Hoops Rumors » Minnesota Timberwolves Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2017-11-21T02:30:31Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Gibson Validates Contract With Wolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79773 2017-11-19T05:02:07Z 2017-11-19T05:02:07Z
  • Tyus Jones is also finding minutes hard to come by off the Wolves‘ bench, but he is compensating by developing chemistry with center Karl-Anthony Towns, relays Kent Youngblood of The Star-Tribune. Jones, who recently had his fourth-year option picked up, has developed an effective two-man game with Towns. “We’ve known each other since high school,’’ Towns said. “We’ve had a great chemistry. And we play the same style of basketball.”
  • Taj Gibson is justifying the Timberwolves‘ decision to give him a two-year, $28MM contract this summer, writes Britt Robson of The Athletic. Many questioned committing that much to Gibson when Minnesota had obvious needs at the wing and Gorgui Dieng already in place at power forward. Through the first month of the season, Gibson is logging a career high in minutes at 30.7 per game, while Dieng’s playing time has been cut to 15.4 per night from 32.4 a year ago.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[KAT Supports Idea Of NBA Players Using Medical Marijuana]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79614 2017-11-17T13:54:02Z 2017-11-17T04:01:36Z
  • Count Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns among those who support the idea of NBA players being permitted to use marijuana for medical purposes. The big man spoke with the media, including Nick Friedell of ESPN, about the hot topic.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Knicks Considering Stretch Provision For Joakim Noah?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79562 2017-11-17T13:47:06Z 2017-11-16T16:09:43Z Joakim Noah hasn’t played since his 20-game PED suspension expired Saturday, and Marc Berman of the New York Post writes that the Knicks will probably waive the veteran center at some point and use the stretch provision on the final two years of his contract.

    “We want him to be involved,’’ coach Jeff Hornacek said Wednesday after sitting Noah for the second straight game. “[He wants] to be involved. We don’t know when the time will come when he’s active.”

    Hornacek’s dilemma is that he now has four centers competing for playing time. Enes Kanter, acquired in the Carmelo Anthony trade, has taken over the starting spot, with Kyle O’Quinn playing well as the backup. Willy Hernangomez is already upset about his reduced minutes after being part of the rotation last season.

    Hornacek said it’s “possible” that he may find a way to use all four centers, but added, “I’m not looking to do that right away.”

    Any move with Noah probably won’t happen soon, Berman notes, as there is no advantage in terms of cap space in using the stretch provision now. The Knicks have a September 1 deadline if they want to take the $37.8MM Noah is owed for the final two seasons of his deal and stretch it over five years.

    Noah would receive a little more than $7.5MM per season, giving New York roughly $11MM in extra cap room for next year and $12MM for 2019/20. The Knicks could opt to seek a buyout or  waive him without stretching the contract, which would provide little to no cap relief over the next two seasons, but would remove his salary from the books by July of 2020.

    Although Noah has minimal trade value, Berman mentions Timberwolves coach/executive Tom Thibodeau as someone who might be interested. Thibodeau coached Noah for several years in Chicago, including when he was a first team All-NBA selection in 2013/14.

    For now, Noah is reduced to a mentor’s role in New York, working mainly with Kanter and Hernangomez. Hornacek said the NBA’s requirement that teams have an inactive list for each game makes it difficult to find playing time for Noah.

    “It’s a tough spot,” the coach said. “He’s a great team guy. He sees how we’re playing. He’s still part of the team if inactive or not. He doesn’t want to rock the boat but he is competitive and wants to be out there to help us.”

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[2018 Salary Cap Outlook: Northwest Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79518 2017-11-15T21:47:37Z 2017-11-15T21:47:37Z NBA rosters will undergo some changes over the course of the 2017/18 season, particularly around the trade deadline, and those changes may have an impact on teams’ cap sheets for future seasons. Based on the NBA’s current rosters, however, we can identify which teams are most and least likely to have cap room in the summer of 2018, which will dictate the type of moves those clubs can make in the offseason.

    We’re taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams by division this week. Today, we’re tackling the Northwest division. With the help of salary information compiled by Basketball Insiders, here’s how the summer of 2018 is shaping up for the five Northwest teams:

    Portland Trail BlazersJusuf Nurkic vertical
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $110,456,026
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Trail Blazers reduced their future commitments by trading Allen Crabbe to Brooklyn earlier this year, and Ed Davis will come off the books next summer, giving Portland a chance to avoid the luxury tax in 2018/19. However, their $110MM+ in guaranteed salaries for next season doesn’t include a contract for Jusuf Nurkic, who will be a restricted free agent. If they want to re-sign Nurkic and don’t dump another salary, the Blazers figure to return to tax territory.

    Minnesota Timberwolves
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $110,233,979
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Timberwolves’ salary commitments look a lot different now than they did a year ago. Gorgui Dieng‘s lucrative new extension went into effect this summer, and Andrew Wiggins‘ max deal will begin in 2018. Throw in substantial salaries for offseason acquisitions Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson, and Minnesota projects to be well over the cap for 2018/19. With a potential extension for Karl-Anthony Towns looming for 2019/20, the Wolves won’t have cap space for the foreseeable future if they intend to keep their current core group together.

