Gomes fits in with Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS -- In his first season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ryan Gomes got comfortable. The forward, acquired from Boston in the Kevin Garnett trade, played in all 82 games last season for the first time in his three-year NBA ca...
MINNEAPOLIS -- In his first season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ryan Gomes got comfortable.
The forward, acquired from Boston in the Kevin Garnett trade, played in all 82 games last season for the first time in his three-year NBA career. He also set career bests in games started (74) and rebounds (5.8) and points (12.6) per game.
It's no wonder Gomes wanted to stay. In the offseason, he agreed to a multiyear contract, guaranteeing him $7.3 million through this year and next. The Wolves have an option to keep him after the second and third years of the deal; Gomes has a player option after the fourth; the total deal could be worth $22 million.
As of right now, it appears it could be a long-term fit.
"I was already traded one time, so I didn't want to be changing addresses again," Gomes, 26, said. "I think it worked out the best for both parties, and that's what it comes down to when you're doing negotiations."
His contract secure, Gomes has spent the preseason getting ready to do whatever it takes to get on the floor. At 6-7, he has experience at both forward positions. Though he has proven to be a solid outside shooter, other parts of his game have been just as valuable to the team.
Teams shot 47.2 percent against the Timberwolves a year ago, fourth-highest in the league, so coach Randy Wittman has stressed defense all preseason.
One of Gomes' jobs so far has been to maintain defensive sharpness.
"He's been one of our best team defenders," Wittman said. "And that's what this team is going to have to do. We don't have a lot of individual lock-down guys."
Gomes knows his numbers might not always show up on the scoreboard. But he's fine with keeping foes off it, too.
"Some guys come into this league and are bona fide scorers, some are playmakers," Gomes said. "You have to find your niche and do what your coach asks you.
"Some nights it's not going to be a scoring night for you. But after the game if your (role) was to be a defender or whatever the case may be, as long as the coaching staff is happy with what you did, you can live with yourself even though it maybe wasn't a productive night on offense."
Gomes' team-first philosophy was relayed to 12-year veteran Kevin Ollie, currently fighting for a roster spot as the Wolves' third point guard. Ollie almost sounded proud to be sharing the court with a young player proclaiming these sentiments.
"That's what makes him efficient on the basketball court," Ollie said. "He's a point guard's dream. He gets the ball and shoots it, gets us a lot of assists. And his team defense is straight desire."
Even with a defensive-minded approach at times, Gomes will have his scoring nights.
Whichever role it might be as the season wears on, Gomes relishes the opportunity to be versatile.
"First and foremost, I want it to be a healthy season and again get in all the games," Gomes said. "Starter, coming off the bench, defense, posting up -- whatever it entails. I'm glad to be back, glad a deal got done for me to play here."