Jarred Vanderbilt

Timberwolves Notes: Bolmaro, Prince, Vanderbilt, McLaughlin, Towns

Timberwolves rookie guard Leandro Bolmaro plays fearlessly, head coach Chris Finch told Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media members this week. The 23rd pick in the draft, Bolmaro is expected to sign his rookie contract shortly.

“We love that about him. He competes, he’s bouncy, he just knows how to play basketball,” Finch said. “He moves well off the ball, fits in around all of the pieces we already have.”

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • Forward Taurean Prince, acquired in the Ricky Rubio deal with Cleveland, believes he’ll play all three frontcourt positions at some point this season, Hine adds in the same story. “The ball moves around and like coach said it gives a lot of opportunity to everybody,” Prince said. “Those are the best systems because everyone likes to play off each other and it maximizes everyone’s potential as well.”
  • Jarred Vanderbilt officially signed his new three-year, $13.8MM contract on Wednesday. According to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link), the first-year salary is $4.05MM and he’ll get $4.374MM in 2022/23. Vanderbilt’s 2023/24 salary of $4.698MM is partially guaranteed at $300K. The contract also includes $162K in likely bonuses and $405K in unlikely bonuses, Smith adds.
  • Jordan McLaughlin also inked his new three-year, $6.5MM deal this week. The first-year salary will be $2MM, Smith tweets. In 2022/23, he’ll receive $2.16MM. His 2023/24 salary of $2.32MM is non-guaranteed. The contract includes $100K in unlikely bonuses in all three seasons.
  • A refocused Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the reasons for optimism in Minnesota, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. The past two seasons for the team’s top big man have been marred by injuries and personal tragedy. He’s been working on his game diligently this summer, which bodes well for his continued development. Anthony Edwards’ encore after a powerful finish to his rookie campaign, plus the ability of Finch to have a full off-season to prepare the team for the upcoming season, should also entice fans. Krawczynski delves into a number of topics in the mailbag, including the possibility of Malik Beasley or D’Angelo Russell taking a sixth-man role.

Timberwolves Re-Sign Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin

SEPTEMBER 15: The Timberwolves have officially announced their new deals with both Vanderbilt and McLaughlin, confirming the signings in a press release.


SEPTEMBER 10: Restricted free agent forward Jarred Vanderbilt has agreed to stay with the Timberwolves on a three-year, $13.8MM contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Vanderbilt’s contract starts at $4MM and include some likely and unlikely bonuses, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. It’s fully guaranteed for the first two years and partially guaranteed in the final year of the deal, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype tweets.

Vanderbilt played 64 games, including 30 starts, last season. He averaged 5.4 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 17.8 MPG. He was limited to 28 games combined in his first two seasons, including a stint with the Nuggets.

The Timberwolves are also re-signing another restricted free agent, Jordan McLaughlin. He’ll receive a three-year, $6.5MM contract, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. The first two years are guaranteed.

McLaughlin, who is entering his third season, appeared in 51 games last season, including two starts. He averaged 5.0 PPG and 3.8 APG in 18.4 MPG and adds depth at the point guard spot.

Northwest Notes: Simmons, Wolves, Nuggets

As the NBA nears the start of the 2021/22 season, tensions continue to simmer between All-Star Ben Simmons and his current team, the Sixers. Philadelphia is hoping to deal Simmons for win-now assets, while Simmons, despite having four years left on his current contract, has threatened to not report for training camp and beyond if he is not moved. The more the two sides’ stalemate drags on, the better the Timberwolves‘ odds are of swooping in to deal for the former No. 1 lottery pick, posits Michael Rand of the Star Tribune.

Rand wonders if adding Simmons could be the move Minnesota needs to return to the playoffs for the first time since the team’s lone full Jimmy Butler season in 2017/18. Rand thinks the Timberwolves should be ready to offer anyone not named Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony Towns in exchange for Simmons.

