Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was taking shots before practice Wednesday — but he wasn’t using his left hand.
Towns was unable to practice because of a left wrist injury that kept him out of the Wolves’ final game before the All-Star break, and he is expected to miss multiple games as the Wolves continue their season beginning with Friday’s matchup against Boston.
Coach Ryan Saunders did not provide a timetable for Towns’ injury or describe its severity. When asked if Towns would miss more than one game because of the injury, Saunders said, “Yes,” but provided nothing more.
“He’s still being evaluated with things,” Saunders said. “He went through the All-Star break. We’ll get back in touch with him right here.”
Towns appeared in no condition to practice any time soon in the short time reporters viewed the Wolves warming up. He was wearing a brace on his left wrist and wasn’t even using it to catch passes from assistant strength and conditioning coach Kurt Joseph.
This lack of information has been the pattern for the Wolves this season when discussing injuries. They have been vague in offering details, even in instances when players have missed weeks at a time, such as when Towns had a left knee injury and illness that caused him to miss 15 games, or when Jake Layman sprained a toe that has kept him out since November.
In the meantime, the Wolves reconvened for the first time since the All-Star break as they try to integrate seven new faces acquired in trades just before the deadline (Evan Turner is still away from the team as he remains a buyout candidate).
Towns’ injury means the development of chemistry between him and D’Angelo Russell will be delayed at least a little while. The two have played in just one game together, a loss to Toronto, since the Wolves acquired Russell.
Saunders said he was going to run Wednesday’s practice like a training camp, in which he will set goals and expectations for the remainder of the season.
“Being the youngest team in the league,” Saunders said, “we’re going to have to make sure that we grow and we don’t say, ‘Hey we’ll be better when we mature. We’ll be better in the summertime when you can focus on just development.’ We need to use all the time right now.”
Saunders said Towns’ injury won’t change the kinds of plays or systems he’ll install.
“In a way it will allow us to install more of our kind of free-flowing game with guards, with wings, with James [Johnson] handling the ball,” Saunders said. “But we know we’re thin on the front line right now. We’re going to have to be creative but also not sacrifice what we believe is the best thing for this team moving forward, that being the system.”
Beasley feeling the love
Wolves fans seemed to have taken a liking to Malik Beasley, who came from Denver in the Robert Covington multiplayer, multi-team trade. It helped that Beasley hit seven three-pointers in his Wolves debut, a win over the Clippers. Beasley said he appreciated the response.
“I play hard and work hard, and I think the fans like that out here,” Beasley said. “That’s what the motto is out here, and that’s my heart — I always play hard. So thank you, fans.”
The Wolves officially assigned Jacob Evans, Omari Spellman and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Iowa Wolves. The three came to the Wolves before the trade deadline, Evans and Spellman from Golden State, Vanderbilt from Denver.