Timberwolves Rumors

Jazz To Trade Rudy Gobert To Timberwolves

The Jazz are trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (all Twitter links), the Jazz will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, and four future first-rounders in the deal.

Minnesota will send Utah unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, along with a top-five protected 2029 first-round pick and the right to swap first-rounders in 2026, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A major shake-up had been expected in Utah this spring and Gobert has been mentioned in trade rumors since the Jazz were eliminated from the postseason. On top of that, the Wolves were rumored to be in the market for a rim-protecting center to play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and had been linked to Gobert.

Still, the fact that the two division rivals were able to agree to terms on this blockbuster deal comes as a major surprise. It represents a huge home-run swing by new Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, and is the first significant roster move made by Jazz CEO Danny Ainge.

The move will cost the Timberwolves a good amount of their depth, but will create a loaded starting five. Towns and Gobert figure to be joined by point guard D’Angelo Russell, rising star Anthony Edwards, and one of Kyle Anderson, Taurean Prince, or Jaden McDaniels.

The Wolves will have Gobert under contract for several years — he’s owed a guaranteed $123MM over the next three seasons and has a $46.7MM player option for 2025/26.

Minnesota currently projects to be about $9.5MM below this season’s luxury tax line, with 11 players on their books, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Meanwhile, of the players headed to Utah in this trade, only Kessler will have guaranteed money on his contract beyond 2022/23. Beverley is on an expiring contract, while Beasley, Vanderbilt, and Bolmaro all have team options for ’23/24.

The Jazz are currently $11MM below this year’s tax line for 13 players and should have significant cap flexibility in future seasons, says Marks.

Having also acquired a first-round pick from Brooklyn this week in exchange for Royce O’Neale, the Jazz are now loaded with draft assets and plan to retool their roster around Donovan Mitchell going forward, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Tony Jones of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the team has no plans to trade Mitchell.

There could be an opportunity for the Jazz to turn around and immediately flip some of the picks they’ve accumulated for an impact player who will complement Mitchell.

For instance, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 reports (via Twitter) that Utah has some interest in exploring a sign-and-trade deal for Suns restricted free agent center Deandre Ayton, and Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms (via Twitter) that the Wolves, Jazz, and Suns had discussed some three-team scenarios.

After seeing multiple unprotected first-round picks change hands this week in deals involving Gobert and Dejounte Murray, it’s safe to say the Nets’ asking price for Kevin Durant will be astronomical. Brooklyn is said to be seeking a “historical haul” for the former MVP.

Northwest Rumors: Wolves, Gobert, Murray, Beasley, Brown, Micic

Thursday’s agreement with Kyle Anderson will give the Timberwolves 15 players under contract, but they’re not done with offseason moves, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota remains in the market for another big man and has talked to the Jazz about Rudy Gobert, sources tell Krawczynski.

Although the Wolves used a first-round pick on Auburn’s Walker Kessler, they want to add a veteran center so there’s not too much pressure on Kessler to produce right away. They were interested in free agents JaVale McGee and Isaiah Hartenstein, but they both reached deals with other teams Thursday night.

Minnesota’s talks with Utah about Gobert began before the draft, but the Jazz are asking a lot in return for their perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. If the Wolves can’t work out a trade for Gobert, Krawczynski cites the PacersMyles Turner and the HawksClint Capela as other options, although he adds that Minnesota’s talks with Atlanta haven’t gotten very far.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves talked to the Spurs about Dejounte Murray but weren’t willing to meet the asking price, Krawczynski confirms. There was also skepticism that Murray would re-sign with Minnesota once his contract expires in two years.
  • Teams have been making calls to gather background info on Timberwolves wing Malik Beasley, but no deal is imminent, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Beasley, who will make $15.45MM next season, carries a team option for his $16.52MM salary in 2023/24.
  • Bruce Brown possibly could have made more than the $13+ million he’ll receive from the Nuggets over the next two years, but he believes he’s entering a good situation in Denver, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). A source tells Reynolds that “fit” was more important to Brown than money.
  • Vasilije Micic‘s representatives are pressing the Thunder to trade him, but Oklahoma City isn’t willing to give the European star up cheaply, according to Aris Barkas of EuroHoops. The Nuggets, Bucks, Bulls and Spurs have all expressed interest in Micic, Barkas hears.

Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Agree To Super-Max Extension

Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to sign a four-year, super-max extension with the Timberwolves, agent Jessica Holtz tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The deal will begin in 2024/25 and will be worth 35% of that season’s salary cap, with 8% raises in subsequent seasons. Since the ’24/25 cap figure isn’t yet known, neither is the amount of Towns’ extension, but Wojnarowski projects it to be worth about $224MM over four years.

