Timberwolves Rumors

Covington Working On Rhythm And Conditioning

  • Coming off a knee injury and resulting surgery that limited him to 35 games last year, Timberwolves forward Robert Covington says he is fully healthy and will look to work on improving his rhythm and conditioning, per Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.

Timberwolves Sign Two Players, Waive Two

The back of the Timberwolves‘ roster has undergone some turnover today, with the team announcing in a press release that it has signed guards Tyus Battle and Barry Brown. The two new Wolves will occupy the roster spots vacated by forward Jordan Murphy and guard Lindell Wigginton, who have been waived.

Battle, who went undrafted out of Syracuse, agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Timberwolves right after the draft ended in June, but the two sides didn’t finalize that agreement until now. That’s a signal that Minnesota views the 6’6″ guard as someone who will join the Iowa Wolves – the team’s G League affiliate – after he’s waived.

Brown, who played his college ball at Kansas State, also went undrafted this spring. He averaged 14.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.9 SPG in 34 games (35.0 MPG) during his final college season, then played for the Wolves’ Summer League team in Las Vegas in July. His contract, like Battle’s, is an Exhibit 10 pact, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

According to Wolfson, it appears likely that all four players involved in today’s transactions – including Murphy and Wigginton – will ultimately end up playing for the Iowa Wolves.

Treveon Graham An Important Piece; Gupta's Road To Minnesota

Lowe: Timberwolves Might Have Interest In Lowry

  • Woj and Lowe think Raptors guard Kyle Lowry would generate a lot of interest on the trade market if Toronto becomes open to moving him. Both ESPN experts believe that Lowry’s one-year, $31MM extension actually makes him more appealing as a trade chip, since he wouldn’t be just a half-season rental. Lowe speculates that teams like the Heat, Pistons, and Clippers might have interest, while Woj singles out the Timberwolves as another potential fit.


Northwest Notes: Porter, Okogie, Green, Thunder

In a piece chronicling the first NBA game for Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., Nick Kosmider of The Athletic explains how Porter’s debut ended up being a long time coming after the 21-year-old had to rehab through two back surgeries and miss his entire first season as a professional.

In the team hotel the night before Porter’s debut, Tim Connelly, Denver’s president of basketball operations, encouraged Porter to let each frame of his debut experience sink in, notwithstanding the fact that it was just a preseason game.

“I told him, ‘You should really pat yourself on the back,'” Connelly said. “It’s not easy to do what he’s done. He’s been a guy that, forever, the assumption was that he was going to play in the NBA because he was so talented, but the road has been a little more convoluted and challenging, so I said, ‘Appreciate the moment. You’re officially in the NBA. It wasn’t how you thought it would be three or four years ago, but it’s still special.'”

Teammate Jarred Vanderbilt, who is close with Porter and helped him throughout the rehab process and beforehand, had some good advice for his friend.

“I know how tough it was for him to sit out, like it was for me, but he sat out the whole year,” Vanderbilt said. “It was a lot tougher for him, so it’s just great to see him playing again. I told him, ‘Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Just be happy to be out there.’ That’s how I was. I was just happy to be out there. I know how it feels to be not able to play. To come back and feel all antsy like you have to make the right play and everything, I felt like I was doing that and thinking too much, so I just told him to let the game come. Everything will fall into place.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, who is entering his second season in the NBA, was able to improve his game this summer by playing in the FIBA World Cup as a member of Team Nigeria, writes Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. Specifically, Okogie believes he has gotten better mentally. “My experience was great playing overseas. One reason being, it forced me to think the game.”
  • As Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune notes, we may see some new tricks from Jazz newcomer, veteran forward Jeff Green, as his ever-expanding skill set could prove crucial for the team this coming season.
  • The Thunder rolled out a starting lineup that included Chris PaulShai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder in their latest preseason game, perhaps signaling the team’s plan to use multiple point guard rotations throughout this season. Tim MacMahon of ESPN has the story.

2019/20 Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2019/20 NBA regular season will get underway in less than two weeks, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the Atlantic, we’re moving onto the Northwest today…

Denver Nuggets

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Nuggets poll.

 Utah Jazz

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Jazz poll.

Portland Trail Blazers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Trail Blazers poll.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Timberwolves poll.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll.

Previous voting results:


  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Over (54.9%)
  • Boston Celtics (49.5 wins): Under (57.0%)
  • Toronto Raptors (46.5 wins): Under (59.1%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (43.5 wins): Over (58.3%)
  • New York Knicks (27.5 wins): Under (54.9%)

Culver Making Strong Impression In Camp

  • Lottery pick Jarrett Culver has wasted no time making a strong impression at Timberwolves camp, the team’s play-by-play announcer Alan Horton tweets. Coach Ryan Saunders said Culver has been the early standout in the preseason. “He’s definitely made some plays that make you look around and say wow,” Saunders said. “Now those might be normal plays for someone who’s been in the league, but for a rookie in his first couple of days, it was impressive.”

