Wolves Notes: LaVine’s car, training camp invites, and Kander


We’re so close we can taste it, Wolves fans.

Media day is just over a week away, and then training camp will commence in Minneapolis, followed by a flurry of preseason action. It’s time to start gearing up for actual basketball news and on-court action!

Zach LaVine is finishing his off-season by treating himself to a flashy new ride. Get it, Zach.

There’s a not-funny joke in there somewhere about jumping over cars in dunk contests, but I can’t find it so I’ll leave it alone instead.

Elsewhere, the Wolves are reportedly bringing 29 year-old center Kleon Penn for training camp. Penn has played exclusively overseas since leaving McNeese State in 2009. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year over six seasons in the Superior Basketball League and averaged 4.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season.

(Edit: the Wolves announced on Twitter on Friday that Andrew Wiggins’ brother, Nick Wiggins, will also be joining the team for training camp. He played on the Wolves’ Summer League entry in July. The Wolves also confirmed the above-mentioned Penn signing.)

The news was first on Twitter in Spanish from Carlos Rosa and was then confirmed later in the evening by Jon Krawczynski of AP in Minneapolis.

Penn is nothing more than another seven-footer to play in camp as Nikola Pekovic isn’t ready to play consistently and after Gorgui Dieng there’s a rookie in Karl-Anthony Towns and a 39 year-old in Kevin Garnett, so it makes sense to have another body.

We’ve touched on the recent addition of long-time Pistons health guru Arnie Kander, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer just how big of a deal this addition could be. He’s extremely well-respected across the NBA, and the Wolves appear to be quite lucky to have him.

Here’s an excerpt from Krawczynski’s piece on the hiring.

"Just when Kander thought he was out, longtime friend Flip Saunders came calling and pulled him right back in. It took four trips to Minneapolis, meetings with Timberwolves players, coaches and staff and a couple of tours of the Twin Cities with his wife before Kander decided to pick and move to Minnesota to help his friend with one of the league’s long-struggling franchises.”Originally I was retired. I was done,” Kander said about a week after the team announced his hiring as the new vice president of sports performance. ”My connection with Flip was the primary (reason). Everything else had to mesh. If it didn’t, there’s not a chance. And there’s excitement. Coming in with a good young team. Players that are very open to hearing, seeing. Seems like the fit is right.”"

As Krawcyznski notes above, he met with Wolves players before accepting the position in Minnesota, and that apparently included one Ricky Rubio.

We’ll see how much of an immediate impact Kander has on the organization, but it’s refreshing to see them joining the 21st century when it comes to strength training, conditioning, nutrition, etc. Between the new facility across the street from Target Center to the hiring of Kander, they’re on the right track.

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