MINNEAPOLIS – When Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless entered their hotel rooms in Minnesota, they found the right gift from Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns: winter clothes.
After the overnight temperature dropped to 7 degrees, the newest team members through the Philadelphia trade Jimmy Butler welcomed the best player in Minnesota. Butler's weird and retreat button created an atmosphere of ice around the organization, but now that the deal is finally over, the wolves have begun to try to warm the atmosphere back.
"We can not wait to go into the yard, put that shirt down and put it on this city," Covington said at a Target Center press conference on Tuesday afternoon that had just a little less pocketbook than Butler's open-to-public introduction to Mall of America less than 17 months ago.
While Butler officially joined the 76-year-old, Wolves returned after a Brooklyn pressure victory on Monday morning following a 0-5 road trip.
Neither Covington nor Saric played against Nets, but they are about to speak on the night of Wednesday night against New Orleans. Bayless is injured, rehabilitating a knee as a hiperexed, and with a bunch of guards on the list, he does not expect to see the playing time even when it's healthy. Both Covington and Saric were beginners for Sixers, who finished third at the Eastern Conference last season at 52-30.
"They are both young, and they will improve, both of which are very good defensive." They both both pull 3. We think they fit well with the guys we have, "said basketball coach and coach Tom Thibodeau. "Once we got to the point where we felt we were getting more rotating players, then we felt it would be time to run the deal. When we first started it was not the case.
Regarding whether Timberwolves could be better without Butler, All-Star four times with exceptional skills at both ends of the field, Thibodeau degraded.
"We have to focus on who he is here. We think we have a good and young core and we have to rely on that," Thibodeau said.
Covington is the central element of the package.
In the age of 27, who debuted outside Tennessee and started in the NBA with Houston in the 2013-14 season, has career quarters of 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists on the game, with a shot shot of 35.9 from the 3-point. Covington's 6-meter 9 was an All-Defensive team that chose last season with 315 career deflections and a defensive rating of 99.0 that led all stages in the league with at least 30 minutes on the game . He was the 9th in the NBA in anger, with an average of 1.7 on the game.
This is the area where Timberwolves will help most, the area where Butler has been acquired to improve the situation.
"To stay in this league and be effective, you have to go downstairs and stop someone at the other end," Covington said, adding, "I think I watched several movies the first few years later than I did, I've seen the whole life as they are just boys and I see how I read things and build my habits to watch the players and everything. So I'd say the earlier seasons are when it all started to give in. "
Saric, 24, was named in the All-Rookie First team between 2016-17. The Croatian native has career quarters of 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He pushed 39.3% last season by 3 points.
Covington probably completes Butler's departure. Thibodeau could move Taj Gibson to the second unit and keep Saric as a starter. Saric, who was the 12th general player of 2014, is the classic "stretch four" with a power of magnitude and a small shot. He went well with the center of Sixers Joel Embiid, so Towns has the potential to complete the game.
"KAT draws much better than the 3-point line than Joel and it seems we can play with each other," Saric said, adding: "If I find a way to play with Joel, I think I can find a way play with KAT. "
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