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Wolves sign Amile Jefferson to two-way contract

Amile Jefferson signed a two-way contract with the Timberwolves on Monday, a deal that would allow him to spend up to 45 days with Minnesota.

 

 

Jefferson, 24, is with the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G League, averaging 18 points and leading the league with 13.1 rebounds per game. The 6-9 forward was undrafted out of Duke last spring.

NBA teams can sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man roster. They can spend no more than 45 days with the big club during the season. Anthony Brown is also on a two-way contract with the Wolves.

Bjelica is finding his rhythm with Wolves

At the start of the fourth quarter of the Timberwolves’ victory over New York on Friday night, coach Tom Thibodeau went with a lineup of Karl-Anthony TownsGorgui DiengJamal CrawfordTyus Jones and Nemanja Bjelica.

That’s one starter and four reserves. Two big guys, but an entire lineup capable of hitting a three-pointer, especially Towns, Crawford and Bjelica, who was asked to play the small forward in that lineup.

The result: Towns fed Bjelica for a three-pointer to start the quarter. Minutes later Towns hit Bjelica cutting to the basket for a layup. Shortly after that Towns hit a three-pointer of his own. Then, with 8 minutes, 19 seconds left in the game, Towns fed Bjelica for another three, putting the Wolves — who started the quarter up one — up 11. Before Thibodeau started putting his starters back in the game at mid-quarter, the Wolves had outscored the Knicks 19-6, with Bjelica scoring eight and Towns six. The Wolves, with excellent spacing, hit four of five three-pointers.

For Bjelica, it appears the rust of having missed 15 games with left mid-foot sprain has come off. He entered Sunday’s game against Portland at Target Center having shot better than 64 percent overall and 4-for-8 on three-pointers during the Wolves’ homestand.

“I found the rhythm,” Bjelica said. “And the second unit, we finally found our rhythm. I think we helped change the rhythm of that game. We brought extra energy and we shared the ball.”

It wasn’t long ago that the wolves bench struggled to hold leads, especially at the start of fourth quarters. Which is why the lineup that includes Bjelica at small forward could be so interesting.

His size allows him to challenge three-pointer on closeouts at the defensive end. It also gives the Wolves flexibility when switching on pick-and-rolls. “It’s hard,” Bjelica said of playing small forward. “It’s especially hard in this league. But it’s good for me.”

Final, 1/14 1 2 3 4 F
Portland 22-21 33 10 31 29 103
Minnesota 29-16 31 26 34 29 120

NBA Scoreboard

  • Charlotte

    Detroit

     

    - F

    118

    107

  • Toronto

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    111

    117

  • Milwaukee

    Washington

     

    - F

    104

    95

  • San Antonio

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    99

    102

  • New York

    Brooklyn

     

    - F

    119

    104

  • Miami

    Chicago

     

    - F

    111

    119

  • LA Lakers

    Memphis

     

    - F

    114

    123

  • Golden State

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    118

    108

  • Sacramento

    Oklahoma City

     

    - F

    88

    95

  • Indiana

    Utah

     

    - F

    109

    94

  • Houston

    LA Clippers

     

    - F

    102

    113

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