Timberwolves Rumors

Alexey Shved Drew NBA Interest This Summer

Former NBA guard Alexey Shved received interest from multiple NBA teams this offseason, but decided to remain overseas for the time being, agent Obrad Fimic told Russian outlet Izvestia (translation via HoopsHype).

Shved, who played for the Timberwolves, Sixers, Rockets, and Knicks during his previous stint in the NBA from 2012 to 2015, has been a member of Russian club Khimki since returning to Europe three years ago. While the 29-year-old will remain with Khimki for the upcoming season, Fimic suggests that the Pelicans, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Suns all expressed interest in signing his client.

According to Fimic, Shved received a couple minimum-salary offers, and one offer that would’ve been in the $4MM range for 2018/19. However, the agent for the Russian guard believes the summer of 2019 may be a better time to revisit the possibility of a return to the NBA.

“Next year, Alexey will still be under contract with Khimki, but we’ll be carefully considering offers from the NBA,” Fimic said. “Everyone says the NBA teams will have more available money next summer. Therefore, the probability of his departure will increase.”

In 2017/18, Shved was the EuroLeague’s leading scorer, averaging 21.8 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 34 EuroLeague contests. He also put up 23.6 PPG, 5.6 APG, and 2.3 RPG in 24 Russian League games.

NBA Teams With Most, Fewest Guaranteed Salaries

At this point in the NBA offseason, most teams are carrying 14 and 15 players on guaranteed salaries. The clubs with 14 guaranteed contracts on their books will likely either enter the season with an open roster spot or allow camp invitees to compete for that 15th-man role. Teams with 15 players already on guaranteed deals have their regular-season rosters all but set already.

Still, several teams around the NBA have more than 15 or fewer than 14 fully guaranteed salaries on their cap for now. Using our roster counts tool, here’s a look at those teams, with details on what they might be thinking as the 2018/19 season nears:

Fewer than 14 guaranteed contracts:

  • Houston Rockets (11 guaranteed contracts): In addition to their 11 fully guaranteed contracts, the Rockets also figure to hang onto Michael Carter-Williams, who has a significant partial guarantee. Second-round pick De’Anthony Melton is a good bet to sign a guaranteed contract at some point too. That would increase the Rockets’ roster count to 13, with Zhou Qi the most likely candidate for the 14th spot.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (12): While they only have 12 guaranteed salaries on their books for now, the Cavaliers figure to increase that count by two once they officially sign David Nwaba and bring back Rodney Hood.
  • Miami Heat (12): The Heat continue to wait on Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem to make decisions on whether or not they’ll continue their respective careers. They’ll be penciled in to the 13th and 14th spots if they elect to return.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (12): Although he only has a partial guarantee, James Nunnally is a safe bet to make the Timberwolves’ roster as the 13th man. It’s not clear what the team intends to do with its last opening or two.
  • New Orleans Pelicans (12): Only 12 Pelicans have fully guaranteed salaries, but there are several legit NBA players – Emeka Okafor, DeAndre Liggins, Jahlil Okafor, and Troy Williams – vying for roster spots on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts. At least two of them figure to make the team.
  • Atlanta Hawks (13): The Hawks will increase their roster count to 15 guaranteed salaries once Vince Carter and Daniel Hamilton make their deals with Atlanta official.
  • Golden State Warriors (13): The Warriors plan to enter the season with 14 players under contract, leaving a spot open for flexibility. Their 14th man will likely be Patrick McCaw, who is still a restricted free agent for now.
  • Toronto Raptors (13): The Raptors may enter the season with a 14-man roster. Lorenzo Brown is currently the top candidate for that 14th spot, though Chris Boucher and others could provide competition.