    Denver Nuggets
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $89,903,848
    Projection: Over the cap

    The Nuggets’ guaranteed salaries for 2018/19 currently sit around $90MM, but even based on a $101MM cap projection, we shouldn’t expect the team to have any room. There are too many factors working against it.

    For one, Denver will face a tough decision on Nikola Jokic — exercising his ultra-affordable $1.6MM team option would put him on track to become an unrestricted free agency in 2019, so the club may opt to decline that option and make him a restricted free agent. In that scenario, a new contract for Jokic would push the Nuggets over the cap.

    Even if they simply pick up Jokic’s cheap option, the Nuggets will also have to consider player options for Kenneth Faried ($12.8MM) and Darrell Arthur ($7.5MM). Arthur is a good bet to exercise his option, and even though Faried hasn’t always loved his role in Denver, it’s possible he’ll pick up his too, since it features a pretty player-friendly salary.

    Oklahoma City Thunder
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $88,907,222
    Projection: Over the cap

    Carmelo Anthony‘s early termination option for 2018/19, worth nearly $28MM, is a major X factor for the Thunder, whose guaranteed team salary would increase from approximately $89MM to nearly $117MM if Anthony opts in. Taking into account Carmelo’s age, his production trends, and the current state of the free agent market, it makes sense for him to play out the final year of his current deal, so we’re penciling in Oklahoma City as a probable over-the-cap team.

    Even if Anthony opts out and Paul George doesn’t re-sign, OKC could only get up to about $8.8MM in cap room. That’s barely more than the projected value of the mid-level exception, so even in that scenario, the Thunder may simply remain over the cap to avoid renouncing all their exceptions.

    Utah Jazz
    Guaranteed 2018/19 team salary: $67,839,543
    Projection: Up to approximately $28MM in cap room

    Only six Jazz players have fully guaranteed salaries for 2018/19, while seven others have non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed salaries, or are restricted free agents. That gives Utah some flexibility if the team wants to maximize its cap room.

    However, retaining Thabo Sefolosha for his reasonable non-guaranteed salary of $5.25MM would cut into the Jazz’s space, as would re-signing Rodney Hood and/or Dante Exum. Realistically, unless Utah decides to only hang onto those six fully guaranteed players and make major changes around them, we shouldn’t expect the club to enter July 2018 armed with a ton of cap room.

    Previously:

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Butler Vows To Take More Of Scoring Load]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79427 2017-11-14T04:44:56Z 2017-11-14T04:44:56Z
  • Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler scored 25 points against the Suns on Saturday, and he vows to remain a bigger part of the offense, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Butler had scored 16 points or less in seven of his 10 previous games with his new team.  “I do think I have to start scoring the ball a lot more,” Butler told Zgoda. “I think I’ve come too far to be as passive as I am right now. I’m always going to pass the ball to the open man, but if I feel like I can get my shots off and think I can make it, I’m going to take each and every one of those.”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Wolves Considered Mike James Before He Signed With Phoenix]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79267 2017-11-12T20:23:28Z 2017-11-12T03:53:16Z
  • The Timberwolves aren’t surprised by the success of Suns point guard Mike James, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Minnesota considered signing the 27-year-old before he agreed to a two-way contract with Phoenix in July.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/10/17]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79191 2017-11-11T05:04:35Z 2017-11-11T04:58:38Z Here are the G League moves from around the basketball world today:

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[And-Ones: Youth Movement, Asian Influence, Seattle]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79139 2017-11-10T03:44:43Z 2017-11-10T03:30:11Z The current crop of NBA rookies is one of the best that hoops fans have seen in years, Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders writes. The scribe cites Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum as two first-year players who’ve looked poised and dominant in significant roles out of the gates.

    It’s not just a top-heavy class either, however, all of Kyle Kuzma, Lauri Markkanen and Donovan Mitchell have impressed over the course of their first months in the NBA.

    The youth movement may not be limited to the 2017/18 season though. Marc Spears of The Undefeated recently profiled the 12 best collegiate players who could make an impact at the NBA level as early as next season, going so far as to declare that Michael Porter Jr. should have greater star power than anybody in the 2017 class.

    There’s more around the league:

    • As the world economy shifts, more and more prominent Asian businesses and billionaires are looking to buy into the NBA. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune breaks down the trend that formally started when Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor sold a 5% stake in the franchise to Lizhang Jiang.
    • While Tim Leiweke remains confident that he and his Oak View Group represent Seattle’s best chance of regaining an NBA franchise, it’s not necessarily going to happen as soon as some fans would hope. He spoke on the topic at length with Q13’s Bill Wixey.
    • The BIG3 will add retired point guard T.J. Ford to its ranks, an ESPN report says. The guard averaged 11.2 points and 5.8 assists per game over the course of 306 NBA starts in eight seasons.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/9/17]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=79136 2017-11-10T00:43:16Z 2017-11-10T00:32:52Z Here are the G League transactions for Thursday:

