Minnesota Timberwolves: McKinley Wright plays the hero for Iowa Wolves

McKinley Wright IV of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the hero for the Iowa Wolves of the G League. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images)
McKinley Wright IV of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the hero for the Iowa Wolves of the G League. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves appear to have uncovered another gem via two-way contract signing in rookie point guard McKinley Wright IV.

Multiple Minnesota Timberwolves training camp invitees shine in G League win

On Saturday, the Iowa Wolves won on Saturday behind strong performances from both players signed to two-way contracts, plus a near triple-double in Leandro Bolmaro’s official G League debut.

On Monday, with one of those two-way players back up with the Timberwolves in Nathan Knight, the Iowa Wolves fell further and further behind as the game wore on, eventually trailing by as many as 22 points. They were still down by 18 points with four minutes to play in the game.

But then, a trio of players who were in training camp with the Timberwolves initiated a massive run that sent the game to overtime.

Wright, the Minnesota native, undrafted rookie from the University of Colorado, and current two-way player for the Timberwolves, drove into the paint with the Wolves down 18 and roughly four minutes to play. He was fouled and made both free throws.

Then, Exhibit 10 contract signee, member of the Timberwolves’ Las Vegas Summer League team, and training camp invitee Isaiah Miller grabbed a tough offensive rebound and scored on a putback.

The next trip down the floor, Wolves rookie and 2020 first-round draft pick Leandro Bolmaro drove into the paint and fed a beautiful assist to Isaiah Briscoe, who finished the game with 24 points in just 27 minutes of playing time. Briscoe followed that up by knocking down a wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing.

Then, another Miller layup, followed by a Briscoe steal and Bolmaro assist to Miller for another bucket at the rim.

A couple of possessions later, another Exhibit 10 signed, summer league team member, and training camp invitee, Brian Bowen II, scored back-to-back buckets to draw the Wolves even closer. Another Miller basket in traffic pulled the Wolves to within one, and ultimately, a Wright layup at a full sprint in the final seconds tied the game and sent it to overtime.

Minnesota Timberwolves two-way player McKinley Wright stars in overtime

In the first overtime, the Wolves trailed by four with under 10 seconds to play. Wright hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one. After a pair of made free throws from the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Bolmaro hit a tough, double-clutch three to tie the game, ultimately sending it to a second overtime.

With the ball and a chance to run out the clock at the end of the second OT, Wright dribbled behind his back a handful of times and stepped into a contested 3-point attempt from the left wing — so contested, in fact, that a shooting foul was called as the ball splashed through the net.

Wright completed the game-winning four-point play with just 0.5 seconds remaining on the clock, and that was that.

Plenty of Iowa Wolves players had strong performances in the win

Wright finished with 35 points (14-23 FG, 4-7 3P, 2-3 FT) in 41 minutes, adding five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocked shots. He jump-started the comeback late in the fourth quarter and hit massive shots in the closing seconds of regulation and both overtime periods.

The defensive ability and poise were on display for the rookie, and, at least to this point in his extremely young professional career, the outside shooting appears to be improved. If that’s the case, then Wright will absolutely blossom into an NBA-caliber point guard.

Bolmaro impressed again, scoring 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-9 from outside the arc and a perfect 5-for-5 at the free throw line. The Argentinian rookie also pitched in six assists, five rebounds, a steal, and a block while committing zero turnovers in a team-high 43 minutes.

After turning the ball over seven times on in Saturday’s win, it was great to see Bolmaro take care of the basketball the next time out.

Miller continues to impress as a hard-nosed, undersized defender with impressive scoring touch in the paint. He shot 7-of-15 from the field en route to 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds in just 24 minutes. Miller tallied eight points in the final four minutes of regulation to help get the Wolves to the extra sessions.

Notably, Briscoe added 24 points in 27 minutes off the bench, and Bowen grabbed 15 rebounds despite shooting just 2-of-13 from the field and scoring only eight points.

Next. Wolves Power Rankings Round-Up, Week Three. dark

The Iowa Wolves are now 2-0 and are off until next Monday, Nov. 15. We’ll continue to keep an eye on their progress, and especially the individual performances of the likes of two-way signees Wright and Knight, as well as Bolmaro, Miller, and other key performers.