2019 Offseason In Review: Minnesota Timberwolves

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Minnesota Timberwolves.


  • Standard contracts:

    • Jake Layman: Three years, $11.28MM. Acquired via sign-and-trade using trade exception.
    • Noah Vonleh: One year, $2MM. Signed using mid-level exception.
    • Naz Reid: Four years, minimum salary. Second and third years non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Initially signed two-way contract, then converted to standard contract using mid-level exception.
    • Jordan Bell: One year, minimum salary.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:


Draft picks:

  • 1-6: Jarrett Culver — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-43: Jaylen Nowell — Signed to four-year, $6.63MM contract. Second and third years non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Signed using mid-level exception.

Waiver claims:

  • Tyrone Wallace (from Clippers). One year, minimum salary ($1,588,231). Non-guaranteed. Claimed using minimum salary exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Hired Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations.
  • Named Ryan Saunders permanent head coach.
  • Hired Sachin Gupta as executive VP of basketball operations.
  • Hired Gianluca Pascucci as assistant GM; hired Joe Branch as assistant GM; promoted Emmanuel Rohan to assistant GM.
  • Hired David Vanterpool as lead assistant coach.
  • Hired Pablo Prigioni as assistant coach; hired Bryan Gates as assistant coach.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $124.76MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped.
  • $4.96MM of mid-level exception still available (used $4.3MM on Noah Vonleh, Jaylen Nowell, and Naz Reid).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.
  • $822K traded player exception available (expires 11/12/19).

Story of the summer:

When Gersson Rosas was hired as the Timberwolves’ new president of basketball operations this spring, there was speculation that it could be a more eventful offseason than expected in Minnesota. After all, Rosas was a longtime lieutenant of Rockets GM Daryl Morey, and Morey has never hesitated to swing for the fences on the trade market. By all accounts, Rosas was prepared to bring that same aggressiveness to his new position.

Fans and observers expecting fireworks were in for a letdown, however, as the Wolves didn’t end up having a wild summer after all. The team’s biggest free agent investment was a three-year deal worth less than $4MM annually for relatively unknown forward Jake Layman. On top of that, high-priced trade candidates like Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, and Gorgui Dieng all stayed put.

Still, the absence of blockbuster moves wasn’t for lack of trying. The Wolves met with D’Angelo Russell at the start of free agency and reportedly believed they had a real chance to land him in a sign-and-trade deal before he pivoted and decided to head to Golden State instead.

Plus, the Wolves’ draft-night deal for Jarrett Culver showed the kind of gamble Rosas is willing to take in the right situation. The team gave up Dario Saric – who was entering a contract year – for the right to move up from No. 11 to No. 6 for Culver, a potential two-way standout on the wing.

While Rosas and Minnesota’s new management group may not have made a huge splash immediately, there will be more opportunities to do so, especially when pricey contracts for Teague and Dieng expire in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

For now, the Wolves will rely on further improvement from young players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Josh Okogie, and Wiggins, along with steady contributions from veterans like Robert Covington and Teague as they look to fight their way back to the playoffs. But if Rosas delivers on his reputation, this roster could look much different within a year or two.

Read more

Wolves Encourage Bell To Reclaim Basketball Identity

  • The Timberwolves are encouraging newly-acquired big man Jordan Bell to reclaim his basketball identity after playing a limited role in Golden State, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Jordan is not used to shooting. We want him to shoot,” Karl-Anthony Towns said of his new frontcourt mate. “Be a scorer. Be who you are. … Don’t feel you can’t use the talents that you’ve been practicing for so long but you don’t get to show.”

Northwest Notes: Conley, Teague, Roberson

Mike Conley is one of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the Jazz and the team is excited to have him around, as Matt John of Basketball Insiders writes. “Watching him play, being around him, seeing how he interacts,” head coach Quin Synder said. “When I say elite, that manifests itself in a lot of different ways.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest Division:

  • After a disappointing year in Minnesota, Jeff Teague is ready for a new campaign, as Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes. Teague missed 40 games with injuries last season for the Timberwolves and the point guard told Hine that he had never endured a season like that before.
  • Andre Roberson hasn’t played in nearly two years after rupturing his patellar tendon, but the wing is back on the court for Thunder, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman passes along. Roberson has been cleared to practice without restrictions.
  • The Nuggets have a battle on their hands for the starting small forward position, Mike Singer of The Denver Post relays. “By no means is there a leader in the clubhouse,” head coach Mike Malone said of the competition. Torrey Craig, Juan Hernangomez, Will Barton, and Michael Porter Jr. are among the options at the three.