Juan Hernangomez

Wolves, Juan Hernangomez Finalizing Three-Year Deal

After striking a deal with Malik Beasley on Friday, the Timberwolves are now finalizing an agreement with their other key restricted free agent, Juan Hernangomez.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), Hernangomez will sign a three-year, $21MM contract to remain in Minnesota. The deal will include a third-year team option, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 15th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Hernangomez spent the first three-and-a-half years of his career in Denver. Although he was a solid part of the Nuggets’ rotation in 2018/19, the 25-year-old saw his minutes cut back in ’19/20 after the team added Jerami Grant. With not enough minutes to go around for Hernangomez and Beasley, they were sent to the Timberwolves at the deadline.

With an increased role, Hernangomez elevated his game after being traded from Denver to Minnesota, averaging 12.9 PPG with a .420 3PT% in 14 contests as the Timberwolves’ starting power forward. That strong finish helped him earn a nice multiyear commitment from the Wolves in free agency.

It’s been an eventful week so far in Minnesota, where the Timberwolves drafted Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 overall pick on Wednesday, agreed to reacquire Ricky Rubio in a trade with the Thunder, and now have secured commitments from their top two free agents.

While most of the top players on the free agent market are now off the board, the Wolves do still have their exceptions available and could make an additional move or two.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Bogdanovic, Hawks, Batum, Lin, Hernangomez

Sources remain confident that the Hawks are in a strong position to sign Bogdan Bogdanovic, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Kirschner says he has heard that a deal for Bogdanovic could be in the four-year, $72MM range, which is the same ballpark identified by Brian Windhorst of ESPN earlier this week.

The Hawks are believed to still have about $20MM in cap room available, so they have the flexibility necessary to make a move for Bogdanovic. However, he remains a restricted free agent, so if they sign him to an offer sheet that would tie up their cap space for multiple days, they’ll want to be pretty confident that the Kings won’t match it.

Here are a few more free agency updates:

  • Veteran combo forward Nicolas Batum has already received interest from multiple teams, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Hornets chose to waive-and-stretch the final year of Batum’s contract in order to sign free agent forward Gordon Hayward.
  • Point guard Jeremy Lin wants to return to the NBA and several contenders are interested, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News tweets. Lin spent last season in China, averaging 22.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.6 APG. Lin was recently spotted working out with Nets players, according to Kennedy, though it’s not certain whether Brooklyn is one of the teams showing interest. He played for the Hawks and Raptors during the 2018/19 season.
  • While Malik Beasley got a deal with the Timberwolves done quickly, the team appears willing to be more patient with its other restricted free agent. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), Minnesota is letting the market play out for Juan Hernangomez to establish the parameters of his potential deal.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Free Agent Rumors: Beasley, Hernangomez, Green, Noel

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported on Thursday (via Twitter) that the Timberwolves have made RFA wing Malik Beasley available in sign-and-trade discussions, with the Knicks among several interested teams.

However, a pair of Minnesota-area reporters have disputed that the Wolves are looking to move Beasley. A source tells Chris Hine of The Star Tribune that Beasley isn’t on the trade block and Minnesota wants to re-sign him, while Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears from a source that there have been “no conversations” about moving the 23-year-old.

As Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News points out (via Twitter), the Timberwolves’ front office is extremely active and aggressive, and it’s probably safe to assume Beasley isn’t entirely off limits. But it also doesn’t sound like Minnesota is actively shopping him either.

Here are a few more rumors on free agents in advance of the new league year:

QO Updates: Wanamaker, Hernangomez, Fall, Chiozza, More

The Celtics won’t be making a qualifying offer to guard Brad Wanamaker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). The decision will ensure that Wanamaker becomes an unrestricted free agent on Friday, rather than an RFA.

The decision is a little surprising, as Wanamaker’s QO would only have been worth about $1.82MM. And he was a fairly reliable bench contributor in Boston in 2019/20, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.5 APG on .448/.363/.926 shooting in 71 games (19.3 MPG). However, with Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard entering the mix, the Celtics don’t have a ton of roster spots to go around.

