LAS VEGAS – Timberwolves fans are going to have to wait to get their first look at first-round draft pick Jarrett Culver.
The Wolves aren’t going to suit up Culver for any summer league games, according to a Monday announcement.
Culver is not injured, but the Wolves are concerned about overtaxing Culver’s body and risking injury by having him play in summer league.
Because the Wolves were not able to complete their draft-night trade with the Suns until Saturday, Culver was not allowed to participate in their summer league minicamp held last week at Target Center and Mayo Clinic Square.
The summer league team practiced four times without Culver, and the Wolves didn’t feel comfortable throwing him out there without first building up his endurance and conditioning. Culver is still working out while in Las Vegas.
“We’d love for him to play here but realistically he’s too important to us,” Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said. “The way things are, not having had a chance to do the full training camp with our team, not having played 5-on-5 in such a long time, he’s too important. ... For him and for us, we decided the best thing was not to have him participate.
This maybe gives some insight as to how the Wolves are going to handle players’ health under President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas. Recently, the Wolves hired Robby Sikka as vice president of basketball performance and technology.
Sikka, who previously was associate director for Mayo Clinic Sports and completed an anesthesiology residence at the University of Minnesota with a special interest in sports, physiology and technology, will help assess and improve the Wolves’ on-court performance through analytics and technology.
Part of Sikka’s job will be monitoring how Wolves players are physically performing, how tired they are and how their mental state might be affecting their production.
A backcourt boost
The Wolves made a move to acquire guard Tyrone Wallace off waivers, a source confirmed. Wallace spent the past two seasons with the Clippers. Wallace played in 62 games last season and his production slipped from 9.7 points per game to 3.5. Wallace could be a contingency plan in case the Wolves decline to match the offer sheet Tyus Jones was set to sign from Memphis, worth $28 million over three years.
Mitchell Creek scored 18 points to lead seven Wolves into double figures as they beat the Bucks 100-91 to go to 3-0 in Summer League play.
Former Gopher Jordan Murphy had 10 points and four rebounds in 10 minutes.