3 balloon bursting performances from Timberwolves 1st Summer League game

Josh Minott (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Josh Minott (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /

II: Leonard Miller is a rebounding phenom

When the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Leonard Miller with the 33rd overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, I had to check and recheck everything. Up to that point in time, my research held the young man as a solid Round 1 projection, with some more optimistic and aggressive draft profiles suggesting that he could be a lottery pick.

And yet, here he was, about to become another key contributor to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the price of two future second-round picks. Our instant analysis was very enthusiastic.  After all, how many players do you know who can play as an NBA center but who have the ball-handling skills to rival a point guard?

At 6-foot-10, the 19-year-old Leonard Miller is expected to deliver on the rebounding front. But from the looks of his first NBA Summer League contest, he is better than the brochure. He

He was all over the basketball court, creating and delivering with an energy level that seems impossible to sustain. But Miller is more than just an unharnessed dynamo on the basketball court. He is able to harness and channel that energy in such a way as to appear effortless and natural.

In the game, Leonard Miller was the only player with any playing minutes not to be called for a foul. He was a major contributor to the Timberwolves getting called for 10 fewer fouls in the game. That’s nearly an impossible level of discipline.

And yet, he was the Timberwolves’, and the game’s, leading rebounder. In fact, he dominated the offensive boards, ensuring that the Wolves would get multiple chances to sink their shots. That was a huge factor in the Wolves win. Leonard Miller showed up huge in so many ways for the Wolves. But there is one more surprise, and we have saved the best for last.