Training camp is still two months away, but Timberwolves rookie Tyus Jones is getting busy.

He will throw out the first pitch at Thursday night's Twins-Seattle game at Target Field and headline the team's annual caravan tour that will visit Alexandria, Mankato and Rochester next week.

Assistant coaches Sam Mitchell and Ryan Saunders will join Jones on the three-day trip. So, too, will Crunch, of course.

They'll make appearances and give clinics for ages 5-18 at the Alexandria Area YMCA on Tuesday, Bresnan Arena Taylor Center in Mankato on Wednesday and the Rochester Family YMCA on Thursday. The events are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day.

Also:

* Wolves center Gorgui Dieng is in South Africa this week making appearances and preparing to play in the first NBA game ever held in Africa. It'll be shown on ESPN at 8 a.m. Twin Cities time Saturday. Dieng, Luol Deng, Bismack Biyombo, Luc Mbah a Moute, Al-Farouq Aminu, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nicolas Batum and others will play for Team Africa coached by Gregg Popovich. Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, Trey Burke, Kenneth Faried, Marc and Pau Gasol, Jeff Green and others will play for Team World coach by Lionel Hollins.

* And we're still waiting on the release of the NBA schedule, which seems to come out later and later each year. Last year, it didn't arrive until August's second week, presumably delayed by reconfiguring needed after LeBron James decided to leave Miami to go back home to Cleveland.

This time? Well, expect it either next week or the week after even though the NHL schedule has been out for weeks and weeks already.

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