Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: New hires, training camp begins

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves training camp is underway, and the Wolves have also announced a series of new hires and promotions.

The Minnesota Timberwolves began training camp on Sunday. They also announced several new hires and promotions on their coaching staff and in the front office.

Let’s catch up on the most notable staffing changes, plus pass along some notes coming out of training camp.

Minnesota Timberwolves add Rudy Tomjanovich, others to team’s payroll

We noted the (virtual) presence of soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Rudy Tomjanovich back during the pre-draft process.

The article by ESPN’s Royce Young focused on Rudy T’s thoughts related to a potential frontcourt pairing of current Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns and prospect James Wiseman, but evidently, Tomjanovich’s presence went beyond his take that one potential scenario.

The Wolves have now officially announced the addition of Tomjanovich to the front office as a player personnel consultant, along with a host of other moves.

Tomjanovich, of course, won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 as head coach of the Houston Rockets. He had a 503-397 record over 12 seasons in Houston and coached a half-season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004-05. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

The Wolves also added Joseph Blair to the coaching staff as an assistant. He was with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, G League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, for several seasons and was the head coach in 2018-19.

There were several other additions as well, both in the basketball operations department and in other areas of the front office.

Ryan Saunders talks about Minnesota Timberwolves frontcourt rotation

The Minnesota Timberwolves suddenly have myriad combinations to consider in their frontcourt. As training camp got underway on Sunday, head coach Ryan Saunders spoke to the possibilities.

We’ve talked here at Dunking With Wolves about the likelihood of Jake Layman playing quite a bit at the 4, providing more defensive versatility and athleticism than Juancho Hernangomez.

The idea of Josh Okogie playing the 4 isn’t something we’ve heard before, but it isn’t shocking. Okogie’s height and wingspan will play, and his ability in transition and as a cutter on offense and versatility on defense will give him a chance to earn some minutes there.

Saunders also implies that Ed Davis will play more behind Towns at the 5 than alongside KAT at the 4. Surely, it will depend greatly on matchups, as will minutes for both Naz Reid and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Next. 2020-21 Wolves staff roundtable predictions. dark

Perhaps we’ll get a better sense for Saunders’ rotation as early as this Saturday when the Wolves open their preseason schedule against the Memphis Grizzlies.