Chris Finch to try 11-man rotation early in Timberwolves’ season

Chris Finch loved the competition level throughout training camp. He raved about the team’s depth and camaraderie, something that appears to have carried into the early portion of the regular season.

Finch feels he has 14 players who could help Minnesota on a nightly basis. It’s why he’s trying to keep 11 in Minnesota’s rotation early in the campaign. Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, Jaden McDaniels, Josh Okogie, Naz Reid, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jordan McLaughlin, Jarred Vanderbilt and Taurean Prince are all slated to see consistent minutes.

Such a deep rotation is a rarity in today’s NBA, where most teams feature 10, nine or even eight players on the floor in a competitive contest. But Finch wants to keep players engaged and feeling as though they’re a part of what the team is doing. Plus, he just thinks those players bring things that help Minnesota win.

Getting that many guys legitimate minutes will likely test the coach’s ability to manage substitutions.

“We try to chart out all of our rotations, but it’s just a rough guide,” Finch said. “So, when you get to that deep of a rotation, it can be feel like a little more at times, too. It’s our intent to try to get 11 guys on the floor and keep the energy high.”

Minnesota will likely feature plenty of lineups where two of Beverley, McLaughlin and Russell are on the floor; Finch values having multiple ball-handlers in action at once. The Wolves will also combine bigs Reid and Towns from time to time.

And it’s possible there will be games where the Timberwolves don’t quite get all 11 into the game.

“We’re going to try to play guys,” Finch said, “but if the game unfolds in a different manner, then we’ll read the game.”

G-LEAGUE DRAFT

The G-League draft was held Saturday, with the Iowa Wolves fortifying their roster under the direction of Gianluca Pascucci, the Timberwolves’ assistant general manager.

Iowa selected Michael Gbinije — who played for the Pistons in the 2016-17 season — with the No. 9 pick but traded for a 2022 first-round pick. Then Wolves selected Ruot Monyyong, a rookie out of Arkansas-Little Rock, and traded Samir Doughty for two picks that turned into Gary Chivichyan and Devonta Patterson, players who went undrafted in the NBA Draft in 2020.

LOCAL UPDATES

St. Paul product Jalen Suggs is averaging 12 points, 4.5 assists and four rebounds two games into his rookie season with the Magic.

In his second NBA season, Apple Valley’s Tre Jones has appeared in each of San Antonio’s first two games. Tre’s brother, Tyus, tallied nine points and five assists in Memphis’ season opener.

Apple Valley’s Gary Trent Jr. scored 20 points in Toronto’s win Friday over Boston.


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