Timberwolves Summer League roster welcomes 2 Iowa Wolves to pack

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

When the Minnesota Timberwolves announced their 2023 Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League roster, I have to admit to a smile appearing on my face with the realization that two of the G-League affiliate Iowa Wolves had been named to the roster. Why? The Timberwolves are affording an opportunity to players who have been part of their G-League team, the Iowa Wolves, an opportunity to be noticed by their own coaching staff as well as other NBA teams.

I am a strong proponent of promoting from within, if for no other reason than simply the goodwill that the process infuses into the Minnesota Timberwolves locker room. Once there is a tangible link between hard work and meaningful rewards, many of the team’s objectives become almost automatic.

And so, the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed two players from the Iowa Wolves roster is significant in multiple ways. So who are the latest players will be discussing?

Both 6-foot-7 200-pound small forward Brian Bowen II and 6-foot-2 200-pound point guard D.J. Carton will compete in the 2023 NBA Summer League for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here is a bit about both players.

Marquette. D.J. Carton. 474. NBA Scouting Live. PG. S/L. player. NBA Draft Room

Of all of the participants for the Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League team, the most pressure and highest reward could fall on Iowa Wolves point guard D.J. Carton. The reason for that is the simple fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves are (or should be) actively shopping for veteran PG Mike Conley Jr.’s successor.

That was not the highest priority a year ago. The hope was that D’Angelo Russell might grow into the role. But he was more problem-creation than problem-solving, forcing the Timberwolves to trade him at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. While that solved the immediate need for a point guard, it did raise the bar for a successor for Conley. Could Carton be that guy? Both he and the Minnesota Timberwolves hope to find out in the NBA Summer League competition.

Sydney Kings. S/L. player. 86. NBA Scouting Live. SF. Brian Bowen II. NBA Draft Net

In the case of small forward Brian Bowen II, the Timberwolves are less urgent in finding an immediate roster fit and are more interested in finding the right roster fit. The Timberwolves need to find young players who truly can fill the roles of 3-and-D wings and who can create space as well as put points on the scoreboard. Is Bowen that player? Perhaps.

Bowen’s career with the Iowa Wolves during the 2021-22 season was a mixture. In 32.0 MPG, he scored 15 PPG, hauled in 8.6 RPG, and was a mixed defensive presence in the paint. He stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 199 pounds, and is just 24 years old.  Will he show enough to land a contract with the Timberwolves?

We will explore the entire Timberwolves Summer League roster over time. Still, early analysis indicates that this is more than a dress rehearsal for the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves Summer League roster has a number of players who are future competitors for the Minnesota Timberwolves as well.

Wolves musical chairs competition set for the 2023-24 NBA season. light. Must Read

This is going to be a fun summer league team . . .