After a day off Saturday, the Wolves returned to work Sunday. But their practice facility remained empty.
For the second session in a row the Wolves practiced on the Target Center court. They held their scrimmage there Friday evening, and the players wanted to get back to that court Sunday, which was fine with coach Tom Thibodeau.
“I thought it was good,’’ he said of Friday’s scrimmage. “And everybody wanted to do it again. I think it’s just getting used to the new court and stuff.’’
The newly renovated Target Center will make its official debut in Friday’s home opener. But the players and coaches have had a good look at it.
“It’s good,’’ Thibodeau said. “It’s great. It’s phenomenal. They did an amazing job. It’s hard to believe it’s the same place.’’
And maybe working out in Target Center was good for the team. Thibodeau said the past two workouts were the best of training camp.
Thibodeau was hoping the shootaround Friday morning and the scrimmage that night would make up for the fact his team got in only three preseason games, because of its trip to China. He thinks it did. And that energy carried over to Sunday.
“I think guys are getting the jet lag out, and it’s good,’’ Thibodeau said. “We had really high energy in the scrimmage, and then in practice today, too.’’
G League bound?
Thibodeau said he’s “hopeful” the three players the Wolves waived on Saturday — training-camp invitees Amile Jefferson and Melo Trimble and just-signed NBA veteran Shawne Williams — end up on the franchise’s new G League team in Iowa.
Williams was signed Friday and waived Saturday so the Iowa team gets his G-League rights. Former Duke forward Jefferson and former Maryland guard Trimble have trained at the Wolves’ downtown facility since August. Both players and their agents now must decide what’s best for their future.
“I thought Amile and Melo, they were great,” Thibodeau said. “They brought a lot to practice. They’re two young guys who are learning the pro game. That’s what that league is there for. I like them both a lot. I think they both have bright futures.”
The Wolves have signed only Anthony Brown for one of their two new two-way roster spots and have the other open while they wait to see what other players around the NBA might be available. “We’ll see what develops,” Thibodeau said.
Options picked up
As expected, the Wolves exercised fourth-year options on big man Karl-Anthony Towns and point guard Tyus Jones.
The options are for the 2018-19 season. But there is a chance the issue could be moot for the players.
Towns, 21, averaged 25.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season, starting all 82 games for the second straight season. The 7-0 forward/center set a franchise single-season high with 2,061 points while grabbing 1,007 rebounds, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to scored 2,000 or more and have 1,000 or more rebounds in a season.
For all these reasons, Towns could very well be signed to an extension before the option year arrives.
Jones, also 21, averaged 3.5 points, 2.6 assists and 12.9 minutes while appearing in 60 games last season, his second in the league. He has emerged as the top contender to back up starting point guard Jeff Teague.
Staff Writer Jerry Zgoda contributed to this report.