By Jerry Zgoda
The next-generation Timberwolves gathered together for the first time today at their Target Center facility to meet the media before they all hopped a Mankato-bound bus.
Shaun Livingston isn’t coming along for the ride. According to Kevin McHale and Jim Stack, their efforts to sign the former Los Angeles Clippers guard are over and they said he instead has chosen Miami, a signing that has been neither confirmed nor announced.
The Wolves instead will sign 11-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie, who’s more a point guard than the combo guard the team seeks to back up Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair. Ollie, 35, has played with 10 different NBA teams and spent the past three seasons with the 76ers. He started 23 games for Philly in both the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons and averaged 7.5 minutes to 40 games (no starts) last season.
The Wolves still will keep their eyes open for that elusive combo guard who can play three positions if they can find him. Meanwhile, they will take a gander at Ollie and summer-league team prospect Blake Ahearn.
Also, second-year forward Chris Richard signed his one-year qualifying offer as expected and joined his teammates for a two-hour photo shoot and interview session. He wasn’t present for last year’s media day because he didn’t sign a one-year deal until the day practice began.
The Wolves open the first of two-a-day practices Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Mankato. Al Jefferson said he’s feeling “wonderful” after spraining a knee ligament, has begun running and will participate in non-contact action in Mankato. I’d expect he’d get back at it in practice for real sometime next week and might be ready to play perhaps sometime after the first couple of preseason games.