NBA free agent Cole Aldrich says he has, “three, four, five years left playing”

Cole Aldrich (center) had been with the Minnesota Timberwolves since 2016. | File photo

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 30, Cole Aldrich remains available on the NBA’s free-agent market.

“It’s a little slow right now,” Aldrich, a 29-year-old former University of Kansas center, said this week on Darren Wolfson’s 1500 ESPN Twin Cities podcast called “The Scoop.”

“I’m basically controlling what I can control, being in the gym and weight room, making sure I’m ready to go when September rolls around,” Aldrich added.

Aldrich, a 6-11, 250-pound native of Bloomington, Minn., would be open to re-signing with his hometown Timberwolves, a team which gave him limited playing time the past two seasons. He also is willing to play for another NBA team, or a team overseas.

“I know that I’m only 29-years-old. I still have a good, three, four, five years left playing,” Aldrich told 1500 ESPN. “Something’s gonna happen,” he added with a laugh.

Aldrich, the 11th-overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, has played for six teams during his first eight years in the league. He has career averages of 3.1 points and 3.3 boards per contest.

“You never know. Obviously I would love to be back here,” Aldrich said of Minnesota. He completed two years of a three-year, $21 million deal, then after getting cut a month ago, received $2 million of $6.95 million due for the 2018-19 season.

“My two years have been great. To be here and see my family and hang out with friends a little more than what I was used to … On the court (it) was maybe a different situation than what I expected. That’s kind of how it goes,” Aldrich added. “I’m at the point of my career now where I have to find ways of getting on the court and creating value. Not playing the last two years hasn’t helped my free agency this summer.”

Minnesota reportedly has two slots available on the roster and could conceivably add Aldrich, who has a reputation as somebody who knows his role and is a positive influence on young players in the locker room. He’s easily adaptable, having played for seven head coaches in his NBA career after playing for Bill Self at KU for three campaigns.

His NBA coaches: Scott Brooks (Oklahoma City), Keith Smart (Sacramento), Kevin McHale (Houston), Mike Woodson (New York), Derek Fisher (New York), Doc Rivers (LA Clippers) and Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota).

“They all do something so differently,” Aldrich told 1500 ESPN.

As far as his possibly playing for a coach in a foreign country this season, Aldrich said that could happen.

“I think it kind of depends on the right situation,” said Aldrich, a member of KU’s 2008 NCAA title team who had his jersey No. 45 hung in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse last February. “China right now … everybody looks at it as the best thing next to the NBA. That probably is an option to some extent. I’m not totally sure right now. I love playing basketball. If it brings us (he and wife Britt) to another country then it brings us to another country. I’m doing what I love doing.”

Grimes has wisdom teeth removed

KU freshman guard Quentin Grimes is doing well after having all four of his wisdom teeth taken out Thursday, his mom said Thursday night in an instant message. Grimes, who is back home in Texas following the conclusion of summer school last week, on Thursday light-heartedly Tweeted, “Don’t get your wisdom teeth removed “wordofadvice.”

Anthony visits UNC, Wake

Cole Anthony, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard who recently announced plans to attend Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for his senior season of high school, made unofficial visits to North Carolina and Wake Forest on Wednesday, according to InsideCarolina.com. He’s yet to announce a list of schools, but is believed to be considering KU as well as UNC, Wake, Louisville, Oregon, Duke, Villanova and many others.

Anthony, the No. 2-rated player in the recruiting Class of 2019 according to Rivals.com, averaged 14.3 points and 4.2 assists a game for USA Basketball’s under-18 team, that won the FIBA Americas U18 championship in June in Canada. KU’s Self was head coach of the team, while Wake Forest’s Danny Manning was an assistant.

Mann still considering KU

Tre Mann, a 6-4 senior point guard ranked No. 30 in the recruiting Class of 2019 by Rivals.com, still has KU, Florida and Tennessee on his list of schools following the re-opening of his recruitment on July 13. Those schools had been his finalists. The Des Moines Register reports that he also has heard from North Carolina, Iowa State, North Carolina State, USC, Indiana, Louisville and others.


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