After the Jarrett Culver trade went through on Saturday, I think it’s safe to say that all Timberwolves fans were looking forward to seeing the rookie play in Summer League. Well, that’s not going to happen.
Sources: Minnesota No. 6 overall pick Jarrett Culver is not expected to play in NBA summer league as he fully integrates himself into Timberwolves system ahead of his rookie season.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2019
This has kind of been the theme of summer league thus far, as several lottery picks are sitting out as teams try to get their rookies ready for the regular season.
It seems likely that the reason Culver is sitting out is to put on weight/strength before being thrown into the fire.
We should hope so, at least, because that’s a much better reason than the one given above. Is there really a better way to be integrated into the Wolves’ system than to play in the offensive system they’re going to run during the season? With Pablo Prigioni coaching the summer Wolves, that’s what he’s missing out on by not playing. That’s the frustrating and confusing aspect of Culver sitting out.
Admittedly, the Timberwolves have bigger issues than their lottery pick not playing in a few largely meaningless summer league games. As fans, though, it is also our duty to overreact to pretty much everything.
It would’ve been really fun to see the rookie share the court with Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop, but Culver probably does need to beef up a bit, as he fills out his 6’7” frame at only 195 pounds. If management thinks he’d benefit more from spending extra time in the weight room, we should trust that that is the case.