The Timberwolves waived Taurean Prince on Wednesday to avoid guaranteeing his $7,455,000 salary for the upcoming season, but there’s a chance he could be re-signed, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
The decision was purely financial, Krawczynski adds, with president of basketball operations Tim Connelly needing to create some flexibility ahead of looming extensions for Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. Minnesota may be interested in bringing back Prince at a lower cost, depending on what happens early in free agency, sources tell Krawczynski.
The 29-year-old power forward has been a dependable part of the Wolves’ rotation during his two seasons with the team. He averaged 9.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per night last season, and Krawczynski notes that Minnesota was 7-13 during a 20-game stretch he missed due to an injured shoulder.
The Wolves attempted to trade Prince’s contract before the salary guarantee date, Krawczynski adds. They talked to the Wizards about veteran point guards Monte Morris and Delon Wright, but weren’t able to make any progress toward a deal, sources tell Krawczynski.
There’s more from Minnesota:
- With Prince’s salary off the books, the Wolves are now about $15.5MM under the tax line with four open roster spots. They’ll be able to use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception when free agency begins Friday, and Krawczynski identifies a few names they might target. Among them are Eric Gordon, Bruce Brown, Dennis Schröder, Jevon Carter, Max Strus and Donte DiVincenzo, although all will have numerous suitors with similar financial resources.
- In a separate story, Krawczynski discusses the implications of Naz Reid‘s new contract with Danny Leroux of The Athletic. The Wolves gave Reid a three-year extension at $42MM to keep him off the free agent market, but it will lead to some difficult decisions moving forward. Leroux points out that the new deals with Edwards and McDaniels, combined with the existing contracts for Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, will be enough to push Minnesota close to the tax line starting in 2024/25.
- It appears Connelly is willing to give the Gobert experiment another year or two to succeed while stocking the roster with inexpensive young talent, writes Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune. One of those pieces is second-round pick Leonard Miller, who was acquired from the Spurs in a draft night trade. “I don’t really know what position Leonard is,” Connelly said. “He grew up as a forward, so I think he can — I know he can — guard three positions. Then, offensively, I’ll let coach (Chris) Finch determine where he can best be deployed. What’s neat about the flexibility of our bigs is that while Rudy is a pure (center), we have some other guys who can play both (forward and center). Offensively, we have a bunch of guys that their skill set allows them to do things all over the court than, generally, most bigs can.”
- Edwards has signed with WME Sports ahead of his extension talks, the agency announced (via Twitter).
- In case you missed it, we took a deep dive into McDaniels’ case for a rookie scale extension.