His peers -- particularly Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Dennis Smith, Lauri Markkanen, Kyle Kuzma and many others -- already are representing for the 2017 NBA draft class.

 

 

Meanwhile, Timberwolves' first-round pick Justin Patton plays on in the G League, waiting for his time to reach the NBA.

He has played 25 games for the Iowa Wolves on his road back from July foot surgery. He and Iowa teammates Anthony Brown and Amile Jefferson came back to the NBA team Monday evening after travel delays from Texas kept them from arriving in time for Monday's practice.

All three participated in Tuesday's shootaround before tonight's game against Houston at Target Center.

"I'm just waiting on my turn, man," said Patton, the 16th player chosen in the 2017 draft. "All those guys (from his draft class) are my guys. It's cool to see them doing what they're doing. When it's my turn, I'll be able to join in on those conversations with them."

His turn likely won't come this time around in the NBA. He and his two Iowa teammates were summoned for two games this week before the NBA All-Star break because the G League is on a 10-day schedule break itself.

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday's travel delays probably ensure none of the three will be activated to play before they return to Iowa next week.

Patton has been restricted to about 25 minutes a game because of his healing foot. His next step: Start playing more complete games, without the minutes restriction.

"I cant wait to showcase what I can do in a full game," said Patton, who is averaging 11.9 points on 51.5 percent shooting, 5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 20.1 minutes played. "Sometimes I'm out of the game. I want to see what I can do when I'm on the court the whole time."

Patton is getting his foot examined in a check-up while he's back in Minneapolis with the Timberwolves.

"Everything is pointing in the right direction," Thibodeau said. "We just want to make sure. The big part of us with Justin is the health part of it because he missed so much time. It's better for him to develop playing down there. He has gotten a lot of there."

Also from shoot this morning:

When asked what interest he has in signing Derrick Rose now that the 2011 league MVP is a free agent, Thibodeau said, "We'll see. We're always looking at different ways we can improve the club."

He also was asked which veteran he'd most likely give his whiteboard to coach the team, like Golden State's Steve Kerr did with his players in Monday's lopsided victory over Phoenix.

"I don't know, I don't think we're ready for that," he said.

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