More than 15 guaranteed contracts:

  • Sacramento Kings (16): When the Kings took advantage of their leftover cap room to sign Nemanja Bjelica and Yogi Ferrell, it created a roster crunch. If the club doesn’t trade a player before the season begins, Iman Shumpert, Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore, and Deyonta Davis are among the release candidates on the roster — all four are on expiring contracts.
  • Los Angeles Clippers (15 + Patrick Beverley): The Clippers technically only have 15 players on guaranteed salaries, but Beverley, who is on a non-guaranteed deal, will probably make the team. Assuming he does, that will mean trading or releasing another player, perhaps Wesley Johnson or Jawun Evans.
  • Memphis Grizzlies (15 + Andrew Harrison): Like Beverley in L.A., Harrison is on a non-guaranteed salary, but may not be expendable. If he remains on Memphis’ roster, the Grizzlies may end up releasing Dakari Johnson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Timberwolves Getting Team In NBA 2K eLeague

  • The NBA announced this week that the NBA 2K eLeague will introduce four expansion teams for the 2019 season, with the Hawks, Nets, Lakers, and Timberwolves adding affiliates.

Marcus Georges-Hunt To Work Out For Nuggets

Former Timberwolves guard Marcus Georges-Hunt is working out with the Nuggets this week, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype.

The 6’5” shooting guard became an unrestricted free agent this summer after Minnesota decided not to give him a qualifying offer. He appeared in 42 games and only averaged 1.4 points in 5.3 minutes per contest during the 2017/18 season with the Wolves.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, have already filled both of their two-way slots with rookies DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Thomas Welsh, and have 15 players on their roster with guaranteed contracts for the 2018/19 season. Accordingly, any deal for Georges-Hunt would likely be an unguaranteed, training camp contract only.

Georges-Hunt, 24, was a four-year college standout at Georgia Tech, but went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. In addition to his stint with the Wolves, he also spent some time with the Magic toward the end of the 2016/17 season.

Poll: Which Team Will Win Northwest Division?

There may not be an NBA division more top-heavy than the Atlantic, where the Celtics, Raptors, and Sixers are all projected to win more than 50 games in 2018/19. However, the Atlantic also features the Nets and Knicks, who are widely expected to finish in the lottery.

In terms of top-to-bottom talent, the Northwest has a stronger case to be considered the NBA’s best division. Last season, four Northwest teams made the playoffs and a fifth missed the postseason by a single game. The five clubs finished the regular season separated by just three games, racking up between 46 and 49 wins apiece.

None of those Northwest clubs took a huge step backward this offseason, but there were no massive upgrades either, with many of the most significant roster moves in the division involving re-signing key free agents. As such, oddsmakers once again view the Northwest as a five-team race, with each of those five teams projected to finish above .500.

According to betting site Bodog.eu, the Thunder are consider the very slight favorites to win the Northwest, with an over/under of 49.5 wins for the season. However, the Jazz (49 wins) and Nuggets (47.5) are right behind them, with the Timberwolves (44.5), and Trail Blazers (42.5) within striking distance.

After we asked you on Monday to assess the top of the Atlantic standings for 2018/19, we’re shifting our focus today to the Northwest.

Will the Blazers repeat as division champions? Will the Thunder or Jazz take a step forward and win the Northwest? Or will the Nuggets or Timberwolves go from vying for the No. 8 seed in the West to battling for the division crown?

Vote below in our poll for the 2018/19 Northwest division winner, then head to the comment section to make your case for your pick.

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Nunnally Can Fill 3-Point Role In Uptempo Attack

Euroleague sharpshooter James Nunnally has no doubt he can make an impact with the Timberwolves, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports. Nunnally, who made 55.4% of his threes while playing for Fenerbahçe of Turkey last season, signed a two-year deal with Minnesota. “I’m ready to get out there and play and take advantage of every opportunity that comes,” the 6’7” Nunnally said. “I know this team needs three-point shooting and wants to pick up the pace of play this year. I know that I can bring that and help in that aspect.” Nunnally’s minimum deal has a $350K guarantee, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.

Wolves Had Interest In Trevor Booker Before He Signed With Shanxi

  • Alex Kennedy passes along a follow-up note on Trevor Booker‘s deal with China’s Shanxi Brave Dragons, tweeting that Booker received interest from the Cavaliers, Heat, and Timberwolves, and also turned down an offer from Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv before signing with Shanxi.