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Timberwolves' New Veteran Leadership Paying Dividends]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78990 2017-11-07T21:56:08Z 2017-11-07T21:56:08Z
  • After making a series of veteran additions in the offseason, the Timberwolves entered the 2017/18 campaign with the ninth-oldest roster in the NBA. So far, in the view of Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune, that veteran leadership has paid major dividends in Minnesota. Souhan refers to the roster as not only the best in franchise history, but “the most mature.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Timberwolves Don't Have Interest In Jahlil Okafor]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78518 2017-11-01T03:14:23Z 2017-11-01T03:14:23Z
  • The Timberwolves don’t have any interest in Jahlil Okafor, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Okafor, who had his 2018/19 turned down by the Sixers, remains on the trade block and may even end up seeking a buyout.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Wolves Notes: Ownership, Muhammad, Towns]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78368 2017-10-30T15:39:08Z 2017-10-30T15:25:45Z It was less than two years ago that Glen Taylor nearly worked out an agreement to sell a portion of the Timberwolves to Steve Kaplan, with an eye toward Kaplan eventually taking over a controlling interest in the franchise. However, since that deal fell through, Taylor has doubled down on his investment in the Wolves, pouring money into renovating the arena and revamping the roster, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

    As he explains to Krawczynski, Taylor has had no shortage of opportunities to sell the Timberwolves, and any sale would net him a significant profit, considering he bought the franchise for just $88MM back in 1994. However, the long-time owner of the Wolves doesn’t want to see a new ownership group move the team out of Minnesota, and most potential investors are interested in doing just that.

    Krawczynski suggests that Taylor could have sold the team for at least $700MM within the last couple years, with the Wolves’ owner hinting that he could have done much better than that if he’d been eager to sell.

    “Even right now I have people that would call me up and give me substantially more than the number you just said,” Taylor said. “And I’ve said I’m not interested in selling. I just want to play this thing out.

    “I certainly could sell the team if money was my driving factor,” Taylor added. “But it wasn’t when I bought it. I never anticipated selling it (to make money).”

    Here’s more on the Wolves’ ownership situation, a long with a couple more notes out of Minnesota:

    • Although Taylor is in no rush to sell the Timberwolves, Krawczynski’s report notes that Taylor is 76 years old, and none of his children are interested in taking over the business, so he’ll have to find a buyer at some point down the road.
    • While it’s not official yet and he’s not sure how long the process will take, Shabazz Muhammad plans to change his legal name to ‘Bazz,” as he tells Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. “I just like it,” Muhammad said. “Everybody calls me that anyway.”
    • Karl-Anthony Towns enjoyed his best game of the season on Friday night, racking up 33 points and 19 rebounds in a win over Oklahoma City. As Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune relays, Towns’ teammates – who recognize his ability to take over games – would like to see that sort of effort from him on a nightly basis. Towns will be extension-eligible for the first time in 2018, and figures to be in line for a maximum-salary deal with more performances like Friday’s.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Jamal Crawford A World-Class Reserve]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78349 2017-10-30T00:17:23Z 2017-10-30T01:02:34Z It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford to be considered the best bench player of the past decade. In fact, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune writes, the 37-year-old recently became the second player in the past 35 years to score 10,000 off the bench.

    Crawford was no slouch as a starter back in the day – he averaged 20.6 points per game with the Knicks in 2007/08 – but it wasn’t until he slotted into a reserve role with the Hawks that he started winning. Now the veteran is looking to make an impact on the revamped Timberwolves.

    It’s an important role, it really is,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “A lot of times you have guys who don’t get recognized in the boxscore, but it’s so important to winning. Setting screens, sprinting back in defensive transition. If a guys does that, it helps you win.”

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Defense Has Been Sorely Lacking]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78268 2017-10-28T20:59:38Z 2017-10-28T20:59:38Z Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau has a long-standing reputation as a defensive guru but his team has played poorly at that end in the early going this season, as Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders points out. The team ranks last in defensive efficiency and star players Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have been particularly ineffective, Blancarte continues. Towns admitted to reporters this week he isn’t getting the job done. “I’ve just got to be better all around, everywhere,” Towns said. “I’m not my best right now. I’m not, and it hurts. So I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and find a way to play better.”

    • The Thunder’s chartered plane to Chicago Friday night was damaged during the flight but the team arrived safely. The nose of the plane suffered damaged and Delta Airlines said it was likely caused by colliding with a bird, according to an Associated Press report. The team was traveling from Minnesota, where it lost to the Timberwolves in the front end of a back-to-end.
    • The Timberwolves have hired former Rockets player Rafer Alston as a scout, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Alston’s NBA playing career ended in 2010.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[And-Ones: Saunders, Gordon, Prigioni]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78154 2017-10-27T03:07:10Z 2017-10-27T03:07:10Z It’s been two years since Timberwolves icon Flip Saunders, then the franchise’s president of basketball operations, passed away from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The man’s impact on the organization is still felt to this day, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes.

    Saunders played a vital role in the club’s recent return to relevance both from a business and personnel perspective. The celebrated executive’s touch can be seen at all levels of the organization from the new practice facility that Saunders helped design to the transactions he made in the wake of David Kahn‘s time at the helm from 2009 to 2013.

    Saunders remains the only head coach in franchise history to lead the team to the playoffs, having done so eight times from 1997-2004 during his first run with the franchise. Since 2006, the team has cracked a .400 win percentage only once.

