Juan Hernangomez

Scotto’s Latest: Lowry, Aldridge, Oladipo, Wolves

The Heat are among the teams that have reached out to the Raptors about veteran guard Kyle Lowry, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Some of the players discussed in a possible deal include Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Kendrick Nunn, according to Scotto.

Lowry, who will turn 35 this month, continues to remain productive, averaging 18.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.5 rebounds through 31 games. He recently pledged his loyalty to the franchise, but didn’t offer a guarantee that he will re-sign with Toronto when he becomes a free agent this summer.

As a one-year Bird player, Dragic has veto power over any trade, Scotto notes. If Dragic agrees to a deal and a new team declines his $19.44MM option for next season, his Bird rights will be reduced to Non-Bird when he enters free agency. Olynyk is headed for unrestricted free agency, while Nunn will be a restricted free agent if he receives a $4.7MM qualifying offer.

Scotto offers a few more tidbits in advance of the March 25 trade deadline:

  • The Heat have also talked to the Spurs about veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who won’t play again until San Antonio can work out a deal. According to Scotto, Miami offered Avery Bradley, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard to match salary and would be willing to include a minimum contract such as Chris Silva or KZ Okpala or possibly draft picks. The Spurs will have many suitors for Aldridge, and several league executives expect the Celtics to get involved with their $28.5MM trade exception, Scotto adds. Boston is about $19.9MM below the hard cap and would have to send at least $4.1MM in contracts to San Antonio in return.
  • Rockets guard Victor Oladipo may be the top player available before the deadline, a few executives tell Scotto. The Knicks and Heat are among the teams that are reportedly interested. Scotto adds that Christian Wood is the only player the rebuilding Rockets might consider untouchable.
  • Several teams have inquired about Timberwolves veterans Ed DavisRicky RubioJuan Hernangomez and Jake Layman. Minnesota would like to acquire a young forward such as the Hawks‘ John Collins or the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, Scotto notes, and has future first-rounders to offer starting in 2023.

Northwest Notes: Towns, Conley, T-Wolves, Hernangomez

Timberwolves star center Karl-Anthony Towns continues to recover from the novel coronavirus. Minnesota head coach Ryan Saunders has noted that Towns has made some strides recently as he works his way back, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

“He’s really been able to push himself,” Saunders said of the Timberwolves’ leading scorer. “Our medical group has been able to try to simulate certain stints during a game, the stopping and going, what that might feel like with his lungs.” Krawczynski adds in a separate tweet that Saunders says Minnesota’s medical team needs to examine the way Towns’s lungs respond to “high-intensity work.”

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz can take cold comfort in the fact that, while star point guard Mike Conley is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, the injury is not considered as severe as a similar hamstring injury he suffered last season, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets.
  • The Timberwolves‘ youngest players have surprisingly emerged as some of Minnesota’s best, as Michael Rand of The Star Tribune details. Jordan McLaughlin, Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Nowell, Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, and Jarred Vanderbilt have impressed with their play of late.
  • After missing nearly three weeks of action due to COVID-19, Timberwolves power forward Juan Hernangomez is now striving to break back into Minnesota’s rotation, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. His younger teammates Vanderbilt and McDaniels have supplanted him in the power forward rotation for now, though Hernangomez enjoyed a productive nine-minute stint last night. “I’m probably the MVP of waiting for my chance,” Hernangomez said. “I’m happy for the young guys to develop. If I get my chance, I’m going to try to do my best.”

Hernangomez, Rubio Entering COVID-19 Protocols

Timberwolves power forward Juan Hernangomez will isolate for at least 10 days due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to Jon Krawcyznski of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Like Hernangomez, Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio will also miss the Timberwolves’ Friday bout against the Grizzlies as a result of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, the team tweets, though a timeline for Rubio’s absence has not been established publicly.

Rubio could have recorded a positive or inconclusive test, or could be quarantining himself as a result of contact-tracing measures. Depending on what happened, the timeline for Rubio’s return could be briefer than Hernangomez’s absence.

In 11 games for Minnesota (including 6 starts), Hernangomez is averaging 6.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG across 20.4 MPG. He is struggling to shoot from the floor thus far this year, connecting on just 39.7% of his field goals. For his second stint with the NBA club that drafted him, Rubio is averaging a career-low 6.3 PPG and 5.4 APG in a reduced role over the team’s first 11 contests.

Northwest Notes: Wolves, Campazzo, Hartenstein, McCollum

Following a 2-0 start, the Timberwolves have lost four straight games and are struggling to stay competitive without star center Karl-Anthony Towns available. As Chris Hine of The Star Tribune details, head coach Ryan Saunders attempted to jump-start the club on Sunday by shaking up his starting lineup, inserting Juan Hernangomez and Ed Davis in place of Ricky Rubio and Naz Reid.

According to Hine, the plan was to help Russell establish some pick-and-roll chemistry with Davis, his former teammate in Brooklyn, and to reduce Reid’s minutes against Nikola Jokic in the hopes of avoiding foul trouble.

Jarrett Culver, playing the three instead of the four in the new-look lineup, had his best game of the young season, and Davis led the team in rebounding, but the Timberwolves still lost by 15 points and Hernangomez’s early struggles continued. Still, Saunders said after the game that he saw some positive signs from the fifth-year power forward.

