Minnesota needs some depth along the front line — Kevin Love had hand surgery this week and is out at least two more months, and also out injured are Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy, Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee.
So Minnesota reached overseas and signed French national Mickael Gelabale, reports the Associated Press. He is expected to join the team Friday.
Unless you watch a lot of Spanish league ball (he had been playing for Valencia), you most recently may have seen Gelabale playing for France in the London Olympics (and looking pretty good doing it.
Gelabale played a couple seasons for the Sonics, most recently back in 2008.
Minnesota is hoping he can step in and fill the role they hoped Howard would, as a small forward with a little punch off the bench. Gelabale came to the NBA with potential but never really developed — four years getting a lot of burn in Europe seemed to change that, from what I saw during the Olympics (admittedly, a small sample size). This could be a good move for the Timberwolves, but it’s not some dramatic game changer.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.