There are a vast number of players on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster who are actively competing for international teams for the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition. And as such, it’s a fun opportunity to take a look at the team’s active and retired international players as well.
The process of NBA teams holding the rights of international players occurs through the NBA Draft. Once drafted, players are either already signed to a contract that obligates them to an international team or players are subsequently assigned to play internationally to perfect their less-than-NBA-worthy basketball skills. With the Minnesota Timberwolves heading to compete internationally, it’s probably as good of a time as ever to discuss the players who the Timberwolves had drafted and stashed overseas once more.
The sport of basketball has truly taken over the globe. In almost every continent, basketball has become popular due to its simplicity, its all-weather utility, and the fact that it is a professional sport that can be played by no more than 10 athletes.
Guard Matteo Spagnolo is competing in the Euroleague, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have maintained his NBA Draft rights since he was selected in the 2022 NBA Draft with the 20th pick of Round 2.
He remains a future point guard prospect for the Minnesota Timberwolves and is currently on track to become a free agent at the end of the 2023-24 season. Because he is only 20 years old, he has been an ideal player to stash in the Euroleague for two years. But when veteran PG Mike Conley Jr.’s contract expires, the Timberwolves have an instant replacement already in the works.
Center Henk Norel had competing in the Netherlands, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have maintained his NBA Draft rights since he was selected in the 2009 NBA Draft with the 17th pick of Round 2. He last competed professionally in the 2020-21 season.
Center Paulao Prestes is competing in Brazil, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have maintained his NBA Draft rights since he was selected in the 2010 NBA Draft with the 15th pick in Round 2. He last completed professionally in the 2015-15 season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently hold the rights to just one international player, PG Matteo Spagnolo. That could change in the future, but for now, it appears that Timberwolves President Tim Connelly has more interest in stockpiling talent than future assets for the team.