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Randolph's role uncertain with Timberwolves

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

By Dave Campbell, AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- Anthony Randolph stood tall in front of a pack of cameras, recorders and reporters outside Minnesota's locker room as he talked about his new team and his fresh start.

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The 21-year-old, traded for a second time in his three-year NBA career, barely smiled and spoke softly as he answered questions about his potential, his conditioning and his expectations.

But the 6-foot-11 Randolph insisted he's eager for this opportunity, after being sent by the New York Knicks to the Timberwolves as part of the Carmelo Anthony mega-deal.

"It was hell sitting on that bench, just watching a game I love to play," Randolph said before Wednesday's game against Memphis.

He scored 35 points over 17 games with the Knicks.

"I've got a lot of rust to shake off. It's been a while," Randolph said.

The 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft by the Golden State Warriors after one season at LSU has been a project in every sense of the word since turning pro, but the Timberwolves have been acquiring plenty of those in recent years as they rebuild.

Coach Kurt Rambis stopped short of an open-armed welcome but reiterated what basketball boss David Kahn said about Randolph's high ceiling as a center or at either of the forward spots with a team that wants to run.

"We were just very very intrigued by his size, his height, his length, his versatility, his age," Rambis said. "Adding another young guy to this team was not my ideal situation, but he is a very very intriguing ballplayer."

Rambis said he wasn't sure if Randolph would play against the Grizzlies, let alone how much time he'll see the rest of the season.

"We'll see how all the pieces fit together," Rambis said.

On a conference call with reporters on Tuesday night, Kahn said he doesn't expect much from Randolph this season.

"He still is too thin. He will obviously develop over the years, but one of the things I'm very eager to see when he arrives is what he weighs now and his body fat, and what we might be able to do through him immediately and then going forward to help put some additional girth on him," Kahn said of Randolph's 225-pound frame.

Randolph said his goals for the time being are just to rebound, block shots and hustle as much as he can until he figures out the offense and where he'll fit on the roster. He said he's not discouraged by being relocated again.

"We get paid a lot of money to play a game that we love," Randolph said. "So it's just a part of it. You've just got to come out there with a smile on your face that you get to do something that not a lot of people are blessed to do."

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