Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sign me up!

Timberwolves' second-round pick Bracey Wright had a shot at sticking with the parent club, at least on the inactive list, because the coaches weren't confident that the Florida Flame would use Wright enough at point guard, a position he is trying to learn.

But on Tuesday, Coach Don Casey told both players they would be heading to Fort Myers within days.

"If they're sending me there to play a new position, to learn the ins and outs of it, I don't have any problem with that," Wright said. "I've never been a point guard exclusively, so if I have to go there and learn that, it's only going to make me better."

The players are not thrilled with the move, despite dodging their first Minnesota winter. In the first year of this new "affiliate" system, NBA teams will feed players to the minor league while retaining their rights. The parent clubs, however, will not be allowed to dictate style of play, positions, minutes or other basketball decisions.

Casey said that, while they're gone, Wright (and another rookie) will not be forgotten.

"They'll be members of the team," the coach said. "They'll have all the rights and privileges of our players. The paychecks still keep coming, the per diem still keeps coming [for road games]. . . . We'll send coaches down, and we'll also bring them back to work with us once we get a few days practice. We can do that three times a year."

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