Minnesota Timberwolves

Kings Were Reportedly Targeting Rubio

The Kings have likely found their starting point guard to begin the season in Ty Lawson, who agreed to a one-year deal with the team earlier this week. Prior to Lawson coming aboard, Sacramento had been close to acquiring a point guard via trade, with the WolvesRicky Rubio the most likely target, according to Sirius XM NBA Radio host Mitch Lawrence (Audio link). It appears the addition of Lawson has put a halt to any trade talks for Sacramento at this time, Lawrence adds. There has been some speculation that Minnesota’s addition of rookie point guard Kris Dunn would ultimately lead to Rubio being dealt.

Salary Cap Snapshot: Minnesota Timberwolves

With the free agent signing period winding down and teams looking ahead to the preseason, we at Hoops Rumors will be tracking the Salary Cap figures for each team around the league.  These posts will be maintained throughout the season once financial data is reported. They will be located on the sidebar throughout the year, once all the teams’ cap figures have been relayed. The next franchise we’ll be looking at are the Minnesota Timberwolves, who currently are well under the league’s salary cap of $94,143,000 for the 2016/17 season. You can always check RosterResource.com for up-to-date rosters for each franchise, with the Wolves’ team page accessible here.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Wolves currently stand financially:

Guaranteed Salary

Total Guaranteed Salary= $80,791,446

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • John Lucas III — $980,431 [Actual Salary — $1,403,611] *Salary fully guaranteed on 1/10/17
  • Toure’ Murry — $980,431 *Salary fully guaranteed on 1/10/17

Total Non-Guaranteed Salary= $1,960,862

Eligible for Rookie Scale Extensions: Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng

Cash Sent Out Via Trade:  $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Cash Received Via Trade: $0  [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Payroll Exceptions Available

  • Room Exception — $2,898,000

Total Projected Payroll: $82,752,308

Salary Cap: $94,143,000

Estimated Available Cap Space: $11,390,692

Luxury Tax Threshold: $113,287,000

Amount Below Luxury Tax: $30,534,692

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Dunn: Wolves A "Beautiful Organization"

  • Kris Dunn was linked to several teams leading up to – and during – draft night, including a couple clubs that had interest in trading for him. Ultimately, the rookie point guard landed in Minnesota, and he tells Larry Berger of USA Today Sports (video link) that the Timberwolves are a “beautiful organization.”

Wolves Had Conversation Regarding Norris Cole

  • According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), free agent guard Norris Cole, who has been represented by Rich Paul for the last two years, has a new agent. The Timberwolves received a call from Cole’s new rep this week and didn’t completely dismiss the idea of signing him, but there’s nothing close right now, says Wolfson. Minnesota already has three point guards with guaranteed salaries on the roster, and yesterday added two more veterans to compete in camp.

Timberwolves Sign Toure’ Murry, John Lucas III

The Timberwolves have added a pair of players to their offseason roster, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has signed guards Toure’ Murry and John Lucas III. While RealGM’s transactions log lists Murry’s deal as official, it’s not clear if Lucas’ signing has also been formalized.

Murry, 26, appeared in 51 games for the Knicks during the 2013/14 season, but has only played in five NBA games since then, enjoying brief stints in Utah and Washington. Lucas has a more extensive NBA resume, having played in 237 regular season contests with the Rockets, Bulls, Raptors, Jazz, and Pistons. The 33-year-old averaged 4.8 PPG and 1.5 APG in those games, shooting 34.5% on three-pointers.

According to Stein, both Murry and Lucas will be given the opportunity to compete for a roster spot in Minnesota this fall. However, for that to happen, the Wolves would need to either trade or cut a player with a guaranteed salary. Currently, the club has 15 players on guaranteed contracts, including Ricky Rubio, Kris Dunn, and Tyus Jones at point guard, and Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, and Brandon Rush at the two.

