San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard needs more time to get his injured thigh muscle right, meaning he won’t play when the Spurs open their season Wednesday against the Wolves.
Leonard didn’t play at all in camp or preseason, after a year where he averaged 25.5 points and finished behind Russell Westbrook and James Harden in the MVP race.
Wolves sign Williams
The Timberwolves signed NBA veteran free-agent Shawne Williams on Friday but are expected to waive him as soon as Saturday.
By doing so, their new Iowa Wolves team in the G League will get his rights. The 31-year-old Williams has played with Indiana, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, the Lakers, Miami and Detroit in an NBA career that started in 2006 but has been interrupted by substance-abuse issues and drug arrests. A 6-9 combo forward, he last played 19 games for the Pistons in 2015.
The Wolves also signed swingman Anthony Brown to a two-way G League contract. Owners of the G-League draft’s No. 1 pick this year, the Iowa Wolves still need to fill out nearly an entire roster before their season begins in early November.
Iowa coaches named
Former Gophers standout Kevin Burleson will be an assistant coach in Iowa, along with Ryan Marchand and Charlie Bell.
Burleson has been player development coach for the Rockets for the past three seasons. Bell, a former Michigan State standout, was assistant coach for the Texas Legends of the G League last season. Marchand was a video assistant with the Timberwolves in 2011-12 and has worked for three G League teams.
Staff writer Jerry Zgoda controbintued to this report.