The 2019 NBA Summer League has been a mixed bag for top prospects, with No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson appearing for less one full game and No. 2 pick Ja Morant absent entirely. On Monday, word broke that another lottery pick will not be taking the floor at all in Las Vegas, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves will be taking a cautious approach with No. 6 pick Jarrett Culver.
In similar fashion to No. 4 pick De’Andre Hunter and others, Culver wasn’t able to practice with the Wolves in advance of Summer League due to trade machinations and the seemingly never-ending moratorium. As a result, he missed Minnesota’s first game and, though he technically could have played on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, the Wolves notably announced that Culver would sit out for the purpose of “rest.”
Culver’s absence isn’t exceedingly noteworthy in the grand scheme, as there is an argument to be made that simply taking the floor for three or four Summer League games won’t have an overarching impact on his development. As such, the Wolves seem to be making the calculation that it is better for Culver to simply put in work outside of the Las Vegas bubble and it all stems from the weirdness surrounding draft-night trades.
Fans of the Wolves are undoubtedly disappointed that they won’t be able to monitor the progress of the team’s top rookie but, in an overall sense, there is no harm done here and Minnesota will be able to deploy Culver in training camp without any restriction.