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Robert Covington ‘on course’ to be ready for Timberwolves training camp

Robert Covington, Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas says small forward Robert Covington is “on course” to be ready for the start of training camp.

Covington underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on April 1. The swingman last played for the Timberwolves on Dec. 31, 2018:

The Timberwolves acquired Robert Covington from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Jimmy Butler trade last season. Covington averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22 games with Minnesota while shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 37.2 percent from beyond the arc and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Covington is the best perimeter defender for the Timberwolves, who missed the playoffs last season. The Chicago native didn’t play a single game under head coach Ryan Saunders after the Timberwolves fired Tom Thibodeau. The bone bruise Covington dealt with was more serious than initially thought.

Minnesota will need Covington to play at a high level if it wants to compete in the rugged Western Conference next season. The Timberwolves lost Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Tyus Jones this summer in free agency, three players who played a key role on last year’s team.

Surrounding All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns with shooters and guys who can penetrate defenses seems to be a priority for Rosas and the Timberwolves. When he’s healthy, Covington is a sound 3-and-D wing who makes winning plays on both ends of the court.