Wolves Sign Anthony Tolliver

JULY 8: The Tolliver signing is now official, according to the NBA’s transactions log.

JULY 2: The Timberwolves have withdrawn their qualifying offer for Nemanja Bjelica, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The move will make Bjelica an unrestricted free agent, with Minnesota losing the right of first refusal.

With Bjelica expected to land elsewhere, the Wolves will fill his spot on the roster by signing Anthony Tolliver.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports first reported (via Twitter) that Minnesota was nearing an agreement on a one-year deal with Tolliver, while David Aldridge of TNT confirms (via Twitter) that they’ve come to terms.

According to Charania (via Twitter), Tolliver’s new one-year contract with the Timberwolves will be in the $5-6MM range, so it sounds like the team will sign him using its mid-level exception.

If the Wolves want to avoid becoming hard-capped for the 2018/19 league year, they’d have to ensure that Tolliver’s salary doesn’t exceed $5.337MM, the value of the taxpayer mid-level exception. However, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link) pegs the value at $5.75MM. That would mean dipping into the full MLE and creating a hard cap.

The Timberwolves made Tolliver a priority when the free agent period opened, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that Tom Thibodeau had two separate phone calls with the veteran forward. Tolliver also drew interest from the Clippers, Mavericks, and Sixers, but liked the idea of returning to Minnesota, where he spent two seasons earlier in his career.

In 2017/18, Tolliver – the No. 43 free agent on our top-50 list – enjoyed perhaps his best NBA season for the Pistons. Appearing in 79 regular season games, he averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.1 RPG with a shooting line of .464/.436/.797. His ability to stretch the floor will benefit the Wolves, particularly with Bjelica no longer in the mix.

Bjelica, 30, averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 20.5 minutes per contest (67 games) for the Wolves last season. His .415 3PT% should appeal to teams in the market for a stretch four, especially now that he’s an unrestricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 thoughts on “Wolves Sign Anthony Tolliver

  1. formerlyz

    Bjelica will definitely help someone. Feels like a Utah type of player. They essentially trade him for Tolliver, which is questionable, although both can shoot. Bjelica is more skilled

    There goes one of the potential guys I thought could end up in GS. Still similar options out there

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    • FlaveFlava

      Bjelica’s without a doubt can do more and make more happen on the offensive side.

      I think this “trade” essentially does 2 things – first, you don’t have to worry about matching an offer for Belly that doesn’t fit with future salary projections on the team. Not that it would be a massive deal, but the Wolves probably aren’t looking for multi-year deals if they want to lock up Towns.

      Second, I think Toliver’s veteran presence off the bench and in the locker room can make up for his lack of ability to create like Belly can.

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  2. As a Piston fan I hate to see Tolliver leave. T’Wolves fans are gonna love this guy.

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  3. x%sure

    Good recovery, if Bjelico wanted to leave. Efficient steady player.

    Does Bjelico object to a Jellicle “Cats” nickname? Will he be Jellicle ballin’? He should go to the Spurs, their colors are black n white.
    Nevermind he pronounces his name Cyrillical not British musical.

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  4. Nahh. Bjelica ain’t worthy the time to give him a contract, all he can do is shoot, I know this days all are obsessed with shooting, but balling involves a lot more & you can be amazingly good without shooting, so isn’t the primary skill for me anyway.

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