MINNEAPOLIS — Three rookie draft picks, two former Big Ten stars and one Minnesota veteran highlight the Timberwolves’ 2013 NBA Summer League roster, released Monday.
As expected, draft selections Shabazz Muhammad (first round, 14th overall), Gorgui Dieng (first, 21st) and Lorenzo Brown (second, 52nd) will join 12 other players in Las Vegas for a round-robin and subsequent tournament slate that begins Saturday. Current Timberwolves forward Chris Johnson, Purdue product Robbie Hummel and Illinois rookie free agent Brandon Paul are also on the list.
Headed up by player development coaches David Adelman and Shawn Respert, the Timberwolves summer squad will practice in Minneapolis Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before taking on the NBA D-League Select team at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. This year’s summer league features three round-robin clashes then a bracket that culminates with a championship game July 22. Each team is guaranteed at least five contests.
It will be Muhammad, Dieng and Brown’s first test together in a Minnesota uniform after working out with Johnson at the Target Center this week. The Timberwolves fully guaranteed Johnson’s minimum salary contract for the upcoming season after he averaged 3.9 points in 9.5 minutes per game during 30 outings with Minnesota.
Both Portland and New Orleans waived Johnson last season before the Timberwolves signed him to two separate 10-day contracts, then inked him for the remainder of the season.
Minnesota drafted Hummel 58th overall in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward hasn’t remained healthy enough to try and crack an NBA roster; he tore his right ACL twice in college and underwent surgery on the same knee before this past season, which he spent playing professionally in Spain.
Paul signed with the summer team after going undrafted last month. As a senior at Illinois, the 6-4, 201-pound shooting guard scored 16.7 points and dished out 2.7 assists per game.
With three seasons under his belt, Johnson’s one of three players on the roster with multiple years of NBA experience. Forward Solomon Jones has played seven seasons — though he appeared in only two games with the New York Knicks this past campaign following a stint in China — and guard/forward Othyus Jeffers played in 31 games spread across the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
Swing man Mychel Thompson also made the team. The older brother of Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson, Mychel appeared in five games with Cleveland in 2011-12 but spent the bulk of his first two professional seasons in the D-League, most recently with the Sioux Falls SkyForce.
Rookies comprise the rest of the team.
After opening this Saturday, the Timberwolves will play Phoenix at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 and meet Miami at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. All games take place on the UNLV campus and can be viewed, with a paid subscription, on NBA.com.
Minnesota’s entire summer league roster: G/F Marqus Blakely, G Lorenzo Brown, G Kee Kee Clark, C Gorgui Dieng, G John Holland, F Robbie Hummel, G Othyus Jeffers, F Chris Johnson, C Phil Jones, F Solomon Jones, G Demitri McCarney, F Shabazz Muhammad, G Brandon Paul, F Luke Sikma, F Mychel Thompson. Coaches: David Adelman, Shawn Respert.