The signing is something of a no-brainer for a Minnesota club on the rise. Towns, still just 26, enjoyed something of a comeback season with Minnesota in 2021/22. Though his stats in recent years remained impressive, the team had been mired in middling lottery-bound purgatory for three straight seasons prior to 2022.

In 2022, the 6’11” center made his first All-Star team since 2019 and his first All-NBA Team since 2018. Towns also won the NBA Three-Point Contest during the 2022 All-Star Weekend, a rarity for a big man. During 74 games last year, Towns averaged 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 3.6 APG, with guard-like shooting splits of .529/.410/.822.

The three-time All-Star’s offensive prowess was a big reason the Timberwolves returned to their first playoff berth in four years. Led by Towns and second-year phenom Anthony Edwards, plus guards D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley, the seventh-seeded Timberwolves pushed the second-seeded Grizzlies in a tough, physical first-round series. Minnesota would ultimately fall to Memphis in six games.

A super-max contract extension for Towns, an exceptional offensive talent just reaching his prime, had previously been considered the top priority for Minnesota’s front office this summer.

So far in free agency, the team has also added veteran small forward Kyle Anderson and re-signed tweener forward Taurean Prince to a two-year extension. The team also exercised non-guaranteed team options for 2022/23 on Naz Reid and Jaylen Nowell.

In the draft, the Timberwolves added several intriguing young players. Auburn big man Walker Kessler, the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year, and Duke small forward Wendell Moore, were selected in the first round. Memphis drafted Memphis swingman Josh Minott and Vanoli Cremona shooting guard Matteo Spagnolo in the second round.

Timberwolves To Sign Kyle Anderson

The Timberwolves and free agent forward Kyle Anderson have agreed to a two-year, $18MM deal, agents Thad Foucher and Joe Smith tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The terms of the contract suggest Minnesota will be using part of its non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Anderson. Both years will be guaranteed, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

After enjoying a career year in 2020/21 with 12.4 PPG and a .360 3PT%, Anderson failed to match those numbers in ’21/22, but he remains a solid defensive wing who rebounds well for his size and can act as a secondary play-maker.

Anderson averaged 7.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.1 SPG on .446/.330/.638 shooting in 69 games (21.5 MPG) for Memphis this past season.

According to Dane Moore of Bring Me The News (Twitter link), the Wolves “really wanted” to add a player who could create his own shot and put pressure on the rim.

Minnesota remains in the market for a big man, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The team doesn’t project to have any 15-man spots left after accounting for its 12 players already under contract, plus Anderson and first-round picks Wendell Moore and Walker Kessler. However, it could open one up with a cut or a trade.

Taurean Prince Signs Two-Year Extension With Timberwolves

JUNE 30: Prince’s extension is now official, according to the Timberwolves (Twitter link).

JUNE 28: Taurean Prince is returning to the Timberwolves on a two-year, $16MM extension, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Prince was headed to unrestricted free agency but had expressed a strong desire to remain in Minnesota, and the team is locking up to an extension that will keep him off the market.

Shortly after the season, Prince said he planned to return, adding that the strong camaraderie in the Wolves’ locker room is something he hasn’t experienced since college. He praised head coach Chris Finch, comparing him to Mike Budenholzer, who coached Prince in Atlanta at the start of his NBA career.

The second year of Prince’s new contract will be non-guaranteed, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. It’ll represent a slight pay cut for Prince, who signed a two-year, $25.25MM contract with Brooklyn in 2019 and earned $13.3MM this past season.

Prince averaged 7.3 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .454/.376/.756 shooting in 69 regular season games (17.1 MPG) during his first year in Minnesota. The Wolves held his Bird rights, so they had the ability to go over the cap to re-sign him without using any other exceptions.

Extensions Imminent For Jokic, Booker, Towns, Morant, More

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Suns guard Devin Booker, Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant are all expected to reach verbal agreements with their respective teams on new long-term contract extensions soon after the NBA’s new league year begins tonight, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Cavaliers guard Darius Garland are also “widely expected” to receive extensions this offseason, Stein notes (via Twitter).

Morant, Williamson, and Garland will be eligible for rookie scale extensions, with the exact figures yet to be determined. Rookie scale extensions are available for former first-round picks entering their fourth seasons. The three players’ offers will likely include Rose Rule language that allows them to earn a starting salary of up to 30% of the 2023/24 salary cap (instead of 25%) if they meets certain performance criteria.

Even though Morant, for example, earned an All-NBA spot this year, he would have to make an All-NBA team again next season to qualify for the higher max — the Rose Rule criteria require a player to make All-NBA in either the season before his new contract goes into effect or in two of the three prior seasons.

