Minnesota Timberwolves offer 4 reasons to watch the Tokyo Olympics

Ricky Rubio #9 and Juancho Hernangomez #41 from Team Spain. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio #9 and Juancho Hernangomez #41 from Team Spain. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be well-represented at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Four players on the Wolves’ current roster will compete at this year’s Olympic games. It’s the most in franchise history and includes three first-time Olympians among the group.

3 Minnesota Timberwolves players to play in Olympics for the first time

The most notable Wolves player on an Olympic roster is 2020 first-round draft pick Leandro Bolmaro, who will suit up for Argentina. Wolves assistant Pablo Prigioni will be an assistant for the Argentinian national team as well.

Bolmaro was the No. 23 pick in last year’s draft and was acquired by the Timberwolves on draft night. He’s a defensive-minded wing with a solid all-around game and some offensive upside and is likely to make his NBA debut in 2021-22.

He’s also fresh off winning the “Most Spectacular Player” award in Euroleague due to his flashy playing style and effectiveness in the open floor.

Bolmaro will be the Wolves player that fans are most excited to lay eyes on during the Tokyo games, to be sure. But he isn’t the organization’s only first-time Olympian.

Josh Okogie has represented Nigeria in international competition in the past, but he’s never appeared in the Olympics. It is only the third time ever that Nigeria will have a team in the Games.

Expect Okogie to be a key piece of what Nigeria does on both ends of the floor. If they’re going to surprise people and pull out some upsets in Tokyo, Okogie will be part of it.

Juancho Hernangomez will also be appearing in his first-ever Olympics after having been part of Spain’s Senior National Team since 2017. He’ll be playing alongside Ricky Rubio, who has been part of Spain’s national team since his stirring performance as a 17-year-old back in 2008.

Rubio won MVP of the FIBA World Cup in 2019 and is now one of the elder statesmen and leaders on the always-impressive Spanish team.

Former Minnesota Timberwolves’ players competing at Tokyo Games

There will be several former Wolves players suiting up to represent their countries at the Olympic Games and in the qualifying tournaments taking place in advance of Tokyo.

Kevin Love will be returning to Team USA after not being on the team in 2016. The U.S., along with the aforementioned teams from Nigeria, Spain, and Argentina, have already qualified for the 2021 Games. They are joined by Japan, Iran, France, and Australia.

In the qualifying rounds, former Wolf Andrew Wiggins will be playing for Canada. He’ll be suiting up alongside former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, who has been out of the NBA since 2017.

Additionally, former Wolves forward Nemanja Bjelica will be representing Serbia.

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Five years without Olympic basketball is long enough, and Wolves fans have plenty to look forward to this time around. It can’t come soon enough.