    I made a promise to Flip Saunders that we would win and end the playoff drought,” current franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns said on the media day of his rookie season shortly before Saunders passed. “And I intend to keep that promise.

    There’s more from around the league:

    • Former NBA player Ben Gordon has run into trouble with the law, Jonathan Bandler of The Journal News writes. The 34-year-old wasn’t ultimately charged following a confrontation between himself and a woman at his business but police were called to the scene and he was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation.
    • The journey into the business world continues for Kobe Bryant. As Darren Rovell of ESPN writes, Bryant has approached his investments with the same obsessiveness that he did his NBA career.
    • Retired NBA guard Pablo Prigioni is stepping down from his role as the head coach of Liga ACB team Baskonia, Orazio Cauchi of Sportando writes. The team has gotten off to a rocky start and it’s said that Prigioni has lost control of the situation.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Gorgui Dieng Sees Reduced Role So Far]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=78123 2017-10-26T22:23:32Z 2017-10-26T22:23:32Z
  • The Timberwolves will need to figure out just how Gorgui Dieng fits into their plans now that they’ve revamped their roster, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune writes. After playing 32.4 minutes per game last season, the 27-year-old advanced stat darling has seen just 13.8 through five games so far in 2017/18.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Teams With Open Roster Spots]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77449 2017-10-19T18:54:50Z 2017-10-19T18:54:50Z For the first time, NBA teams are permitted to carry up to 17 players this season. In addition to carrying up to 15 players to the NBA roster, teams can add two more players on two-way contracts. The rule changes related to roster sizes have allowed teams to maintain a little extra flexibility, and many clubs are taking advantage of that added flexibility to open the season, carrying the full 17 players.

    Several teams still have open roster spots though, affording those clubs a different kind of flexibility. A team carrying only 14 NBA players, for instance, has the opportunity to sign a free agent or add a player in a trade at any time without waiving anyone, all the while avoiding paying for a 15th man who almost certainly won’t see much playing time.

    With the help of our roster count page and our two-way contract tracker, here’s a breakdown of the teams that have at least one open NBA or two-way spot on their rosters:

    Teams carrying just 14 NBA contracts:

    • Boston Celtics
    • Charlotte Hornets
    • Detroit Pistons
    • Houston Rockets
    • Indiana Pacers
    • Los Angeles Clippers
    • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • Portland Trail Blazers

    It makes sense that a few of these teams would avoid carrying a 15th man to open the season. The Rockets, Thunder, and Trail Blazers are all taxpayers, and teams like the Clippers and Hornets are close enough to the tax threshold that avoiding a 15th salary is logical. Among these clubs, the Celtics seem like perhaps the best bet to fill their final roster opening soon, now that the team has likely lost Gordon Hayward for the season.

    Teams carrying just one two-way contract:

    • Atlanta Hawks
    • Houston Rockets
    • Milwaukee Bucks
    • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • New York Knicks
    • Portland Trail Blazers

    The Trail Blazers don’t currently have a G League affiliate of their own, but the other five teams on this list do, so that’s probably not the reason Portland has waited to fill its second two-way slot. In all likelihood, these six teams will add a second two-way player in time for G League training camps, which open next week. The season tips off on November 3.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Haberstroh: Will Thibodeau Overwork Timberwolves?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77445 2017-10-19T18:06:17Z 2017-10-19T18:06:17Z
  • In an extensive and in-depth piece for ESPN.com, Tom Haberstroh takes a closer look at the job Tom Thibodeau is doing in Minnesota as the Timberwolves‘ head coach and president of basketball operations, exploring whether the club is ready to take a leap forward and whether there’s any risk of Thibodeau overworking his key players.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Wolves' G League Team Has Interest In Baldwin]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77399 2017-10-19T03:07:18Z 2017-10-19T03:07:18Z The 17th pick in the 2016 draft, Baldwin was waived Monday after just one year in Memphis. The Rockets, Knicks and Pelicans have reportedly expressed interest in the 21-year-old guard, but of those three teams only Houston has an open roster spot. The Wolves have both a roster opening and a two-way slot available if they decide to make an offer to Baldwin.

    The Timberwolves‘ G League affiliate has expressed interest in point guard Wade Baldwin, who cleared waivers earlier today, tweets Darren Wolfson of Eyewitness 5 News. Baldwin would obviously prefer to land another NBA opportunity, but he may have to consider the G League if that doesn’t happen.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Guarantee Kicks In For Marcus Georges-Hunt]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77385 2017-10-18T23:22:05Z 2017-10-18T23:22:05Z Timberwolves small forward Marcus Georges-Hunt received a $275K guarantee by staying on the roster through today, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. His next deadline is January 10, when his $1,312,611 — and all other NBA salaries — will become fully guaranteed.

    Georges-Hunt was the only player without a guaranteed contract to win a spot on Minnesota’s roster, surviving the final cut on Saturday. He saw some time in the G League last season and may end up there again.

    Georges-Hunt got into five games at the NBA level last year, all with the Magic. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech, he signed with the Celtics for training camp, but was waived before the season began. He got a 10-day contract with the Heat in February, but never appeared in a game, then signed with Orlando in early April.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Rockets, Knicks, Pelicans Eyeing Wade Baldwin]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77219 2017-10-17T14:26:40Z 2017-10-17T14:26:40Z The Rockets, Knicks, and Pelicans are among the teams with some level of interest in point guard Wade Baldwin, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). The Timberwolves, Wolfson’s local team, haven’t shown interest in Baldwin at this point.

