Nice Luka update: It’s a “win-win”

HawkNorth

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Nov 24, 2003
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Luka Garza is in win-win situation with Timberwolves​

The former Hawkeyes standout will play in Iowa when he is assigned to the G League team.​

By Kent Youngblood Star Tribune
October 17, 2022 — 7:43pm
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Whether he's here with the Timberwolves or with the Iowa Wolves of the G-League, Luka Garza feels like he's in the perfect situation.

A free-agent forward, the former national and Big Ten player of the year signed with the Wolves in August. After a strong training camp, Garza's contract was converted by the Wolves into a two-way deal; teams are allowed two players on two-way deals. Eric Paschall is the other Wolves two-way player.

"It was incredible,'' said the 6-11 Garza. "I was very happy to have come in here with a goal. Many goals. But that was the first step for me. That was the first goal to accomplish. And now it's on to the next one. I think the biggest thing is that I've loved it here since the moment I got here.''

For Garza, it's the perfect fit. When he's with the Wolves, he'll get to observe and learn from Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. When he's in Iowa, he'll be working in the state he's adopted as his second home.

"The coaching staff, the system, the players, everything kinds of fit me really well,'' said Garza, who was the national player of the year as a senior at Iowa, scoring 24.1 points per game with 8.7 rebounds. "For a young big in this league there is no better environment to be in, with the best offensive big in the league and the best defensive big man. What better guys to learn from?''

And Iowa?

"That was one of the draws to coming here. Being able to develop my game, but to do it in a place that is basically my second home,'' Garza said. "I'm from [Washington] D.C., but now it feels like I'm from Iowa. So I'm super excited.''

Garza was drafted by Detroit in the second round of the 2021 draft. He appeared in 32 games with the Pistons last season, starting five, averaging 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds. He also averaged 20.6 points in 16 games with Detroit's G-League franchise, the Motor City Cruise.

"Congrats to him, first and foremost,'' Wolves coach Chris Finch said. "He did a really good job. He earned it. This is a great system [for him]. He can shoot, he can score in the post. What I like about him is that his decision-making without the ball is really high-level. He knows where to screen, where to be, how to create movement. In our offense that's really important.''

Garza appeared in four preseason games, averaging 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8.0 minutes.

He does appear to fit in well with a system that likes to run a lot of the offense through the bigs.

"Whether it's screen-setting, or delay action, whatever the case may be, the bigs can really dictate a lot of the flow and pace within our offense,'' Garza said. "Me being a guy who can stretch the floor but also score inside, I can pass a little bit; I'm working on that part of the game.''

That is one of the skills the Wolves want Garza to work on, either here or in Iowa.

"I'm a guy who has always been a scorer,'' he said. "It's not like I can't pass, but most of the teams I've been on my role was to score the ball. Now it's harnessing my ability to pass, make plays out of the pocket, in pick and roll.'
 

skydog0784

HR All-American
Sep 11, 2013
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Very happy for Luka (and AJ Green getting a two way with the Bucks),

Hopefully Joe W can stick with the Cavs or elsewhere.
 

iowa surfer

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Aug 22, 2005
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Does seem like a great fit for his game and he will always have some tailwinds playing some games in Iowa.

No reason he cannot become a better passer, the guy just works.

I hope he can make the 15 man roster asap as he is instant offense, energy and High IQ off the bench.
Improve at 3pt shot. Luka will improve overall. He works at getting better.
 

Ronman

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Jan 4, 2004
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Planet Iowa
Luka is kind of between a rock and a hard place. He keeps proving he it too good to be playing in the G Leagues, but for whatever reason, not thought to be good enough to play in the NBA. I'd really like the Wolves to bring him up and give him a game where they actually play to his strengths, just to see how he does. Then, if he fails, he has a decision to make. Maybe Europe would be a better home for his talents, or he can continue to dominate in the G League and bank the cash.
 

LetsGoHawks83

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Mar 20, 2015
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I'm definitely not an expert, but I don't see how he doesn't get a permanent spot on the MN Wolves. He'd at least show that bum Karl Anthony Towns how to play hard.
 
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HawkAssassin

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Jun 24, 2016
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Karl Anthony Towns is out for 4-6 weeks with an injury. He plays more power forward for them now, but a crack is opening in the rotation.