2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

Hoops Rumors is looking ahead at the 2020/21 salary cap situations for all 30 NBA teams. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the NBA, it’s impossible to know yet where the cap for 2020/21 will land. Given the league’s lost revenue, we’re assuming for now that it will stay the same as the ’19/20 cap, but it’s entirely possible it will end up higher or lower than that.

The Timberwolves were one of the NBA’s worst teams in 2019/20, entering the league’s hiatus with a 19-45 record, ahead of only Golden State in the Western Conference. Still, a healthy Karl-Anthony Towns and a revamped roster should generate some optimism going forward.

Only two players – Towns and Josh Okogie – who were on the roster when Gersson Rosas assumed control of the front office a year ago are still in Minnesota, as Rosas hasn’t been shy to put his stamp on the franchise. While that trend could continue this offseason, the Wolves’ top priority may be re-signing a couple of their own free agents rather than pursuing another splashy addition.

Here’s where things stand for the Timberwolves financially in 2020/21, as we continue our Salary Cap Preview series:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

The Timberwolves are only carrying about $75MM in guaranteed salaries on their 2020/21 cap so far, but after accounting for James Johnson’s player option and a pair of first-round cap holds, they’re unlikely to have any cap room — especially if they intend to re-sign both Hernangomez and Beasley.

Depending on where their lottery pick lands and how high they have to go to retain those two restricted free agents, the Wolves could find themselves without much further flexibility. Minnesota won’t be a tax team, but could theoretically end up close enough to that line after signing Hernangomez and Beasley that using the full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception wouldn’t be viable.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 3
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 3
  • Trade exception: $879,813 (expires 2/8/21)
  • Trade exception: $500,000 (expires 1/18/21)
  • Trade exception: $228,505 (expires 1/18/21)


  1. Vanderbilt’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  2. The cap hold for Brooks remains on the Timberwolves’ books because he hasn’t been renounced after going unsigned since 2018. He can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  3. These are projected values. If team salary gets high enough, it’s possible the Timberwolves would instead be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,718,000).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are based on the salary cap and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and Early Bird Rights was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 thoughts on “2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. JohnTheSportsFanatic

    They need to get 3 and D players to fill out that starting lineup because in my opinion, they don’t have a great future with Dlo and KAT both being terrible defenders.

  2. phillyballers

    GSW will get the 1st and 4th overall pick probably, the way she goes boys. They’d get Wiggins, Wiseman, and Toppin.

    As far as the Wolves go… Harrison Barnes makes some sense – using Johnson’s contract as the main trade piece for salary his deal is on the edge of what they could plausibly trade for… Could look at Otto Porter, but his contract is probably too large. That would be the 3 & D route.

    They could go a different route and trade for Julius Randle or Bobby Portis. Aaron Gordon is also on the block in a walk year. DeRozan would be available, but the contract is harder to trade for.

    Barnes could ultimately be a contract they use in a trade down the line too.

    • I think the Warriors have the Timberwolves pick next draft 2021 not this one. I might be wrong.

      • fishy 9 dogs

        The wolves pick is in 2021.

        As for trades, I’d like to see the wolves go for Aaron Gordon and Mikal Bridges.

        Wolves = Gordon, Bridges

        Magic = <#6 (wolves), Culver, Johnson

        Suns = #15 (Magic), #33 (wolves), Evans, Spellman

        Who says no?

        • x%sure

          Good one. Interesting that a losing program at MIN is in a win-now mode. Rosas probably feels obligated to check out the new guard duo, but can change forwards, and having picked Culver, may not be confident with the draft.

      • phillyballers

        Yea it is 2021 idk why I thought it was 2020. Quarantine brain on that one because I even looked at the transaction for DLo before posting. lol

  3. x%sure

    I don’t see Russell and Beasley being an effective duo. They did raise Beasley’s trade value with PT, but I would expect a 4/$60-or-more offer to deal with as their reward! I would prefer seeing Culver, Okogie or maybe Nowell instead but those players are where Beasley was a couple yeats ago and because of Towns, they’re not rebuilding.

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