Northwest Notes: McLaughlin, Harris, Barton, Lillard

The deadline for restricted free agents to accept a qualifying offer typically falls on October 1, but due to the NBA’s revamped calendar for 2020/21, that deadline has moved to today, says Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). That means that Jordan McLaughlin, the last remaining RFA in the league, will no longer be able to accept his QO after today unless the Timberwolves extend that deadline.

McLaughlin’s qualifying offer is for a two-way deal, but he’s not expected to accept it, according to Wolfson (Twitter links), who says that the second-year guard could sign a standard contract today if he wanted to. The Timberwolves are willing to promote McLaughlin to the 15-man roster, but want to do so on their terms, so the two sides continue to negotiate a new agreement, Wolfson adds (Twitter links).

If the Timberwolves don’t extend the deadline for McLaughlin to accept his qualifying offer, he’ll remain a restricted free agent, but without that QO as a fallback option. The deadline for him to sign an offer sheet with another team would typically be on March 1, but figures to be pushed back to April this season.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on his Hoop Collective podcast today that the Nuggets tried to trade Gary Harris to “several different places” during the offseason (hat tip to RealGM). It doesn’t come as a real surprise that Harris was shopped, though it was likely more about his contract than his on-court value — his $19.6MM cap hit made him a logical salary-matching piece in any offer for an impact player, and we know Denver at least pursued Jrue Holiday.
  • After stating earlier this month that he believes he’s a “clear-cut” starter, Nuggets wing Will Barton came off the bench in his preseason debut on Wednesday. After the game though, he reiterated that he’s not ready to embrace a sixth-man role, according to Kendra Andrews of The Athletic. “I am a starter,” Barton said. “I have no plans on being a sixth man. I have no desire to be that.”
  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard believes he can be a viable candidate for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2020/21, as Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com writes. “I feel like I’ve had a few MVP-level seasons, I just think with those seasons, you’ve got to be winning,” Lillard said. “I think the two years that we were a three-seed back-to-back years, I thought I had big years, it was just that guys on one and two seed teams had big years as well. That was that. But I feel like if we’re a winning team and we’re in that top two, top three, then I think it’s definitely a real possibility.”
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5 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: McLaughlin, Harris, Barton, Lillard

  1. Will Barton needs to play for Steve Nash. Nash will call him a starter yet bring him off the bench. It’ll be great for Barton and his psyche.

  2. Little_Dunker_45

    Lol “I am a starter!” Comes off bench. “No, really guys! ” will barton I never heard of u. Good luck…hope u find whatever you’re looking for (unless it’s a spot in a starting lineup)

  3. x%sure

    Wonder what Denver’s offer for Jrue was… Buck’s 2+2 offer got diminished when Giannis extended, meaning the picks will be low.

    Nuggets have been better at longterm drafting than shortterm trading.

    This Holiday tie-up could determine the champion. DEN, MIL, NOP directly, and ATL could still move Bogans.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Gary Harris at one point looked better than Murray. Not any more. Plus he had a down yr last yr. Seems when he signed his contract. He stopped growing as a player. Where Murray just gets better and better. Harris should be playing the point. He don’t score enough to play SG.

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