Welcome back and Happy Mother’s Day to all the fantastic moms out there in the Canis Hoopus community — I hope that you and your families are staying safe, sane, and healthy as we continue to navigate through these difficult and challenging times.
While our friend Oleksiy Pecherov puts the finishing touches on a fresh pot of coffee, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the stories from the past week or so — both from the Minnesota Timberwolves as well as other stories across the league.
Postponed Ping Pong Balls
The NBA postponed the May Draft Lottery and Combine today, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2020
While not surprising, the NBA made it official last Friday that the NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Combine, both originally scheduled for mid-May, would be postponed. Woj went on to report that the league has not yet made a final decision on postponing the actual NBA Draft (currently scheduled for June 25), but with the league still on hiatus and all draft prep basically halted, it seems inconceivable that the draft will happen at it’s original date.
What does that mean for the Wolves? Well, probably the same thing it means for all 29 other NBA franchises — scouts and front office members will have to dig into whatever tape currently exists on prospects, as in-person workouts and events like the combine seem extremely unlikely. At 19-45, Minnesota currently holds the third worst record in the NBA, which under the new rules means they are tied at 14% for the best chance at selecting first overall (Golden State and Cleveland also have a 14% chance).
In a “State of the Timberwolves” interview last Saturday, Gersson Rosas discussed a variety of topics (including the draft), and suggested once again that the team’s overall theme entering the summer (or fall?) will be that of aggression:
In a "State of the Timberwolves" radio interview tonight, Gersson Rosas suggested the draft could be an opportunity for trades.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) May 2, 2020
Rosas referenced potentially having three picks in the top 33 in this draft. Called it potentially "the most draft capital" in the league.
While specific times/dates for both the NBA Lottery and NBA Draft remain up in the air, you can still get in-depth analysis of the top players in this year’s class by checking out our guy Jake Paynting’s “Draft Radar” series, including his latest work of art about top prospect Anthony Edwards.
Ice, Ice Baby
With the league still on lock down, juicy NBA rumors have become about as rare as finding Clorox Wipes at a supermarket. However, this week did provide a cleansing of sorts, as the New York Post’s Mark Berman reported that a former Timberwolves “legend” could be making his return to the sidelines next season:
Nets, Rockets To Join Knicks In Pursuit Of Tom Thibodeau https://t.co/Cf1e9OxSgM— RealGM (@RealGM) May 5, 2020
While Berman goes on to say that the Knicks would have the “first shot” at landing our good friend Tom Thibodeau, additional reports suggested that other teams like the Houston Rockets would be highly interested in bringing Thibs on board (possibly as a replacement for Mike D’Antoni whose contract expires after this season).
Apparently, the fallout from the pandemic has not resulted in any furloughs for the fine people at Korn Ferry, who (somehow) continue to find more job opportunities for the former Wolves POBO. Thibs has a history with the Knicks — he was once an assistant coach with the team — as well as a history with new Knicks President Leon Rose (through the CAA agency).
Regardless of how this all plays out — Thibs in New York, Thibs in Brooklyn, or Thibs in Houston — I think it’s fair to say (from a Wolves perspective) that getting Thibs back in the league would be a massive win for this fan base, based solely on the entertainment factor.
Good Deed from Naz Reid
Naz Reid is donating more than 200 meals to the staff at the Hackensack Meridien Hospital in Neptune, NJ which has been greatly impacted by COVID-19.— Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) May 6, 2020
He is also supporting small businesses and ordering the meals from Eileen’s Soul Food Restaurant in Neptune.
Good guy, Naz.
And finally — I thought it was important to end this weekend post with some truly heart-warming, enjoyable news as it relates to the hometown team. As Jake tweeted above, Naz Reid recently donated more than 200 meals to the staff of a New Jersey hospital, which is near his childhood home in Asbury Park, NJ.
While the act of kindness may not make the front page of any major sports website or newspaper, it should also be noted that a guy like Naz Reid, while still making significantly more than you or I, is on a guaranteed contract that pays him the least amount of money in the league (just under $900,000). Again, that’s approximately $900,000 more than I make managing a site like Canis Hoopus, but the point here is that even a backup center on the third worst team in the league can perform a small act of kindness that can go a long way in today’s current climate.
We have all been greatly affected by what has transpired over the last few months, but it’s truly refreshing among the never-ending sea of sad and depressing news to see a kid who hasn’t even turned 21-years old go out and try to make a difference in the community that helped raise him. If nothing else, I hope it inspires us all to continue to do our part to support our friends and families during these uncharted times, as even the smallest gesture can really improve the mood and/or outlook for the people we care about the most.
Stay safe. Go Wolves.