- Who: Minnesota Timberwolves (1-2) vs Sacramento Kings (1-2)
- When: 8:30 PM CT
- Where: Cox Pavilion
- National TV: NBA TV
- Line: Wolves +1.5 | Total: 183.5 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Wolves look to wrap up their initial four-game summer league stretch with a late tip against the Kings. We’ve been able to see Leonard Miller thrive, Josh Minott assert himself, and Brandon Williams impress for a shot at a two-way contract. At the same time, we saw Wendell Moore Jr. underwhelm in his lone performance before a minor knee injury, Matteo Spagnolo unavailable to play, and
were subjected to watch Trevion Williams have only gotten 1.6 minutes of some Kok Yat action.
What do we have to look forward to now?
The Brandon Williams & DJ Carton Show
This team is currently 29th in 3PA per game (24.3) and are 23rd in accuracy (26.0%). Though that is basketball blasphemy in 2023, they have been efficiently pounding the ball in the paint. Minnesota is 7th in FG% (45.9%) and a big reason has been their athleticism. Speed, power, and energy has been what this team has brought for the majority of their games. This is spearheaded by the blazing tempo that both Brandon Williams and DJ Carton play with. One has a horizontal explosion that belongs in a 100m heat (Williams), while one has a vertical explosion that belongs in a dunk contest (Carton).
Tim Connelly has set the Wolves up to play a “position-less” style of basketball, especially in the backcourt. Mike Conley remains as the steady starter, though he’s going on 36 year and can only handle so many minutes. Jordan McLaughlin went from one of the league’s best backups to nearly unplayable by season’s end. Chris Finch has mentioned how Shake Milton and even Kyle Anderson can help fill the backup ball handling duties, but it would still behoove the Wolves to have a 3rd or 4th option ready. Both Williams and Carton fit the bill as a “true point guard” who could act as a break in case of emergency guy. Both are still just 22-23 years old and likely still have room to develop their skills even further.
Will one of them earn the final two-way contract, with Luka Garza and Jaylen Clark occupying two spots? I’m excited to watch them play tonight.
Kings Players to Watch
Keon Ellis is one of Sacramento’s two-way players and has been playing very well throughout the summer including both the California Classic Summer League and the Las Vegas Summer League. In Vegas, he’s currently the second best scorer on the team, averaging 15.5 points on very efficient .516/.375/1.000 splits. The 6’3” guard has also racked up 6.3 boards, 2.7 dimes, and a wild 4.0 stocks per game (3.3 steals). The ever knowledgeable Nekias Duncan sure seems to believe Ellis.
Keon Ellis is an NBA player— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) July 13, 2023
The other two-way player the Kings were high on, Jalen Slawson, has mostly struggled so far. Colby Jones, who was literally drafted right behind Leonard Miller, already inked himself a four-year contract just a tick above what Miller signed, but he has been hit-or-miss in his three games in Vegas so far. However, local Sacramento-area product, Jordan Ford, has been the team’s leading scorer. The crafty undrafted point guard has continued to make a name himself, averaging an impressive 16.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and just 2.3 turnovers. He spent all of last season with the Stockton Kings and is looking to secure a spot somewhere. Fun fact: Ford was a chess prodigy as a child.