Timberwolves Sign James Nunnally

AUGUST 8, 10:05am: The Timberwolves have officially signed Nunnally, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 7, 3:26pm: Nunnally’s two-year deal with the Timberwolves will be worth the veteran’s minimum and will include partial guarantees, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

AUGUST 7, 12:57pm: Former Sixers wing James Nunnally is set to return to the NBA, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports (via Twitter) that the Timberwolves have agreed to sign Nunnally to a two-year contract.

Nunnally, who played his college ball at UC Santa Barbara, went undrafted in 2012 and has played in a handful of leagues since then. Besides appearing in 13 total games for the Hawks and 76ers back in 2013/14, the 28-year-old also played in 84 G League contests and has spent time with teams in Greece, Puerto Rico, Spain, Israel, Italy, and Turkey.

Most recently, Nunnally played for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, serving as a key rotation player on a club that also featured Brad Wanamaker, Jan Vesely, Luigi Datome, and Jason Thompson. In 29 EuroLeague contests last season, Nunnally averaged 9.3 PPG and made an eye-popping 55.4% of his three-point attempts.

Nunnally, who was also linked to the Trail Blazers and Rockets this offseason, will bring his shooting ability to a Timberwolves roster that was in need of another long-distance marksmen. While a minimum-salary deal seems likely, Minnesota did have the ability to offer its bi-annual exception ($3.382MM) or the rest of its mid-level exception ($2.05MM) if necessary.

Magic Sign Amile Jefferson To Two-Way Contract

AUGUST 7: The deal between the Magic and Jefferson is now official, per a team release.

JULY 27: The Magic have reached a two-way contract agreement with forward Amile Jefferson, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets.

The former Duke power forward was on the Timberwolves’ roster last season. He signed a two-way contract in January, then received a standard contract late in the regular season. However, Jefferson never appeared in any games.

Jefferson, 25, went undrafted last June and joined the Timberwolves for training camp. After being waived by the team prior to the start of the regular season, Jefferson joined the G League’s Iowa Wolves.

In 47 games, Jefferson averaged 17.8 PPG and 12.8 RPG for Iowa, making shots at a 62.4% rate. He set a new NBAGL record by racking up 36 double-doubles.

Orlando now has both of its two-way slots filled. The other one is occupied by point guard Troy Caupain.

Cavaliers Finalizing Deal With David Nwaba

The Cavaliers have agreed to sign free agent swingman David Nwaba, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). According to Charania and Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com (Twitter link), Nwaba and the Cavs are still in the process of finalizing the details of the deal.

A former undrafted free agent, Nwaba had a solid season for the Bulls in 2017/18, averaging 7.9 PPG and 4.7 RPG while playing strong perimeter defense in 70 games (21 starts). He opened the month of July as a restricted free agent, but when Chicago made a series of cost-cutting moves to create the cap room necessary to sign Jabari Parker, rescinding Nwaba’s qualifying offer was one of those moves.

After Nwaba became an unrestricted free agent, Vardon reported that there was mutual interest between the 25-year-old and the Cavaliers. Nwaba also reportedly drew interest from the Lakers and Spurs, and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that there was “lots of dialogue” with the Timberwolves, but Cleveland was aggressive in its pursuit.

According to Charania (via Twitter), the Cavs were in touch with Nwaba from the very first day of free agency and recruited him hard, meeting last week with the Los Angeles native.

While the terms of Nwaba’s deal with the Cavs aren’t yet known, the team has plenty of options for what it could have offered. Cleveland is over the cap, but still has its full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available.

Nwaba will only be the 12th Cavaliers player on a fully guaranteed contract for 2018/19, though the club also has decisions to make on Rodney Hood‘s restricted free agency and Okaro White‘s non-guaranteed salary. With approximately $108MM in guaranteed money on their books before signing Nwaba or accounting for Hood or White, the Cavs will have one eye on the $123.73MM tax line as they fill out their roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.