    Baldwin, a Vanderbilt alum, was the 17th overall pick in the 2016 draft and spent his rookie season with the Grizzlies. After 33 up-and-down games with the club, Baldwin was a somewhat surprising victim of the roster crunch in Memphis on Monday, with the team waiving him and fellow 2016 draftee Rade Zagorac to get down to the 15-man limit.

    Although Baldwin struggled to adjust to the NBA in his rookie season, he’s still just 21 years old, so there will likely be clubs that view him as a project with some upside.

    Currently, Baldwin remains on waivers. If a team wanted to claim him, that club would need to be willing to take on his $1.874MM guaranteed salary for 2017/18, and would need to have enough cap space – or a big enough trade exception – to accommodate that money. It’s more likely that Baldwin will clear waivers and perhaps sign a minimum salary deal with a new team.

    If Baldwin doesn’t receive an NBA offer, he could end up playing overseas or in the G League, either on a two-way contract or a straight G League deal. Nine NBA teams have at least one open two-way slot at the moment.

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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Timberwolves Pick Up Options On Towns, Jones]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=77049 2017-10-15T22:00:08Z 2017-10-15T21:54:59Z The Timberwolves have picked up their fourth-year options (2018/19) on budding superstar Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones, the team announced in a press release Sunday.  Minnesota faced an Oct. 31 deadline to pick up the options for 2018/19. Towns will make a hefty $7,839,435 next season while Jones will pocket $2,444,053.

    Towns, 21, enters his third NBA season as one of the league’s top players. The Kentucky product has not missed a game in his first two seasons while racking up honors such as the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year and the NBA Skills Challenge trophy the same year. The 7’0″ Towns improved across the board last season, averaging a double-double with 25.1 PPG and 12.3 RPG in 37 minutes per game.

    Jones, also 21, appeared in 60 games last year, averaging 3.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG. The point guard from Duke has shown glimpses of his talent and this season, he will part of the Wolves’ second unit.

    For all of this year’s decisions on 2018/19 rookie scale options, be sure to check out our tracker.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Timberwolves Waive Three Players]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76838 2017-10-14T17:20:25Z 2017-10-14T17:20:25Z The Timberwolves have waived three players from their roster, the team announced today in a press release. Amile Jefferson, Melo Trimble, and Shawne Williams were the players cut, and they’ll become free agents on Monday, assuming they clear waivers.

    The three cuts appear to signal that the Wolves have finalized their roster for the regular season. The team is now carrying 15 players in total, including 13 on guaranteed salaries, one (Marcus Georges-Hunt) on a non-guaranteed deal, and one on a two-way contract. Minnesota figures to head into the season with 14 players on its NBA roster, though the club may add a second two-way player.

    As for Jefferson, Trimble, and Williams, they’ll likely end up playing for the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s new G League affiliate.

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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Cole Aldrich Trade Prediction Has 'Legs']]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76644 2017-10-13T23:00:25Z 2017-10-13T23:59:24Z
  • A prediction that the Timberwolves could send Cole Aldrich and a second-round pick to the Suns for Jared Dudley has legs, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets. Minnesota has been particularly interested in Dudley’s recovery from offseason toe surgery.
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Timberwolves Sign Shawne Williams]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76629 2017-10-13T20:44:25Z 2017-10-13T20:42:07Z The Timberwolves have signed veteran free agent Shawne Williams, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press writes. The forward has suited up for seven different teams since the 2006/07. Williams’ most recent taste of NBA action came in 2014/15 with the Pistons.

    The plan, Krawczynski writes, is for Minnesota to waive the 31-year-old so that he can join their G League affiliate in Iowa.

    Williams has never made much of an impact at the NBA level but there’s something to said about a player who has managed to catch on with so many teams over the course of a journeyman career.

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Georges-Hunt Looks Like The 14th Man]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76580 2017-10-13T14:31:06Z 2017-10-13T14:31:06Z Jarell Martin is the player most likely to be waived by the Grizzlies despite a lack of depth at power forward, according to Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.  The Grizzlies need to pare two players to reach the 15-man limit and Martin is an inconsistent player who’s not really a stretch four or a defensive force, Herrington continues. The final roster decision will likely come down to guards Andrew Harrison and Wade Baldwin, since it appears Mario Chalmers has re-emerged as a rotation piece, Herrington notes. Harrison is a useful player at the back end of the roster but it would be difficult to give up on Baldwin, a first-round pick last year, Herrington adds. Memphis will likely explore trades involving those players this weekend to facilitate the decision.