A year ago, the Sixers would most likely have even balked at an offer for Edwards or Towns, though that has changed now as Simmons’ value has declined following a disastrous postseason performance on offense. Simmons, a great defender and passer, could be an ideal fit for a hyper-athletic wing like Edwards and a jump-shooting center like Towns. The Timberwolves could be an excellent landing spot for Simmons, but whether or not they have enough to offer in return for the All-Defensive First Teamer without including Edwards or Towns remains to be seen.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves managed to avoid the NBA’s luxury tax this summer while still retaining Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin, two promising young players, on affordable three-year contracts, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The 22-year-old Vanderbilt looks ready to take next steps at the power forward position, where he should see significant run, along with the newly-acquired Taurean Prince. Krawczynski notes that the 6’9″ Vanderbilt should especially help the club with rebounding, and could even be given the nod as the team’s starting power forward heading into the year.
  • The Nuggets have revealed the assistant coaches slated to join their new G League team, the Grand Rapids Gold, per a team press release. Head coach Jason Terry, a former Sixth Man of the Year and champ with the Mavericks, will be helped on the bench by assistant coaches Travess Armenta (most recently a Nuggets player development coach and video department member), former Mississippi State assistant coach Tamisha Augustin, former Wizards assistant coach Jim Lynam Jr. and former Hawks assistant Nathan Babcock. This marks the first head coaching gig for Terry, a 19-year NBA veteran. He spent the 2020/21 season as an assistant coach at Arizona, his alma mater.
  • In case you missed it, free agent power forward Patrick Patterson has agreed to a training camp deal with the Trail Blazers.

Central Notes: Millsap, Bulls Offseason, Simmons, Ehambe

With Paul Millsap agreeing to join the Nets, the Bulls don’t have a lot of attractive free agent options to add to their frontcourt depth, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes. Millsap strongly considered the Bulls but they now have to shift gears. They could bid for restricted free agent Jarred Vanderbilt, take a flier on D.J. Wilson or add an international player to fortify the power forward spot. They could also sign small forward James Ennis and use him in smaller lineups, Johnson adds. Otherwise, they may have to pursue a trade.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls improved their roster with their busy offseason but it’s fair to wonder whether all of those changes made sense as a whole, Zach Harper of The Athletic opines. While they have upgraded in the backcourt and the wing spots with the additions of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan, their frontcourt options have thinned.
  • Pursuing a trade for Ben Simmons doesn’t make sense for the Pistons, James Edwards of The Athletic contends. In a deal with the Sixers, Detroit would likely have to part with Jerami Grant and at least one of their top young players as well as draft picks, and adding Simmons’ contract would limit their flexibility to make other moves. It also wouldn’t help their issues regarding 3-point shooting, Edwards adds.
  • Moses Ehambe is grateful he got the opportunity to be an assistant with the Pacers, though he was not retained in the aftermath of Nate Bjorkgren’s departure, Scott Agness of FieldhouseFiles writes. “This is where you want to be,” Ehambe said in the comprehensive interview. “Now it’s about staying.”

Checking In On Remaining Restricted Free Agents

When Lauri Markkanen finally came off the board over the weekend, it left just two standard restricted free agents who are still unsigned, as our FA list shows. Both of those players are Timberwolves free agents: Jordan McLaughlin and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Restricted free agents never have a ton of leverage, especially this deep into the offseason. Some players who remain on the market for weeks, like Markkanen, can still land player-friendly deals, but if McLaughlin or Vanderbilt have been drawing interest around the NBA as coveted sign-and-trade candidates or potential offer sheet recipients, we probably would’ve heard about it by now.

McLaughlin looked like he might be in position to secure a favorable commitment from the Timberwolves after the team traded Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, but Minnesota’s recent move to acquire Patrick Beverley adds depth to the point guard spot and clouds McLaughlin’s future.

A year ago, McLaughlin ultimately decided to accept his qualifying offer and play on a two-way contract for a second consecutive season. This time around, his QO is the equivalent of a one-year, minimum-salary deal, but only a very small portion of that offer (about $84K) has to be guaranteed, so accepting it isn’t a great option.

The Wolves are likely willing to offer a more significant guarantee in 2021/22, but probably want to tack on at least one or two non-guaranteed, minimum-salary years to any deal for McLaughlin. With two-way player McKinley Wright in the picture as a potential third point guard, Minnesota has the roster flexibility to play hardball in its negotiations with McLaughlin.

Vanderbilt may be in a slightly better negotiating position, since he’s likely a higher priority for the Wolves. He started 30 games last season, earning a regular rotation role and showing the ability to handle minutes at power forward, the team’s most glaring weak spot.