There’s still a chance that Wanamaker could return to the Celtics, particularly if Gordon Hayward ends up elsewhere, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

Here are several more updates on qualifying offer decisions from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves, as expected, tendered a qualifying offer to power forward Juan Hernangomez, making him a restricted free agent, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That QO is worth about $4.6MM. Hernangomez could accept it, but is more likely to try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal with Minnesota.
  • The Celtics extended qualifying offers to both of their two-way players, Tacko Fall and Tremont Waters, the team announced in a press release. Those QOs are for new two-way deals with $50K guarantees.
  • The Pacers won’t extend qualifying offers to big man Alize Johnson or two-way players Brian Bowen and Naz Mitrou-Long, tweets Scotto. All three players will become unrestricted free agents.
  • Among other two-way players, Nets guard Chris Chiozza will receive a qualifying offer, but Pelicans guard Josh Gray won’t, according to Scotto (Twitter links). The Heat also won’t send a QO to two-way player Kyle Alexander, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Malik Beasley Faces Two Felony Charges

Timberwolves swingman Malik Beasley faces a pair of felony charges related to his late-September arrest, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who tweets that Beasley is being charged with fifth-degree drug possession and threats of violence.

As Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News relays, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office issued a press release detailing the charges against Beasley and providing more details about the September 26 incident. According to the release, a family alleged that Beasley pointed an assault rifle at them when they were on the road outside his home:

“They stated they were on a Parade of Homes tour with their 13-year-old, when they pulled up to the roped-off residence, assumed it was closed, and decided to look for another home to view, the complaint says. The victims at the time were on the shoulder of the road in front of the roped-off house.

“The complaint continues, saying that the victims heard a tapping on the (vehicle’s) window and saw Beasley pointing the firearm at them, telling them to get off his property. The victims got back onto the road and saw Beasley pointing the rifle at them as they drove off.”

After obtaining a search warrant for Beasley’s home, officers found three firearms – including one matching the description of the assault rifle – and more than 835 grams of marijuana, according to the statement from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Paul Walsh of The Star Tribune provided some additional details on the charges and allegations against Beasley.

“We are cooperating with the law enforcement investigation and will carefully review the discovery and charges in the coming days,” Beasley’s lawyers, Steve Haney and Ryan Pacyga, said in a joint statement, per Charania.

Beasley, who was traded from Denver to Minnesota at the February trade deadline, finished strong, averaging a career-best 20.7 PPG and shooting 42.6% on three-pointers in 14 games with the Timberwolves. He’ll be a restricted free agent this offseason and the team has suggested it plans to re-sign him, as executive VP Sachin Gupta reiterated on Wednesday.

“Essentially we’re not going to be a real big player in terms of cap room,” Gupta said when asked about the team’s cap situation, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “But we do have plenty of room below the tax. We’ve got our own free agents with Malik and Juancho (Hernangomez) so with the Bird rights we’ll be able to re-sign those guys, and now with a No. 1 pick, that’s a bigger salary slot than maybe we would’ve expected prior to the lottery. … But we still feel good about having plenty of room below the tax to bring those guys back and also add in free agency as well.”

Timberwolves Notes: Beasley, Hernangomez, Towns, Gupta

Even though he’ll be a restricted free agent when the offseason arrives, Malik Beasley opted to attend the Timberwolves‘ in-market camp, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Beaskey may be risking an injury that could affect his value, but he wanted to get back on the court after six months away from organized basketball, and his decision was noticed by management.

“I’m smiling and giggling,” said president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas. “Coach (Ryan Saunders) can speak to it, that’s what I love about our group. We’ve got workers. Coach and I were sitting in a meeting before this, and Beasley calls to say how much he wants to play and be here throughout it.”

Beasley, 23, is positioned for a nice raise after making an impact in 14 games since being acquired from Denver at the trade deadline. He became a starter in Minnesota and averaged 20.7 PPG while shooting 42.6% from 3-point range. The Wolves have interest in re-signing him, and his appearance seems to be an expression of loyalty.

There’s more from camp, all courtesy of Krawczynski:

  • The only notable player missing is restricted free agent Juan Hernangomez, who is filming a movie with Adam Sandler. Krawczynski notes that the acting commitment was made before the NBA finalized plans for the teams that didn’t go to Orlando.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell have emerged as leaders during camp and are trying to set an example for their teammates. “D’Angelo worked out this morning at 7 a.m. Karl’s been the 6 a.m. guy in the gym,” Saunders said. “It’s good to get out there. Even though you can only do it with one player, one coach, it’s been nice for me to be able to get not hands-on, but hands-on at a safe social distance and focus on things that we feel these guys need to work on and know they need to work on to take not just their games to the next level, but take this team to the next level.” Rosas said Towns has fully recovered from a wrist injury that sidelined him for a month before the hiatus.
  • Executive vice president Sachin Gupta will remain with Minnesota after being one of the finalists for the Kings’ GM job. Gupta seemed to be the favorite earlier this week and the Wolves were preparing for him to leave, but Sacramento opted for Monte McNair instead.