    In other developments regarding the Western Conference:

    • Marcus Georges-Hunt‘s ability to guard three or four positions makes him the favorite to nab the 14th spot on the Timberwolves’ roster, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The 6’5” swingman has the edge over rookies Amile Jefferson and Melo Trimble, who will likely be sent to the team’s G League affiliate in Iowa, while another swingman, Anthony Brown, has already signed a two-way contract. However, Minnesota wants to keep the 15th spot open and could also pursue a player that’s waived or bought out as teams make their final roster cuts, Zgoda adds.
    • Omri Casspi has taken a clear lead over Nick Young for a spot in the Warriors’ rotation, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Young got a bigger contract than Casspi when signing with the Warriors this summer but came to camp out of shape while Casspi quickly showed he’s a better fit for coach Steve Kerr’s system, Slater adds.
    • There’s still no apparent timetable for Kawhi Leonard‘s return from a right quad injury, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News reports. The Spurs All-Star forward has spent the entire preseason rehabbing from an injury he originally suffered last season. “We’ve seen him in the gym and in rehab, but he hasn’t scrimmaged, so it’s hard to tell what stage he is in,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili told Orsborn.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Poll: Is Embiid Or Wiggins The Better Investment?]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76520 2017-10-13T02:10:24Z 2017-10-13T01:59:24Z Two 2014 first-round picks signed five-year, maximum salary contract extensions within the last few days, beating the October 16 deadline for rookie scale extensions. While both players are, of course, significantly valued by their respective teams, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins have had very different NBA careers so far.

    Embiid’s injury problems have been well chronicled, to the point that they’re hardly worth revisiting, but the upshot is that those health issues have limited him to just 31 games in three NBA seasons. Even when he did see the court, the Sixers center was on a minutes restriction, averaging about 25 minutes per contest.

    However, in his 786 career minutes, Embiid has looked like a generational talent, combining an ability to rebound and protect the rim (7.8 RPG, 2.5 BPG) with a knack for scoring both in the post and from beyond the arc (.367 3PT%).

    Wiggins, on the other hand, has been incredibly durable during his first three NBA seasons, missing just one of 246 possible games. He has also steadily increased his scoring numbers each season, pouring in a career-high 23.6 PPG in 2016/17.

    Those scoring totals are more reliant on volume than efficiency though, and Wiggins’ ability to put the ball in the basket hasn’t been complemented by many other on-court contributions — his defense has been shaky, he doesn’t get many rebounds or assists, and his three-point shot, despite improving last season, remains somewhat unreliable.

    Both the Sixers and Timberwolves locked up their respective youngsters because of their potential. In Embiid’s case, it’s his potential to stay healthy. For Wiggins, it’s his potential to develop into a more well-rounded, complete player.

    Philadelphia’s agreement with Embiid includes some language that protects the Sixers in the event that the former third overall pick continues to battle injuries in problematic areas, like his feet and back. But in that scenario, the Sixers would have to waive Embiid outright, and they’d still be on the hook for significant guaranteed money — approximately $84MM if they waive him one year into the deal, $98MM if they waive him after two years, and so on.

    Wiggins’ contract, meanwhile, doesn’t include that sort of protection. It’s a straight five-year deal with no options.

    Given those parameters, which contract would you feel more comfortable with for the next half-decade? Do you have more confidence in Wiggins to develop his game and make good on the Timberwolves’ investment in him, or would you rather be in the Sixers’ spot with Embiid, rolling the dice on his ability to stay healthy and to become one of the league’s premier bigs?

    Vote below in our poll and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!

    Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Timberwolves Sign Andrew Wiggins To Extension]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76421 2017-10-11T21:03:05Z 2017-10-11T18:14:58Z The Timberwolves have officially signed fourth-year wing Andrew Wiggins to a rookie scale extension, the team confirmed today in a press release. Although the club’s announcement didn’t mention the terms of the agreement, previous reports have indicated that Wiggins will get a five-year, maximum salary contract with no player option. The deal projects to be worth about $146.5MM, based on the latest cap estimates for 2018/19.AndrewWiggins vertical

    “We’re very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves,” head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said in a statement. “We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him.”

    Today’s announcement ends a saga that had unexpectedly dragged out for the last couple months. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor publicly stated during the summer that he was willing to put a five-year, maximum salary offer on the table for Wiggins if he could meet with the former No. 1 overall pick face to face first. Taylor wanted a verbal commitment from Wiggins that he was committed to both the Wolves and to improving his game.

    Although Taylor and Wiggins had that meeting, an agreement was delayed further when the 22-year-old filed paperwork to part ways with agent Bill Duffy, who had negotiated the deal. Having put the extension together, Duffy will still receive a cut of Wiggins’ new contract, but the timing of the change was unusual. It postponed the completion of the deal while Wiggins secured new representation, and ultimately the Wolves forward didn’t finalize the agreement until five days before the October 16 deadline.

    Now that it’s official, Wiggins will be locked up through the 2022/23 season, with his new five-year pact going into effect next July. Currently, the NBA is projecting a $101MM salary cap for 2018/19, which would result in a starting salary of $25.25MM for Wiggins. His deal would increase by 8% annually from there.

    For the Timberwolves, it’s a significant investment in Wiggins, who has developed into one of the NBA’s most dangerous scorers, but struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, and doesn’t contribute much in other statistical categories. Wiggins increased his three-point percentage to 35.6% in 2016/17, which was easily a career high, but averaged a modest 4.0 RPG and 2.3 APG. He’ll be counted on to continue to develop further under the tutelage of offseason addition Jimmy Butler.

