By: Bennett Smed
The summer is not the time that would get most NBA fans excited, right? Well with the draft concluding at the end of last month and a massive free agent class currently making decisions on where they will play their basketball for the next couple years, the only games that will be going on is the NBA Summer League, which fans can get excited about. Summer League gives fans the ability to see their favorite team’s newest draft picks in action for the first time, along with other young players fighting to establish a key role in the organization.
For the Timberwolves, this summer will be filled with questions that need to be answered, not including the whole Kevin Love thing (a topic for another day); there are questions about the 13th pick in the draft Zach Lavine.
Lavine was chosen by the Wolves purely on potential since he only started one game in college and averaged less than 10 points per game. If a YouTube search is done on Lavine (do it, its impressive) you will know exactly why. A 46 inch vertical and lanky frame means there is only room for improvement, combined with a pretty good jumper has basketball people curious.
After the first summer league practice on Monday night Lavine spoke to the media, “If there’s a competition, I’m someone that wants to win,” LaVine said. “I went out there and did my best to make plays and we won the game. That’s the bottom line for me.”
Along with Lavine, second round pick Glenn Robinson III oozes athleticism and potential. Robinson is arguably the more established player coming out of college, averaging just over 12 points per game for his two years at Michigan, and could’ve been a lottery pick if he came out after his freshman season. An inconsistent sophomore campaign and the emergence of Nik Stauskas as “the guy” on the wolverine squad caused Robinson to slide in the draft. Nevertheless, Robinson is a good shooter and has an NBA ready body at 6-6, 220. His jumping ability will also wow fans.
“It’s a whole different level … and this is definitely the most competitive and amped up practice [I’ve been a part of] physically and mentally,” Robinson III said. “It’ll take a little adjustment to get to but I thought we all did fine.”
The Wolves Summer League kicks off on July 12th at the Thomas and Mack center in Las Vegas against the Mavericks.
(Preliminary Round )
July 12 Dallas Mavericks Thomas & Mack Center 5:30 p.m.
July 13 Washington Wizards Thomas & Mack Center 9:30 p.m.
July 15 Chicago Bulls Thomas & Mack Center 3:30 p.m.
For anyone who wants to see the Wolves live in action before that, the team is hosting an open scrimmage at Target Center starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday morning.