As the new president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves Flip Saunders heads to training camp next week feeling hopeful. Saunders held a Friday news conference at Target Center to discuss his thoughts about the team that will take the court Tuesday at Minnesota State Mankato. Saunders addressed a reinjured left knee suffered in recent workouts by forward Chase Budinger but he refused to let it dampen his enthusiasm for the upcoming season. "I believe we've got an opportunity to do something special" he said. Saunders who was the Wolves' general manager in 1995 before also assuming the role of coach returned to the franchise in May after the team dismissed David Kahn. He is eager to get started because everyone other than Budinger is healthy and fit he reported. After Minnesota lost an NBA-high 341 man games to injuries last season that is significant. "We look like a team that has been three to four weeks in training camp. We look pretty lean right now ... lean and ready to run" he said. The key returnee is 6-foot-10 all-star forward Kevin Love who missed 64 games because of two hand injuries last season. He has been working out informally with teammates at Target Center. Love who in 2011-12 averaged 26.0 points and led the NBA in rebounding with a 15.2 average has said publicly he was not happy with his treatment by Kahn. Asked about Love's current mind-set Saunders smiled. "I'd say two words: focused and enthusiastic" Saunders said. "Everything he has said has been 'we' and not 'I.' " The Timberwolves will begin camp with the same coach -- Rick Adelman was at work in his office Friday -- but quite a few new faces on the roster including free-agent signees Kevin Martin Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf plus rookies Shabazz Muhammad Gorgui Dieng and Lorenzo Brown. Saunders said he is looking forward to working with Adelman who the president said has returned with large measures of enthusiasm.
Timberwolves will open training camp 'lean and ready to run'
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Sep 28