The Timberwolves have taken back the qualifying offer of more than $1.147MM that they had extended to Robbie Hummel, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press hears (Twitter link). The client of the Priority Sports agency thus becomes an unrestricted free agent, and the team forfeits its right to match competing bids for him. The timing of the move suggests that it’s tied to Minnesota’s deal with Nemanja Bjelica, at least in terms of roster space. Hummel is still eligible to re-sign with the Wolves, and the sides remain in talks, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).
Minnesota officially has 11 players on its roster, but that doesn’t include first-round picks Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, or Bjelica. It also doesn’t factor in a new deal for Kevin Garnett, who’s expected to re-sign. Lorenzo Brown‘s salary is non-guaranteed, but if Hummel had accepted the qualifying offer, which he had been free to do at any point, it would have created a logjam.
The team is poised to be over the cap when the July Moratorium is over on Thursday, given its more than $56MM in guaranteed salary, plus cap holds for Garnett, Towns and Jones. Thus, the withdrawal of the qualifying offer probably isn’t a move designed to create more cap room for Bjelica, who can instead go into the team’s $5.464MM mid-level exception. The Wolves don’t appear to be renouncing Hummel’s Early Bird rights, so they can still exceed the cap to re-sign him for up to the average salary, likely around $6MM, if they want. Still, a deal at or close to the minimum salary would be a more realistic outcome if Hummel is to remain with Minnesota.