Anthony Randolph doesn't get off the bench in latest Wolves loss
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Anthony Randolph made his Minnesota Timberwolves debut Wednesday. Sort of. He was present and spoke to reporters before the game but never got off the bench in the Wolves 104-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
"It was good for him to see what was going on. We have a practice tomorrow and he can get more comfortable, more secure with what we are doing," coach Kurt Rambis said.
Much like president of basketball operations David Kahn did a day earlier, Rambis minimized expectations for Randolph and used all the cliché buzzwords reserved for athletes considered to be projects.
"We will see how all the pieces fit together," Rambis said. "I don't know right now. We were just very intrigued with Randolph from his size, his height, his length, his versatility, his age."
Kahn had said the team has been interested in Randolph since last spring but Rambis admitted to not knowing a whole lot about the player that was drafted 14th overall in 2008 by Golden State.
"(Don't know) a whole lot," Rambis said. "Saw him play the majority of his minutes in the Golden State situation so that is going back awhile. We like his versatility. We like the fact that he plays in the areas on the floor that we like our big guys to be able to be comfortable it. His ability to handle the basketball, shoot the ball, defend a couple three different positions."
"Recently, haven't seen him play a whole lot (of him)."
When asked if he liked the trade, Rambis replied, "Can you ask me that question again in a while?"
One of the head-scratching aspects of the trade is that Rambis has bemoaned the youth and inexperience of his team on a daily basis and has attributed much of his team's shortcomings to being the youngest team in the league. By trading for Randolph the team got even younger, at age 21, Randolph is the third youngest player on the roster behind Michael Beasley and Jonny Flynn.
"Adding another young guy to this team wasn't my ideal situation but he is a very, very intriguing ball player," Rambis said, making sure to once again fit in the buzzword 'intriguing.'
After acquiring Darko Milicic at the deadline last year, this is the second consecutive year that Wolves have made a deal at the deadline with the New York Knicks for someone not finding playing time. Darko settled right away and averaged 25 minutes in the final 24 games of the season but Rambis views Randolph's situation differently.
"We were in need for a center at that time," he said. "I don't know if we are in need of his position right now."
Randolph met with the media prior to the game and it was difficult to tell if he was disinterested or just shy, but he answered 19 questions in just fewer than four minutes, often not elaborating beyond a single sentence.
Randolph didn't want to talk about what went wrong in New York -- the second time he has been traded in three years -- just saying that it was "just one of those situations," but he is excited to be in Minnesota.
"It is great," he said. "The city kind of surprised me. It's a great city and the players here and the coaches here, it is a great organization so I hope I fit in."
Despite the two trades and failing to find a home with two high profile coaches in Don Nelson and Mike D'Antoni, Randolph doesn't feel he has something to prove.
"All I have to do is prove things to myself and my teammates and this organization."
After averaging just 7.5 minutes per game with the Knicks this season, Randloph admits there is rust and his conditioning isn't up to where he wants it to be but he is excited he may have an opportunity to get on the floor in Minnesota.
"I want to get out there on the basketball court and play. That is my main focus. And win games," he said. "I can't wait to get on the floor and play again. It was hell sitting on that bench watching a game I love."
His next opportunity to get off the bench is this Friday against the New Orleans Hornets.