Minnesota Timberwolves continue to grow, develop despite COVID-19 setbacks

It's been nearly a month since the NBA put its season on hold, and Timberwolves Coach Ryan Saunders perhaps speaks for us all.

"We miss basketball. I think everybody would tell you that, but health and safety, that comes first," Saunders said.

Practicing and playing are currently out of the question, but whether it's through nutrition tips or at home conditioning advice, the front office wants to remain as fully engaged with its players as it possibly can.

"We're trying to give them a sense of normalcy,” said Gersson Rosas, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. "We've got the youngest team in the NBA; we were together less than a month before the pandemic hit, and we're trying to continue the development phases that a young team needs to continue to develop and grow."

Not being able to connect on the court, however, has allowed for a chance to better connect off of it.

"We preach about family, we preach out being player-centric, these are the types of opportunities that allow you to make it a touch point that's telling about not only what we believe, but what our great staff does," Rosas said. 

"You want to make sure they feel supported, and when we're able to talk more on a deeper level, you can't help but learn more and what might make that guy tick,” Saunders added.

Rosas said the league continues to explore every possibility about not just when they'll return to play, but what will be done about the offseason when the draft, free agency and summer league roll around.

The hope is to resume the season. When that will happen, though, remains to be seen.

"We have to continue to be patient, be smart. It's been great to see how the league is united, how teams around have united and we all are working towards the same thing. We all want to get back to playing, but we all are cognizant that it's going to take time and a lot of effort," Rosas said.