“I did think he had some good defensive possessions. I thought that helped us,” Saunders said of Hernangomez. “His size and length helped us a little bit even though we got beat on the glass, I thought he was able to get his hands on a few. He had some good looks, missed a couple that he’ll usually make around the basket. So for that reason, I see progress with Juancho as well.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Former Real Madrid star Facundo Campazzo had looked relatively invisible in his first five NBA games, but he showed on Sunday why the Nuggets brought him over from Spain this offseason, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. “I thought this was the best version of Facundo Campazzo that you could imagine,” head coach Michael Malone said of the 29-year-old point guard, who had 15 points and three steals in Denver’s win over Minnesota.
  • Before he signed with the Nuggets as a free agent in November, Isaiah Hartenstein drew interest from the Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Pelicans, and Wizards, league sources tell Singer in a separate Denver Post story.
  • Typically a slow starter, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has been excellent so far in 2020/21, having averaged 28.0 PPG with a .431 3PT% in six games. Jason Quick of The Athletic takes a look at what has fueled the hot start for McCollum, who said he’s motivated by wanting to secure a postseason berth without having to take part in the play-in tournament again.

Wolves Notes: Rubio, Beasley, Rosas, Hernangomez

Ricky Rubio didn’t want to go through rebuilding with the Thunder and he doesn’t believe that’s what he’s headed for with the Timberwolves, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. After Phoenix sent him to Oklahoma City in the Chris Paul trade, Rubio asked his agent to find a new destination. The result was a return to Minnesota, the team that drafted him 11 years ago.

The Wolves were just 19-45 last season and were among eight teams not invited to restart the season in Orlando. But Rubio believes the organization has enough quality pieces already in place to make a quick turnaround.

“I don’t feel like we’re in a rebuilding process,” he said. “We’re a couple steps ahead. We’re already making things happen. With [D’Angelo Russell] and [Karl-Anthony Towns] hitting their five years in the league, they still have a lot of room to improve, but I feel like they learned a lot. It’s not like a young corps where they don’t know how this league goes.”

Rubio expressed a willingness to accept a starting or reserve position in Minnesota. He credits the outlook to his time in Utah watching Derrick Favors, who handled both roles without complaining.

“He didn’t say a word,” Rubio said. “He kept working and … at the end of the day we won. That’s what you care about. You have to sacrifice something for the best, for the team. If it’s coming off the bench, would I like it? No. I wouldn’t like it, I will be honest. But I will be willing to do it for the best of the team.”

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Malik Beasley held his first session with reporters today since being arrested in September for drug possession and threats of violence, but he refused to discuss specifics of the case, Hine adds in a separate story. “It’s a legal issue,” he said. “I cannot really comment on that right now, but I appreciate the Timberwolves’ support and I’m 100% focused on the court this year and doing what we have to do.”
  • The Wolves have only four players remaining from last season’s opening-night roster, notes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has remade the team to add more shooting, playmaking and versatility, giving coach Ryan Saunders more options with his rotation. Krawcyznski examines several potential starting lineups that lean on experience, athleticism and ball-handling.
  • The new three-year, $21MM contract for Juancho Hernangomez includes a team option for the third year and contains $387,500 in incentives, Krawczynski tweets. The fifth-year power forward will make $6.493MM this season and $7,012,440 in 2021/22. His $7,531,880 salary for 2022/23 becomes fully guaranteed on June 30, 2022.

Wolves Rumors: Hernangomez, Edwards, Rubio, Beasley

Timberwolves restricted free agent forward Juan Hernangomez initially sought an offer in excess of $10MM per year, sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Unwilling to meet that price right off the bat, the Wolves “essentially told” Hernangomez to prove he could get an offer from another club while they went looking for possible alternatives at power forward, writes Krawczynski.

Minnesota ended up reaching out to a number forwards in free agency, including Derrick Jones (as previously outlined), Paul Millsap, Jae Crowder, and JaMychal Green, and inquired on possible trades involving Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, and Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr., sources tell Krawczynski.

The Timberwolves didn’t have any luck with any of those potential targets, but held firm on their offer to Hernangomez, who mulled the possibility of accepting the one-year qualifying offer worth $4.64MM, per Krawczynski. Ultimately, the two sides came to an agreement on a three-year, $21MM deal that has a third-year team option.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • The Timberwolves chose Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick last week because they believe he has the clearest path of any of this year’s draft-eligible prospects to becoming a multi-time All-Star, says Krawczysnki.
  • Sources tell The Athletic that the team’s acquisition of Ricky Rubio was partly motivated by seeing what the veteran point guard did for Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker at his previous stops and a belief that he’ll aid Edwards’ development.
  • The Knicks told Malik Beasley he’d be their Plan B in free agency if they couldn’t land Gordon Hayward, according to Krawczynski. Recognizing that New York could be a threat to put forth a troublesome offer sheet, the Wolves went in with an aggressive pitch on the opening night of free agency and secured a commitment from Beasley on the spot. Sources tell The Athletic that Beasley has appreciated the support he’s received from the franchise since running into off-court legal problems.
  • The Timberwolves officially announced Beasley’s new deal today. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) has the year-by-year financial breakdown of that contract, which guarantees the swingman $43MM+ over three years.

Wolves Sign Juan Hernangomez To Three-Year Deal

NOV. 28: The Timberwolves have made the deal official, per a press release on Saturday.


NOV. 22: 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.