Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: Gates returns, Wiggins in for Canada?

DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves welcome back a former assistant coach, and Andrew Wiggins might be suiting up for Team Canada.

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ coaching staff is one step closer to being filled.

There have been a few hirings announced over the past few weeks, from new offensive coordinator Pablo Prigioni to associate head coach David Vanterpool, who will reportedly quarterback the defense.

Bryan Gates, who was an assistant coach under Flip Saunders in 2015-16, is back in the Twin Cities after reportedly joining Ryan Saunders’ staff. Gates was in Sacramento as an assistant to Dave Joerger for the past three seasons. Joerger was fired this offseason.

Before Gates joined the Timberwolves organization the first time, he was highly though of as a player development coach with the New Orleans Pelicans after playing a part in Anthony Davis‘ early years in the league.

The obvious connection here is the relationship with Saunders, but there’s surely a Karl-Anthony Towns-related component here, too.

In other news, Andrew Wiggins was rumored to have given a “yes” to Team Canada. And by ‘rumored’, I mean that the general manager of the national team reported that Wiggins was in.

Now, after Wolves boss Gersson Rosas gave a pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, things appear to have changed.

The Gates and Wiggins/Team Canada pieces of news are connected: Gates was on the Team Canada staff when Wiggins last suited up for his home country back in 2015. New Wolves associate head coach David Vanterpool was also on that staff.

For as obvious as it might seem that the Wolves new front office regime may try to move on from Wiggins quickly, there have been a series of moves that could be construed as aiming to give one last run at getting him to reach his potential.

From retaining Saunders as head coach to adding Team Canada staffers and bringing former assistants back into the fold, it’s easy to see why Wiggins could be feeling progressively more comfortable.

Next. Potential Andrew Wiggins trade options. dark

The draft is less than 36 hours away, and we’ll have plenty of lead-up coverage here at DWW in the coming day and a half. It’s the Christmas Day of Wolves fandom, after all…