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

Northwest Notes: Collins, Millsap, Hernangomez, Jazz

Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins is optimistic about finishing the season after participating in Friday’s conference call with commissioner Adam Silver, writes Jason Quick of The Athletic.

“I feel confident after hearing him talk that we will play again — it just might not be for a while,” Collins said. “The way he was talking, there will be some kind of regular season — whether it’s a tournament or not as many games — there’s going to be something. There’s too many teams, especially in the West, that can make (the playoffs). And he was speaking like there is a lot of time to finish everything, so that was encouraging to hear.”

Collins, who was among the players that worked out at the Blazers’ facility when it reopened yesterday, was left in a unique situation by the hiatus. He had shoulder surgery in November and hoped to return to action by the end of March, but the ban on competition leaves his status uncertain until full practices resume.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets will face a difficult decision when Paul Millsap becomes a free agent this offseason, notes Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. They picked up a team option on Millsap last summer, but that was before they were able to acquire Jerami Grant from the Thunder. Grant is expected to opt out of a $9MM salary for next season and seek a multi-year deal. Millsap is Denver’s oldest player by far at age 35, and the Nuggets will have to determine if they can afford to keep both him and Grant.
  • The Timberwolves have resources available to upgrade at power forward, but they may decide they don’t need to now that they have Juan Hernangomez, suggests Chris Hine of The Star-Tribune. Minnesota acquired Hernangomez in a four-team deal in February and he was productive in 14 games, improving his 3-point shooting to 42% after hitting 25% in Denver. Minnesota expects to have two first-round picks this year and could be in position to target Aaron Gordon if the Magic decide to shake up their roster.
  • The Jazz will be affected by furloughs announced Friday by the Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment group, writes Art Raymond of The Deseret News. There will be a 40% reduction in staff throughout the organization, but a spokesman said all employees are expected to return to work when coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Wolves Plan To Re-Sign Beasley, Hernangomez

Re-signing Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez will be a priority for the Timberwolves during the offseason, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas told Dane Moore of WCCO Radio in Minneapolis (Twitter link). Both players are headed for free agency after being acquired in a four-team deal in February.

“We want those guys to be Timberwolves for a long, long time,” Rosas said. “Hopefully, for the rest of their careers.”

After occupying a bench role in Denver, Beasley moved into the starting lineup when he arrived in Minnesota and was putting up the best numbers of his career before the hiatus. The 23-year-old guard averaged 20.7 PPG in 14 games with the Wolves while shooting career highs from the field (47.2%) and 3-point range (42.6%). The team will need to extend a $3.9MM qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.

Hernangomez, 24, also became a starter upon moving to Minnesota and averaged 12.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG in 14 games. The fourth-year power forward will be an RFA if the Wolves make a $4.6MM qualifying offer.

In the same interview, Rosas indicated that Minnesota plans to be aggressive again this offseason, similar to last summer when the team traded up to get Jarrett Culver on draft night, then pursued D’Angelo Russell in free agency (Twitter link). Rosas points out that the Wolves could have three picks in the top 33, which he called potentially “the most draft capital” of anyone (Twitter link).

Northwest Notes: Conley, Millsap, Butler, Timberwolves

Jazz point guard Mike Conley isn’t concerned about a rift between teammates Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Gobert and Mitchell are trying to repair their relationship after Mitchell felt Gobert’s careless actions led to his positive test for COVID-19. “They’re fine,” Conley said. “They’re competitors. They want to win.” Conley feels confident that there won’t be any locker room issues when the hiatus ends. “Our team chemistry has been as solid as ever and I am excited to hopefully get out there soon once this thing gets under control,” he said.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Paul Millsap‘s contributions to the Nuggets go beyond his raw statistics, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Millsap provides a solid defensive presence and his leadership is unquestioned. He kept up the spirits of Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. when they endured rough times this season and he’s been a mentor for Jamal Murray and former Nugget Malik Beasley, Singer adds. Millsap will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
  • The fortunes of the Timberwolves probably wouldn’t have changed even if they passed on trading with the Bulls for Jimmy Butler, Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune opines. Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t have had the patience to nurture a young core into a playoff team, Hine continues. Meanwhile, Chicago hasn’t been able to win with the players it received in the deal and is undergoing front-office changes, Hine adds.
  • The Timberwolves’ biggest priority this offseason is likely to be re-signing their restricted free agents, particularly Beasley, Hine writes in a mailbag piece. They’d also like to retain Juan Hernangomez, though that would leave them very little wiggle room for a splashy free-agent acquisition, Hine adds.