Timberwolves' D-League team holding open tryout at Target Center tomorrow
Sure, it's not as sexy as Madison Square Garden, but making a D-League roster means you're just one step away from the NBA.
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That's because the Timberwolves' likely Developmental League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, is hosting an open tryout at the Target Center tomorrow morning.
Mad Ants spokesperson Kevin Bloom tells us he hopes the tryout, which is the first the team has held in Minneapolis, will be "the start to a great relationship."
Last year, two players who took part in a Mad Ants-organized tryout in Fort Wayne ended up on the team's training camp roster, with one of them making the squad and sticking around for about half the season before being released.
Bloom says the team "is definitely hoping we get one or two guys" in Minneapolis.
The tryout isn't free, however. Those who want to take their shot at a D-League roster spot have to pay $200 to the Mad Ants for the opportunity. Registration begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow at the Timberwolves' Target Center practice facility, with the tryout to follow at 8. It should be wrapped up by noon or so. (For more information about the tryout, click here.)
The Mad Ants are the only independent team out of the 18 in the D-League. The 17 others are either owned by NBA teams or have exclusive relationships with one of them, meaning the Wolves will likely share the Mad Ants will 12 other squads.
We say "likely share" rather than "will share" because the Wolves haven't confirmed that the Mad Ants will be their affiliate for the 2014-15 season.
We asked Timberwolves spokesman Brad Ruiter if he could confirm the team's relationship with Fort Wayne.
"We haven't officially announced anything yet, please stay tuned for an announcement soon," he wrote back to us in an email.
But Bloom says he fully expects the Mad Ants to be the Wolves' affiliate.
"I don't want to say 'officially,' but what we heard is that unless the Wolves were to make their own team before the start of the season, we will be working with them," he says.
One way or the other, the D-League is as close to the NBA as you can get without actually being in the league, and a good tryout Saturday means you'll have a chance, even if it's slim, of getting there.
But don't expect to get rich in the process. Bloom tells us entry-level D-Leaguers make about $15,000-$17,000 over the course of the six-month season.
h/t -- Nick Halter
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