Summertime Hoopin

I just spent fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents to watch glorified pickup basketball on my computer.

LeBron James clinched his second consecutive championship on June 20, Shabazz Muhammad [eventually] put on his new Minnesota hat on June 27, and Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin reached agreements to stay with and join the T-Wolves on July 2.

It’s now July 9, the Orlando Summer League is already underway, and the Timberwolves open things up against the D-League Select Team in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 13. We’ve reached the point on the increasingly-replete NBA Calendar where players new, hopeful and — if we’re being honest — hopeless take their talents to Disney World or Sin City for organized, televised, pickup ball.

For Timberwolves fans that drop the fifteen bucks and watch, this’ll mostly be about Shabazz Muhammad. It’s our one chance to get a look at the enigmatic star Bruin before the preseason in October.

Is he quick? Can he shoot? Will he pass? How are his mannerisms — is he selfish, or a team player?

We’ll rush to judgments on those questions and more as we get our first impression of the newest and youngest Wolves wing.

Beyond Shabazz, I suppose we’ll also get a look at Gorgui Dieng, his fellow first rounder. The 23-year old national champ has been billed as “NBA-ready” so it would be nice to see evidence of that when he faces lesser foes in Vegas.

Aside from the upcoming games in Vegas, we’re in for a slow couple of months. The Wolves are capped out. Dwight chose a destination. Until the inevitable Derrick Williams trade (I swear, it is!) we’ll probably be a little bit low on content.

But in the meantime, I threw down fifteen bucks for SUMMER LEAGUE LIVE, so we’ll have write-ups on some of the Vegas performances.

Thanks for reading.

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