Breaking down the Wolves in 2019 NBA Las Vegas Summer League
FOX Sports North
The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of eight teams to qualify for the revamped summer league tournament, going undefeated in the process before falling in the championship game. Still, a 6-1 record in Las Vegas was a good showing for the mix of young players who suited up for the Wolves.
Unfortunately, Minnesota had no draft picks from this year play. But both members of the 2018 draft class, Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop, played as did several other hopefuls who tried to make an impression on Minnesota coaches and perhaps earn a rookie contract, two-way deal or even an assignment to the Iowa Wolves.
So, who made an impression this summer for the Wolves? Let's delve in a little deeper into Minnesota's summer-league results.
Most valuable player: Mitchell Creek
Simply put, the 6-foot-6 Australian guard shot the lights out. Creek started all seven games for the Wolves and averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. He made 25 of 39 shots (64.1%), including 6 of 12 3-point attempts, and also hit 22 of 24 free-throw attempts (91.7%). Creek easily led Minnesota in offensive rating (136.1), true shooting percentage (78.7%) and effective field-goal percentage (71.8%). Creek played in five NBA games last season, including one late in the year for the Wolves. He might have a good shot (sorry!) to land on a roster again in 2019-20.
Most surprising player: Kelan Martin
Martin had a fine career at Butler, averaging over 20 points as a senior, but he went undrafted in 2018 and spent last year in Germany. In other words, he was something of an unknown heading into Las Vegas. But in what was a double surprise, the 6-7 Martin led Minnesota in both scoring (12.9) and rebounding (6.6) while averaging 21.8 minutes per game, which ranked fourth on the team. He shot a decent 48.5% from the field – 40.0% from 3 (he led the team in 3-points makes and attempts, going 14-for-35) – as well as 85.7% from the line.
Best flash of potential: Naz Reid
Minnesota signed Reid, who went undrafted after leaving LSU following his freshman year, to a two-way contract before the start of the summer league. He averaged just 18.6 minutes in seven games, but the Wolves had to like what they saw out of the 6-10 center. Reid averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists – and only 1.7 fouls – per game. He shot 46.2% from the field, making 8 of 21 (38.1%) 3-point attempts, and 88.2% from the line.
Underdog worth watching: Jordan Murphy
Let’s face it, a lot of Minnesota fans are hoping for the best for the former Gophers forward. While he played in all seven games, Murphy only averaged 14.0 minutes per game. Despite the lack of playing time, Murphy nevertheless averaged 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds, although he shot just 40.4% from the field.
Dark horse candidate: Jordan McLaughlin
Well, Minnesota could be on the lookout for point guards this year and the 6-1 former USC product might fit the bill. He was given an extensive look – starting all seven games and averaging a team-high 26.0 minutes per game. McLaughlin didn’t shoot the ball well (36.9% from the field, 31.0% on 3 attempts), but he did average 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists (compared to 2.0 turnovers) and 1.4 steals.