual antics this summer — primarily hanging with his dog (Duke Stones Jones), making occasional trips down to Durham, NC, and getting some run in at a local Pro Am:
While Minnesota summers tend to be really warm, nothing says “hot in here” like attending a Nelly concert:
With Jamal Crawford no longer in Minnesota, here’s to hoping that Tyus’s hot summer translates into a scorching hit 2018-2019 season.
Simply put, Taj Gibson is living his best life:
We’ll check back in with some of the Wolves later this summer as we approach the start of training camp, but until then, major thanks to all the Canis followers/readers who continue to support the site during the summer grind! #MAXKAT