Williamson’s extension could take a little longer to figure out, given that he’s appeared in just 85 career games and missed all of last season after setbacks following foot surgery last summer. Still, Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said he was “confident” that an agreement would be reached, the only question is how much money will be guaranteed up front.

Jokic, Booker, and Towns will all be eligible for super-max extensions, also known as Designated Veteran Extensions, worth up to 35% of the salary cap. At least one of the following must be a true for a player to be eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension:

  • He was named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.
  • He was named NBA MVP in any of the three most recent seasons.
  • He was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.

Booker and Towns both made All-NBA teams this past season, and Jokic was named the back-to-back MVP in addition to making All-NBA teams the past four seasons.

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is also likely to receive a two-year extension worth in excess of $100MM once the new league year begins, as relayed by Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report and Stein (Twitter links).

Western Notes: McGee, Towns, Wiseman, Williamson, Trent Jr.

JaVale McGee could wind up with another Western Conference contender next season. The Mavericks are very interested in the veteran free agent center and could offer him the two-year deal he’s seeking, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM tweets. McGee, 34, averaged 9.2 PPG and 6.7 RPG for the Suns last season while appearing in 74 regular season contests.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The biggest priority for the Timberwolves this summer is to lock up Karl-Anthony Towns with an extension, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports. Towns is eligible for an extension of up to four years and roughly $211MM. “I can’t wait to sit down with him and his representation ASAP and keep this thing going,” new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said. “He’s special and deserves everything that is going to come his way.”
  • James Wiseman would actually benefit if the Warriors are able to re-sign free agent Kevon Looney, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Their skill sets would mesh as the team’s center duo and it would ease the pressure on Wiseman, allowing him to focus on his development.
  • The Pelicans’ extension talks with Zion Williamson could take some time to sort out, as Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times Picayune explains. The two sides need to figure out is how much of the extension will be fully guaranteed. Clark’s sources believe there is a possibility that negotiations could drag on longer than anticipated due of this issue. Williamson sat out last season due to a foot injury.
  • The Jazz have expressed interest in Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr., according to Ian Begley of SNY TV. Trent’s cap hit for next season is $17.5MM and he has an $18.5+MM option for 2023/24. He averaged 18.3 PPG in 35 MPG last season.

Spurs Trade Dejounte Murray To Hawks

JUNE 30: The trade is official, the Hawks announced in a press release.

“The opportunity to acquire a player of Dejounte’s caliber, just entering his prime, doesn’t come along too often,” Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “He has developed into one of the elite two-way guards in the league and we’re thrilled to add him to our group.”

In addition to the pieces detailed below, Atlanta also acquired big man Jock Landale from San Antonio. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets, in order to complete the trade before the new league year began, the Spurs needed to add a little more salary to match Gallinari’s $21.45MM incoming figure, even though it’s not fully guaranteed.

According to Kirschner (Twitter link), it’s not clear yet whether the Hawks plan to keep Landale, whose minimum-salary contract for 2022/23 isn’t fully guaranteed.

JUNE 29: The Spurs have reached an agreement to trade guard Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for a package that includes Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). San Antonio will receive three first-rounders and a draft swap, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Wojnarowski and Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter links), the three picks going to the Spurs will be Charlotte’s 2023 first-rounder (top-16 protected) and the Hawks’ own 2025 and 2027 first-rounders. San Antonio will also have the right to swap first-round selections with Atlanta in 2026.

Those 2025 and 2027 picks – along with the 2026 swap – will be unprotected, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic.

Marc Stein first reported (via Twitter) that momentum was building toward a Murray trade, noting that the Knicks and Timberwolves were also among the guard’s known suitors. Atlanta has been the team most frequently linked to Murray though, having reportedly explored deals for him dating back to February’s trade deadline.

The deal represents a major backcourt upgrade for the Hawks, who will add an All-Star – and one of the league’s best perimeter defenders – to complement All-NBA guard Trae Young without giving up any players from their projected 2022/23 roster.

It’s not clear if trade candidate John Collins will still be in Atlanta when the ’22/23 season begins, but he’s not part of this deal after having being included in earlier Murray-related rumors.

Murray enjoyed a breakout season in 2021/22, averaging 21.1 PPG, 9.2 APG, 8.3 RPG, and a league-leading 2.0 SPG with a shooting line of .462/.327/.794 in 68 games (34.8 MPG). The 25-year-old was the runner-up for the Most Improved Player award.

Murray’s ability and versatility on defense make him an ideal backcourt partner for Young, who is said to be “ecstatic” about the move, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Murray is under contract for the next two seasons and is owed just over $34MM during that time.

