Wolves Notes: Connelly, Anderson, Edwards, McDaniels

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly reportedly has an opt-out in his contract. Amid an ownership dispute, there has been speculation that the veteran executive may exercise that opt-out clause.

However, he told reporters on Friday that he’s “super excited’ about the team’s future and doesn’t plan to leave Minnesota, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune (subscription required).

I mean, moving [from Denver] wasn’t fun,” Connelly said. “I’ve had a blast here. Feels like we have roots here. It’s pretty special. That’s the goal. It has been a great couple years, and hopefully, we can make it a much longer couple years.”

Connelly said he’d be comfortable no matter which group ultimately gains majority control of the franchise, Zgoda adds. Longtime owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, is on one side of the dispute, with minority stakeholders Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez on the other. The matter is heading to a three-person arbitration panel.

Ownership is obviously in a unique place right now,” Connelly said. “Whatever happens is kind of a level up. I trust whatever happens will be the right path. We’ve all shared great moments throughout this whole season. There are conversations that we’ve had, and they’ll be ongoing. Now that we’re officially in the offseason, we’ll get a better sense of what we might do.”

The Timberwolves were eliminated from the Western Conference finals after being blown out by Dallas in Game 5 in Minnesota. It was just the second time the Wolves have advanced that far in the postseason, and Connelly believes they’re capable of advancing further in the future, according to Zgoda.

When you’re a home-court team and a final four team, all those teams can win a championship,” Connelly said. “So I don’t know if there is any linear path to that next step. I don’t think there is one singular answer. A lot of it is match-ups and health.”

Connelly praised Karl-Anthony Towns, who had an otherwise solid playoff showing but largely struggled against the Mavs. Minnesota’s top basketball executive also discussed the team’s future payroll, suggesting the Wolves would be willing to be a taxpayer, but not on a repeated basis due to the restrictions of the new CBA.

It’s a big task for ownership,” Connelly said. “It’s a lot, a lot of money. Relative to the impact on our flexibility, I think the jury is still out. It’s not a place you want to be long-term. It gets more and more harsh each year. Dipping your toe in it, it could have relatively limited impact on what we can and cannot do. But we’re learning it like the other 29 teams.”

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Veteran forward Kyle Anderson, who has been rotation regular for Minnesota the past two seasons, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Retaining him will be a real challenge, considering how much money the Wolves have tied up in their other players. While Anderson said he enjoyed his time with the team and wants to return, he acknowledged he might be headed elsewhere this offseason, tweets Dane Moore. “I don’t know where I’ll be… but obviously (I) want to be back here,” Anderson said.
  • Star guard Anthony Edwards, who will be playing for Team USA at the Olympics in Paris this summer, said he plans to do some extra training this offseason to prepare for 2024/25, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes (subscriber link). “I’ve never played this deep into a basketball season,” Edwards said. “So now I know, like, OK, in order for me to be dominant in the third round, and if we get past this and finally go to the finals, I’ve got to train like I’m going to go to the playoffs. So I can’t be missing training days, I can’t take days off, you know what I mean? I’ve got to be ready. So I know what it takes, and I’ll be ready.”
  • Consistently unlocking Jaden McDaniels offensively is an offseason goal for Minnesota, says Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune (subscriber link). McDaniels’ lucrative rookie scale extension begins next season. He earned a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team this season, but often wasn’t involved enough on offense, Reusse observes.
  • Mark Deeks of HoopsHype provides his offseason preview for the Wolves. In addition to Anderson, veteran point guards Monte Morris and Jordan McLaughlin will also be unrestricted free agents, and so will forward T.J. Warren. Big man Luka Garza will be the club’s lone standard RFA.
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