Corey Brewer Back a Whole New Man

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Corey Brewer has officially returned to the Timberwolves on Wednesday, more than a month after signing a three-year deal worth more than $14 million.

Brewer has returned and has professed to being a “whole different player” than the one that never quite panned out when he was here the first time around. And a good sign that he is a changed man is that his face is a little fuller.

“I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been,” Brewer said, flashing a wide smile.

Brewer said he now weighs 194 pounds now, not up to Shaquille O’Neal weight when he played his final few seasons in the NBA. But considering that he weighed 180 in his first few seasons in the league that’s a pretty huge change, but Brewer is insisting that not the only thing that has changed.

When the Timberwolves lost Andrei Kirilenko to Brooklyn, they found themselves in need of a solid perimeter defender to help a team short on defensive stoppers up and down the roster. That’s always been Brewer’s ability, and now he’s confident that with his return he is much more of an accomplished player on the other end of the floor.

“I know how to get my shots,” Brewer said. “I know what not to do and what to do. So I feel like I’m a better player.”

The Wolves chose Brewer 7th overall in 2007, hoping that he would help the Wolves like he did in Florida, where he won back-to-back national titles, and would be able to step in and give them some scoring punch at shooting guard in addition to stingy defense on the perimeter. But he shot 19.4% on 3-pointers as a rookie and never was able to score with any consistency before the Wolves traded him to New York in 2011.

But things didn’t work out so well with the Knicks either, and Brewer wound up as a bit player on the Dallas Mavericks’ run to the title later that season. He eventually landed with the Denver Nuggets and Coach George Karl’s free-flowing and up-tempo system helped Brewer to start to figure some things out.

While his shooting percentages didn’t jump up that drastically, he became a big time threat in transition and started to find places on the floor where he started to flourish. He shot 38% on corner 3-pointers and found the discipline to keep shooting from those spots rather than forcing things from areas on the floor where he was not so familiar with.

“I’m a lot better. I’m a lot more consistent,” he said. “I know what I can do and I can’t do. I know how to get my shots. And I feel like I’ve been making it work the last couple years.”

Whether he starts or comes off the bench with the Wolves, Brewer will probably find himself on the floor late in games to take on the opponent’s best offensive player on the perimeter. That means he will likely be playing alongside Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin.

At 27 years old, Brewer is perfectly happy with this situation. He doesn’t have to be a go to scorer. And even though he is no longer playing for Karl, he will still be heeding his former coach’s teachings, “do what you do well and don’t force anything else.”

“It took me a while, but it was easy once I got to Denver and coach Karl put me in the system,” he said. “I knew I was going to get my shots and so that’s what I’ve worked on.”