The Minnesota Timberwolves’ first extended road trip of the season is taking place earlier than usual. Starting Friday in Denver, Minnesota will play three road games in three separate cities over a seven-day span.

The Wolves will be in Denver on Friday and Los Angeles on Monday to play the Clippers before heading to Brooklyn to play the Nets next Thursday.

It’s rare for an exhibition road trip, but the getaway checks a couple of traditional preseason boxes. Many teams will hold destination training camps away from their home bases. The Wolves, for example, used to hold training camp in Mankato. A few years back, in Minnesota’s first season with Jimmy Butler under former coach Tom Thibodeau, the team held training camp in San Diego before departing to play two preseason games in China.

Those trips provide bonding opportunities for a team to attempt to unite itself further before the start of a grueling 82-game regular-season grind.

This trip gives the Wolves a chance to do some of that. Some of it has already taken place. Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said Jarred Vanderbilt organized a dinner for the players Thursday night in Denver, where he started his NBA career. Finch and the coaches were not invited.

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“Nor do I want to be,” Finch said with a laugh.

Timberwolves players gathered as a group in Miami before the start of training camp, where they worked out with one another, played some volleyball and spent time with new owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez. It was a similar trip to the one the team took a couple years ago to the Bahamas.

But not everyone was in attendance. Anthony Edwards, for instance, was filming his role in a movie. Everyone will be on this trip.

“Our guys are excited,” Finch said.

Karl-Anthony Towns said this week that what he loves most about this team thus far is its spirit.

“That takes care of a lot of things that may not be made up in talent is just our spirit is so good,” he said. “It makes up for a lot of things that we may be lacking.”

Finch has noted the team’s apparent chemistry on and off the floor. That’s why he thinks players are legitimately looking forward to spending time with one another. The trip also checks another box — getting prepared for the upcoming season. Minnesota’s three opponents — the Nuggets, Clippers and Nets — all won at least one playoff series last season.

While it’s still preseason, such tests figure to help the Wolves figure out where they are, and where they need to go.

“Kind of takes the place of the traditional go away for training camp. Covering a lot of ground on this road trip. And that was intentional,” Finch said. “We wanted to play good teams in good cities where our guys would feel like they could get out and be with each other.”