The Minnesota Timberwolves announced late Monday evening that the team had indeed exercised the fourth-year option on Josh Okogie and the third-year option on Jarrett Culver. While this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, it is still worth mentioning as I believe the deadline to pick up these options was sometime today.
NEWS: Timberwolves Exercise Team Options on Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) December 29, 2020
Full release: https://t.co/CgnQhWFKzA
Culver, who turns 22-years old in February, posted averages of 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per contest in 63 games (35 starts) last season, his first in the NBA. The Wolves originally acquired the draft rights to the 6-7 guard from the Phoenix Suns on July 6, 2019.
So far this season, the Texas Tech alum has shown some significant improvement in not only his all-around game, but his physical and mental makeup as well. Armed with a bigger frame, JC is averaging 10.7 points (on 56% shooting) and is connecting on 71.4% of his free throws. Culver is also shooting 35.7% from three (albeit on 8 total attempts so far), and while we’re only three short games into the new season (#SmallSampleSize), the upticks for Jarrett are definitely promising and something worth monitoring as we go forward.
As for Okogie — JO has appeared in 139 games (including 83 starts) for the Timberwolves since being selected with the 20th overall pick back in the 2018 NBA Draft. Since entering the league, Josh has averaged 8.1 points, on 40.6% shooting and 3.6 rebounds per contest in 139 games (83 starts) for the Timberwolves. He was also named to Team World at the Rising Stars Game for the second-straight year as part of the 2020 All-Star Weekend in Chicago.
Speaking of Josh! The team announced earlier this afternoon that the injury he sustained Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers was indeed more than cramps (shocker):
Ryan Saunders says that doctors initially ruled Josh Okogie's injury was just cramps. But then further examination revealed a hamstring strain.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) December 29, 2020
Saunders says Okogie will be out tonight against the Clippers.
This comes as a surprise to absolutely no one — the Timberwolves have been notoriously vague about injuries and recovery timelines in recent years (for reasons I still struggle to truly comprehend). Nevertheless, it looks like the Wolves will be without two of their original starters for not only tonight but also the next couple games, which should mean guys like Culver, Anthony Edwards, and maybe even Ricky Rubio will find their names called for the first unit now.
A big congrats to both Josh and Jarrett for having their options picked up — let’s hope they continue to develop and can be part of the nucleus of this team going forward.