The Spurs’ motives for making the deal are a little less obvious than the Hawks’, since it’s not as if Murray was on an entirely different timeline than the team’s young core, but perhaps he wasn’t part of the club’s plans beyond his current contract. San Antonio’s decision to accept a package heavy on distant draft picks rather than current players signals that short-term contention probably isn’t in the cards as the front office looks toward the future.

The Hornets’ 2023 pick will be lottery-protected in 2024 and 2025 if it doesn’t convey next year, then would turn into two second-round picks if it hasn’t conveyed by that point. The Hawks’ own picks – and the 2026 swap – could be more significantly more valuable, especially if the team takes a downturn within the next few years.

Gallinari’s $21.45MM salary had only been partially guaranteed for $5MM and was set to become fully guaranteed if he remained under contract through today.

The veteran forward probably isn’t in the Spurs’ plans at that full $21.45MM figure, so the most likely outcome is that he’ll have his partial guarantee increased by another $6MM-ish in order to legally match Murray’s salary, then will be waived. Gallinari may agree to push back his salary guarantee date in order to give the teams time to complete the trade and ensure that he receives that extra money, though that’s just my speculation at this point.

P.J. Tucker Unlikely To Return To Heat

There will be significant interest in P.J. Tucker when free agency begins later today, and the veteran forward is considered unlikely to re-sign with the Heat, according to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Schiffer mentions the Hawks, Timberwolves, Nets, Bulls and Sixers among the teams that plan to target Tucker, adding that they will offer either the non-taxpayers’ mid-level exception of $10.49MM, or in the case of the Nets and Hawks, the taxpayers’ MLE of $6.48MM. Atlanta could also make a trade to shed salary and get below the tax line, opening up the use of the full MLE.

A report earlier this week suggested that Miami is willing to give Tucker a guaranteed three-year deal, but at less than the full MLE. It appears several teams are ready to outbid the Heat for his services.

Philadelphia has been rumored as a prime suitor for Tucker, as president of basketball operations Daryl Morey also signed him in Houston. Atlanta and Brooklyn have been mentioned as well, but Minnesota and Chicago are new to the list.

The 37-year-old Tucker is an elite defender who was part of the Bucks’ title-winning roster in 2021 and helped the Heat become the No. 1 seed in the East this season. He averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Miami and shot 41.5% from three-point range.

Hawks Rumors: Murray, Durant, Collins, Hunter

The Hawkstrade for Dejounte Murray was the result of pressure from ownership to improve the roster before Trae Young‘s super-max extension takes effect next season, according to Chris Kirschner and Sam Amick of The Athletic. Murray is under contract for a combined $34.2MM over the next two years, and while the team doesn’t expect him to agree to an early extension that would limit his future earnings, there’s confidence that he will be a long-term backcourt partner for Young.

Atlanta’s front office had a “sense of confusion and disbelief” that the Spurs were willing to part with Murray, a 25-year-old All-Star with a team-friendly contract, the authors add. Sources tell them that the teams discussed a Murray deal last week, but the Spurs didn’t contact the Hawks for a long time afterward, leading to concerns on Atlanta’s side that San Antonio was reconsidering the trade or may have found a better offer.

San Antonio also discussed Murray with the Timberwolves, but Minnesota wasn’t willing to give up as much as the Hawks eventually did, Kirschner and Amick add. The Knicks were reported as a possible destination, but the authors say they never had trade talks with the Spurs about Murray.

There’s more from Atlanta:

  • Amid the chaos surrounding the Nets last week, the Hawks were preparing to have an offer ready in case Kevin Durant asked for a trade, according to Kirschner and Amick.
  • Young is “really excited” about the Murray trade, states ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who adds that Atlanta likely isn’t done reshaping its roster (Twitter link).
  • The Hawks are facing a shrinking market for John Collins, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says in a podcast with Kirschner that was recorded Wednesday before the Murray trade was announced. Two potential destinations were eliminated when the Kings drafted Keegan Murray and the Trail Blazers traded for Jerami Grant. Kirschner adds that Atlanta won’t give up Collins without a decent return, so there’s a chance he won’t be traded this offseason.
  • Scotto and Kirschner address a number of other Hawks-related items. Atlanta may have interest in a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade but only if it’s less than a max deal, De’Andre Hunter is considered part of the team’s core and could eventually land an extension near $20MM per season, and Delon Wright is much more likely to be re-signed than Lou Williams. Kirschner also cites potential “heat” on Nate McMillan, saying the Hawks will consider a coaching change if they don’t get off to a fast start next season.