Wolves Friday: Six sign for training camp
MINNEAPOLIS — The Timberwolves announced Friday that they signed six additional players to their training camp roster: Will Conroy, Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, Phil Jones, Seth Tarver and Jermaine Taylor. With the signings, the training camp roster is complete, set at the league maximum 20 players.
Conroy, 29, was a college teammate of Brandon Roy's. The two remain close friends, and his signing is no surprise. Conroy, a point guard, has not played in the NBA since he appeared with the Rockets in 2010, but he was in training camp last year with the Timberwolves. That experience led him to suggest Minnesota as a potential team for Roy when he began contemplating a comeback.
Harris, 29, played with the Timberwolves at summer league in Las Vegas this summer. The small forward has limited NBA experience, with the Rockets and Wizards, and has spent the majority of his career playing overseas and in the D-League.
Johnson, a 27-year-old big man, played 27 games in the NBA last season, first with the Trail Blazers and then with the Hornets. Both teams waived him. He has spent the majority of his time since finishing at LSU in 2005 in the D-League and overseas.
Taylor, a 25-year-old shooting guard, has played for the Rockets and the Kings since finishing college in 2009. Neither Tarver nor Jones has played in the NBA.
These signings are basically to fill space; NBA rosters cannot carry more than 15 players, and even with Rubio's injury, it's unlikely that the team signs more than one additional player for the regular season.
Kevin Love, Twins slugger : On Friday, Love took advantage of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's invitation to attend batting practice before the team's game against the Tigers. Love made a bet with his buddies before throwing out Wednesday's first pitch that he'd be able to hit a home run, but he wasn't able to take live batting practice that day. Two days later, he got a second chance, and he made the most of it, hitting four home runs, one into the second deck.
Andrei Kirilenko in Minnesota: The Timberwolves officially introduced Kirilenko on Friday, one day after he arrived in Minnesota. The former Jazz player had a lot to say about his own career and the Timberwolves, which can be found in a separate story. However, here are a few more tidbits from his press conference and media availability:
Kirilenko's wife, Masha, and sons, Fedya and Stepan, will move to Minnesota next month. He said they support the move fully and that his sons, who were born in Utah, are more American than Russian. One downside, though: they were all excited for the prospect of watching NHL hockey, which is currently locked out.
Kirilenko also joked about the athletic future of his older son, Fedya, whom he said he hopes will end up at about 6 feet tall. He's a tennis player, though, Kirilenko said, and he doubts he'll play basketball like his father, even if he might eventually have the height to at least play point guard.
When the Timberwolves signed Kirilenko in July, there was an element of surprise; many thought that Nets owner and native Russian Mikhail Prokhorov would lure him to New Jersey. Kirilenko refused to comment on that or give any further details about other teams who pursued him, reiterating several times that all that matters is that he's with the Timberwolves.
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