    Taking into account Wiggins’ projected salary and Karl-Anthony Towns‘ team option, the Timberwolves now have nearly $108MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2018/19. That figure doesn’t include various player or team options for Jamal Crawford, Shabazz Muhammad, and Tyus Jones.

    Wiggins is the fourth player eligible for a rookie scale extension to agree to terms on a new deal. Joel Embiid (Sixers), Gary Harris (Nuggets), and T.J. Warren (Suns) also reached agreements with their respective teams.

    Remaining extension candidates such as Rodney Hood, Marcus Smart, Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, and Jabari Parker will have until the end of the day on Monday to sign deals of their own — otherwise they’ll be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Thibodeau's Timberwolves Are Similar To His Bulls Teams]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76378 2017-10-11T13:38:57Z 2017-10-11T13:38:57Z Paul George loves the excitement in Oklahoma City, especially with the reigning Most Valuable Player, Russell Westbrook, and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony on the same team. Chris Mannix of The Vertical writes that George is optimistic and has found a comfort zone with the Thunder. Yet, the ex-Pacer simultaneously wants head coach Billy Donovan to put him in uncomfortable situations as a challenge.

    A Los Angeles native, George has been rumored to join his hometown Lakers for a while. There were rumblings all offseason that George’s goal is to end up home in California — whether it was this season or when he hits free agency next summer. However, George tells Mannix that L.A. isn’t on his mind as he focuses on succeeding with the Thunder.

    “I’m committed here, we’re all committed,” George said. “We want this to happen and we want this to work really well. Once we get on the court, it’s been like magic. We understand one another, we have a feel for one another, we know each other’s games so well. We want to make the most out of it, to be in the best position to succeed.”

    George and the Thunder may be in a position where they have a one-year window before he departs for his home team. But he has made it clear he wants to win before he makes any long-term decisions.

    Below you can check out other news around the Northwest Division:

    • Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic will miss the team’s Wednesday game against Phoenix due to a concussion, and may end up sitting out the rest of the preseason, writes Mike Richman of The Oregonian. Nurkic is eligible for an extension up until October 16, so by the time he takes the floor next for Portland, he may have a new deal in hand or be preparing to play out a contract year.
    • ESPN’s Micah Adams writes that the Nuggets‘ blueprint to build a championship contending team is eerily similar to how the Warriors went from Western Conference contender to budding dynasty.
    • Veteran Jameer Nelson is back in the competition for the Nuggets‘ starting point guard job after battling a toe injury, Gina Mizell of The Denver Post writes.
    • Timberwolves‘ head coach Tom Thibodeau has a roster with several players he coached in Chicago with the Bulls, which has made for a comfortable environment, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Wolves Have Dangled Aldrich, Second-Round Pick]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76190 2017-10-09T13:51:49Z 2017-10-09T13:51:49Z
  • The Timberwolves have dangled Cole Aldrich‘s contract and a second-round pick in search of veteran help, sources tell Lowe. We heard reports of Aldrich’s availability back in July, and nothing came of it, but the Wolves still project to have an open roster spot or two, so it’s possible the team will revisit this scenario at some point.

    [SOURCE LINK]
    • The Timberwolves have dangled Cole Aldrich‘s contract and a second-round pick in search of veteran help, sources tell Lowe. We heard reports of Aldrich’s availability back in July, and nothing came of it, but the Wolves still project to have an open roster spot or two, so it’s possible the team will revisit this scenario at some point.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Andrew Wiggins Plans To ‘Eventually’ Sign Extension]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=76090 2017-10-08T00:28:10Z 2017-10-08T00:28:10Z With the October 16 deadline barely a week away, it’s not clear why Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins hasn’t signed a five-year, $148MM extension, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.

    Minnesota made the offer two months ago in hopes of securing the former No. 1 pick for the long term. Wiggins mysteriously fired agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports two weeks later when the deal appeared to be complete and has yet to finalize the extension.

    “I’m just taking it day by day, you know?” Wiggins said today. “There’s no rush to do it, yet. I’ve still got some time before the day before that first game.”

    There appears to be no concern that Wiggins is pondering a future somewhere else, as he has said Minnesota is “definitely where I want to be.” The Timberwolves made serious upgrades to their roster over the offseason and are expected to compete for a playoff spot in the West for the first time since Wiggins joined the team.

    Wiggins and the Wolves will wrap up a trip to China with a game against the Warriors on Sunday, and it sounds like he will wait until he returns home before addressing the extension.

    “I’m just going to take it day by day,” he said. “There’s no rush to do it. We’re going through preseason and I’m all the way here in China.”

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Taj Gibson Working On Outside Shot For Wolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=75853 2017-10-04T21:48:25Z 2017-10-04T21:48:25Z Outside shooting is one potential area of concern for the Timberwolves heading into the 2017/18 season, as many of the team’s major offseason additions, including Jimmy Butler, aren’t exactly marksmen from three-point range. However, as Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune outlines, the Wolves may end up getting some shooting from an unlikely source, with Taj Gibson – who has made four career three-pointers – working to extend his range.

    Outside shooting is one potential area of concern for the Timberwolves heading into the 2017/18 season, as many of the team’s major offseason additions, including Jimmy Butler, aren’t exactly marksmen from three-point range. However, as Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune outlines, the Wolves may end up getting some shooting from an unlikely source, with Taj Gibson – who has made four career three-pointers – working to extend his range.

