The NBA officially announced Monday that the Timberwolves will play Golden State in preseason games in Shenzhen on Oct. 5 and Shanghai on Oct. 8 as part of its Global Games China 2017 series.

It will be the first time the Wolves have played in Asia since they opened the regular season against Sacramento in Tokyo in 1999.

There has been discussion the Wolves might hold training camp on the West Coast -- possibly Seattle -- before flying across the Pacific, but nothing has been determined. The Wolves likely will play a game or two stateside in a season when training camps will start a week earlier in September this time around.

The season is being lengthened to ease the number of back-to-back games and 4-in-5 nights situations.

Young Wolves stars Karl-Anthong Towns, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio already have visited China at least once each on promotional tours associated with their sponsor shoe companies.

The two preseason games against the 2015 NBA champs is the most visible examples in the Wolves' aim to make themselves something of China's Team, now that Shanghai sports-marketing exec Lizhang "John" Jiang is the first Chinese minority owner in major North American sports.

He bought five percent of the team from Glen Taylor last year.

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau visited China regularly to work out Yao Ming when he was a Houston assistant coach and he fully endorses the concept of such overseas trips.

"Those experiences for your team are invaluable," he said. "It's great team-building, but it's also learning about different cultures. For young guys particularly, it's a great experience."

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