Minnesota has a few options at the four, but Taurean Prince and Jake Layman won’t move the needle much, and Jaden McDaniels remains pretty raw. Vanderbilt would be a useful depth piece at the right price, which – in the Wolves’ view – is probably something not far above the veteran’s minimum.

As we wait to see what happens with McLaughlin and Vanderbilt, it’s also worth noting that there are technically four other restricted free agents still on the market. The following four players were made RFAs after finishing the season on two-way contracts:

For these four players, accepting a qualifying offer would mean getting another two-way contract with a $50K partial guarantee.

Signing that qualifying offer would provide no security, even though the Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, and Cavaliers do all have two-way slots open right now. Given the modest guarantee, a team likely wouldn’t hesitate to replace one of its two-way players in October with a camp invitee who has an impressive preseason. And as McLaughlin’s situation shows, even playing out a second year on a two-way QO wouldn’t necessarily give a player additional leverage in his next foray into restricted free agency.

Central Notes: Bulls, Garza, Mobley, Rubio, Lowe

As our latest roster count notes, the Bulls only have 12 players on guaranteed contracts. Veteran free agent forwards Paul Millsap and James Ennis are some of the candidates to fill a couple of those open roster spots, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. LaMarcus AldridgeJarred Vanderbilt and Svi Mykhailiuk are three other free agents that the Bulls could c0nsider, Schaefer adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Despite a strong showing in summer league action, Pistons center Luka Garza is unlikely to get rotation minutes during his rookie campaign, Rod Beard of the Detroit News speculates. He might get more of an opportunity if Detroit, which has one too many guaranteed contracts, opts to waive Jahlil Okafor. There’s also a good chance Sekou Doumbouya will spend a chunk of time this upcoming season in the G League unless he shines in training camp, Beard writes.
  • The Cavaliers improved their talent pool this offseason in the estimation of Zach Harper of The Athletic. The addition of lottery pick Evan Mobley gives them a potential star at both ends of the floor, and the acquisition of Ricky Rubio provides much needed veteran leadership in the backcourt. However, they’re still a little thin depth-wise at the wing and forward spots, Harper notes.
  • The Cavaliers have officially added Sidney Lowe to J.B. Bickerstaff’s coaching staff, according to a team press release. The news that Lowe was leaving the Pistons’ staff to join their Central Division rival surfaced two weeks ago. “Sidney brings a wealth of coaching experience and familiarity to our staff,” Bickerstaff said. “He is a great teacher of the game and his ability to build lasting relationships across the board is integral to the growth of our overall culture here in Cleveland.”

Wolves Notes: Beverley Trade, Free Agency, Beasley

In his latest piece for The Athletic, Jon Krawczynski writes that for the Timberwolves, trading Juan Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver was not just about adding a veteran defender and shooter in Patrick Beverley, but also about dealing two players who were looking for a change of scenery to get their careers back on track.

According to Krawczynski, Culver grew disenfranchised with the Wolves as he fell further and further out of the rotation in 2020/21, which caused him at times to seem to lose all confidence in himself. Hernangomez wanted out from the team that barred his participation in the Olympics due to a shoulder injury that Spanish doctors had cleared him from, and even went so far as to reach out to team owner Glen Taylor to attempt to circumvent the decision of president Gersson Rosas.

Krawczynski adds that Rosas has a relationship with Beverley going back to his time in with the Rockets, the team that originally brought the defensive-minded point guard over from Europe and got his NBA career on track.

We have more Timberwolves news:

  • Krawczysnki suggests that adding a little extra money in the Beverley deal will further complicate the Wolves’ efforts to sign restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin to multiyear deals. He expects Vanderbilt to receive a multiyear contract, while the team uses te minimum salary exception to add another point guard, either McLaughlin or someone else.
  • Trading Culver is a concession by Rosas that the first draft pick of his tenure, a pick he traded Dario Saric and the 11th pick to acquire, was a failure, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. The idea, Rand writes, was for Culver to provide a similar skill-set Beverley will now be counted on for: to play hard-nosed defense and knock down threes. Rand adds that, on his expiring salary, Beverley could be a good trade chip if the team is underperforming at the trade deadline.
  • Darren Wolfson of SKOR North tweets that he’s been told Beverley is “very happy” with the trade to the Wolves. Beverley, no stranger to fighting for his place in the league, has had a tumultuous couple days, and while no longer on a championship contender, he has a chance to play a vital role for an up-and-coming team.
  • Malik Beasley has been released from jail after serving 78 days for pleading guilty to threats of violence, writes Jeff Day of The Star Tribune. Beasley was sentenced to 120 days, and was released after 78 for good behavior. If he completes his three years of probation, the charge will be dropped from felony to misdemeanor.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Lillard, Jazz, Butler

Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is urging fans to be patient after the team’s slow start to free agency, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota hasn’t made any significant additions since the signing period began on Monday, but Rosas said the plan is to keep the core of the team intact and try to build on the momentum from late last season. The Wolves had a .500 record over their final 22 games.

“We just want to see this team come together,” he said. “As well as this team played down the stretch last year, we didn’t have Malik Beasley available because of injury. This group, the value of continuity, the value of growth together and just repetition together as a team, we’re excited about what that growth might mean.”

The immediate concern will be keeping restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin, Krawczynski adds. Both are facing a market where teams are left with limited resources and limited roster spots. Rosas spoke to them and their agents shortly after the signing period began.

Head coach Chris Finch foresees an expanded role for both players if they return. McLaughlin may become the primary backup at point guard now that Ricky Rubio is on the way to Cleveland, while Vanderbilt is one of the team’s most versatile defenders.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard helped Team USA capture a gold medal despite playing with an abdominal injury, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. He will require further testing once he returns from Tokyo. Lillard, who was determined to keep playing despite the injury, logged 27 minutes and scored 11 points in Friday’s gold medal game.
  • The Jazz were shopping for versatility in this year’s free agent market, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. General manager Justin Zanik said that’s what the team was lacking in the playoffs, which is why it pursued Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside, while trading for Eric Paschall and rookie Jared Butler. Zanik added that he’s likely done with significant moves for the offseason, and Walden points out that means Joe Ingles will probably remain with the team.
  • The Jazz won’t have Butler as part of their Summer League squad, Walden adds. The rookie had a health issue during the pre-draft process and hasn’t been in a contact setting for a long time. Zanik said management might have let him play if the games were “10 days later,” but they opted to be safe.

Free Agency Roundup: Rose, Bjelica, Suns, Vanderbilt, Niang, Schroder

Derrick Rose had received interest from the Pelicans, Wizards, Bulls, and Heat before re-signing with the Knicks, write Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina of USA Today. The USA Today adds that Kyle Lowry signing with the Heat helped usher Rose back to the Knicks and coach Tom Thibodeau. Rose agreed to a three-year, $43MM deal on Monday.

In the same piece, Zillgitt and Medina write that five other teams considered signing Nemanja Bjelica with their mid-level exception, but Bjelica prioritized signing with the Warriors instead. Bjelica agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum earlier today.

We have more free agency rumors:

Free Agency Notes: D. Robinson, Nuggets, Vanderbilt, Hezonja

Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has told associates that his preference is to remain with the Heat, a source tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). Robinson is a restricted free agent and Miami wants to retain him, so he wouldn’t have had much leverage if he wanted to go to a new team, but the fact that he wants to return is good news for the Heat. They’ll be able to keep his small cap hold on their books while they address other free agent business before circling back to finalize a new deal with Robinson.

Here are a few more updates related to free agency:

  • The Nuggets are unlikely to make any major splashes during free agency, as they’ll focus on re-signing their own free agents, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Singer views Will Barton and JaMychal Green as good bets to return to Denver, and suggests that one of Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee could be back too. If the Nuggets are only able to re-sign one of Green, Millsap, and McGee, they’ll shop for another big man on the open market, according to Singer, who notes that Green’s market is expected to be in the $7-9MM range — a previous report stated a $16MM-per-year deal is a possibility for Barton.
  • The Timberwolves had discussions with forward Jarred Vanderbilt about a possible contract extension, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, but those talks went nowhere. Minnesota tendered Vanderbilt a qualifying offer, so the team will have the ability to match any offer he gets as a restricted free agent.
  • Former fifth overall pick Mario Hezonja, who played for Panathinaikos in Greece last season, won’t be returning to the NBA this offseason. As Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays, Russian club UNICS Kazan has signed Hezonja to a one-year contract with an option for a second season.