[RELATED: Minnesota Timberwolves’ depth chart at RosterResource.com]

One other scenario that could open up a roster spot in Minnesota would be a retirement decision from Kevin Garnett. For now, Garnett – who has one year remaining on his contract – hasn’t made a call one way or the other on his future.

Rubio Wants To Mentor Dunn

Despite the speculation that the Wolves‘ addition of rookie point guard Kris Dunn will ultimately lead to Ricky Rubio being dealt, Rubio is looking forward to mentoring his younger teammate, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press notes. “Really it’s a challenge. When a young guy like him who has a lot of potential comes, I think we can really play together,” Rubio told the scribe. “But if we don’t [share the floor often], I can really help him.

And-Ones: Krzyzewski, Griffin, Simmons, Patterson

Mike Krzyzewski desperately wants to win his final game as coach of Team USA, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Krzyzewski demonstrated he is putting victory over player egos by pulling DeMarcus Cousins from the starting lineup in Friday’s semifinal against Spain and inserting defensive specialist DeAndre Jordan. Voisin also suggests that the closeness of many of this year’s game displays the need for a different philosophy in picking players. Krzyzewski, whose team will face Serbia in Sunday’s gold medal game, has an 82-1 record and two gold medals since taking over as Team USA coach in 2005. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will assume control of the team after the Olympics are done.

There’s more tonight from around the world of basketball:

  • Former D-League All-Star Eric Griffin, who will reportedly play in Israel next season, has a buyout clause that allows him to sign with an NBA team, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Griffin was recently cleared of an attempted murder charge in Florida, and his agent contends the case cost him a chance to play in the summer league.
  • Ben Simmons is the rookie most likely to make an impact in the NBA from the beginning, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. Blancarte picks the No. 1 draft choice because of his combination of court vision, size, athleticism and opportunity. Simmons is expected to take control of the Sixers’ offense right away. Others on Blancarte’s list, in order, are the Timberwolves‘ Kris Dunn, the Sixers‘ Joel Embiid and Dario Saric and the Pelicans‘ Buddy Hield.
  • After being claimed off waivers by the Kings, one of Lamar Patterson’s concerns was whether he could bring his pet alligator, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. His mother had been watching the creature while he played for the Hawks because he couldn’t keep it as a pet in Georgia. Jones found that California only allows pet gators if a special permit is obtained.

Community Shootaround: Ricky Rubio

Earlier today, it was reported that the Wolves may deal Ricky Rubio with Sacramento lurking as a possible destination. Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn with the No. 5 overall pick and he looked the part of a starting caliber point guard during his time in Vegas this summer. With Tyus Jones also in the fold, the team could afford to swap out a point guard for a player at another position.

Adding Rudy Gay may be a possibility in a trade with the Kings. Sacramento lost Rajon Rondo in free agency and Darren Collison, the team’s current starting point guard, faces domestic violence charges and will likely be suspended for some portion of the 2016/17 season. Even if Collison avoids missing games, Rubio would serve as an upgrade in the starting lineup.Read more

Kings May Be Next Spot For Rubio

Ricky Rubio will start the season with the Timberwolves, but may be in Sacramento before it ends, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Speaking on an ESPN podcast, Wolfson said the Kings are a team to watch if Minnesota decides to part ways with the Spanish point guard. Trade speculation involving Rubio intensified when the Wolves drafted Kris Dunn of Providence with the No. 5 pick, after adding Tyus Jones through the draft last year. Rubio has three seasons and more than $42MM left on his contract. There has been talk that the Wolves and Kings might agree on a swap involving Rubio and swingman Rudy Gay.

Dunn Fully Recovered From Concussion

  • Wolves rookie point guard Kris Dunn says he’s fully recovered from the concussion he suffered during summer league play and will be ready to go when training camp kicks off, Michael Rand of the Star Tribune relays. “I feel great. I’m back on court. I’m just working to get better for training camp, but I’m definitely back,” Dunn said.

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