    “He worked on it all summer,” said head coach Tom Thibodeau after Gibson made a pair of threes in the Timberwolves’ preseason opener. “He always had a pretty good corner jump shot from 17 feet. He has stretched it out. As long as he works on it and he’s comfortable shooting it, I’m good with it.”

    Thibodeau went out and signed the former Bull this offseason because he valued Gibson’s selflessness and toughness, but if the veteran big man can develop a reliable outside shot, it would give the Timberwolves a much-needed boost.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA GMs: Wolves Had One Of Best Offseasons]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=75829 2017-10-04T14:56:21Z 2017-10-04T14:56:21Z
  • NBA general managers loved the Thunder‘s acquisition of Paul George. George received 59% of the vote for which offseason addition would make the biggest impact, easily beating out Jimmy Butler (17%), Chris Paul (10%), and Kyrie Irving (7%). Additionally, Oklahoma City was chosen as the team that made the best offseason moves, with 43% of the vote. The Celtics (25%), Timberwolves (14%), and Rockets (11%) were runners-up.
  • The Timberwolves (69%) were the runaway choice for most improved team, beating out the Sixers (17%) and a handful of other clubs. Of course, it’s worth noting that Minnesota was also the GMs’ pick for that question a year ago.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[2017 Offseason In Review: Minnesota Timberwolves]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=75587 2017-10-02T20:53:12Z 2017-10-02T20:53:12Z Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2017 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 2017/18 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Signings:"<strong

    Camp invitees:

    Trades:

    Draft picks:

    • 1-16: Justin Patton — Signed to rookie contract.

    Departing players:

    Other offseason news:

    Salary cap situation:

    • Used up all cap room and room exception. Over the cap, carrying approximately $104MM in guaranteed salaries. Only minimum salary exception available.

    Check out the Minnesota Timberwolves’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.


    Story of the summer:

    Heading into June’s draft, it looked like the Timberwolves were on track to add another young prospect – perhaps Malik Monk or Lauri Markkanen – to a core that already featured Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine. Throw in a free agent addition or two, and that young group would have had a chance to make the leap into the top eight in the West, earning the Wolves their first playoff berth since 2004.

    Head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau had other ideas though, signaling that he wasn’t satisfied with simply taking another incremental step forward. Instead of playing it safe on draft day, the Wolves flipped Dunn, LaVine, and the team’s No. 7 pick to the Bulls for old friend Jimmy Butler.

    Once free agency got underway, Thibs and the front office added another familiar face from his Bulls days by signing Taj Gibson, and filled out the backcourt with a couple more veterans, signing Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford.

    When the dust settled, the Timberwolves still looked like a team capable of making strides based on the development of former top picks Wiggins and Towns, but the veteran additions – headlined by Butler – had significantly increased the ceiling for the club. Suddenly, Minnesota looked ready not just to end the franchise’s postseason drought, but to potentially grab a top-five seed in a competitive Western Conference.

    Read more

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Pelicans Re-Sign Dante Cunningham]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74552 2017-09-25T13:21:23Z 2017-09-25T13:21:46Z SEPTEMBER 25: The Pelicans have officially re-signed Cunningham, the team announced today in a press release.

    SEPTEMBER 19: Free agent forward Dante Cunningham has made a decision on where he’ll play in 2017/18, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports that Cunningham has agreed to re-sign with the Pelicans.Dante Cunningham vertical

    According to Charania, Cunningham will get a one-year, $2.3MM deal from New Orleans. The minimum salary for a player with Cunningham’s NBA experience is $2,106,470, so if his salary exceeds that, the Pelicans would have to use a different exception — they also wouldn’t get any help from the NBA to cover the full amount, like they would for a one-year, minimum salary deal.

    Either way, Cunningham is set to return to the franchise with which he spent the last three seasons. In 2016/17, the 30-year-old forward averaged 6.6 PPG and 4.2 RPG in a rotation role for New Orleans, and also added a reliable three-point shot to his arsenal — Cunningham’s 1.1 3PG and .392 3PT% were both career highs by a wide margin.

    While it looked initially like Cunningham’s improved outside shot might make him a more coveted target on the free agent market, he didn’t draw as much interest as expected. A handful of teams – including the Timberwolves, Bucks, and Raptors, per Charania – were said to be in the running for him, but his new 2017/18 salary will be worth less than the $3.1MM player option he turned down in June.

    Still, the Pelicans are likely happy to get Cunningham back at a reduced rate, particularly with Solomon Hill expected to miss a significant portion of the 2017/18 season with a torn hamstring. While New Orleans has an All-NBA caliber duo up front in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, the club doesn’t have a ton of depth at forward and could use more shooting help. Cunningham’s ability to play at both forward spots and his improved three-point shot should be valuable.

    Once they finalize their reported agreements with Cunningham and Martell Webster, the Pelicans will have 19 players under contract. Cunningham’s deal would represent the club’s 14th fully guaranteed salary.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Mark Suleymanov <![CDATA[Northwest Notes: Anthony, Wolves, Nurkic, Nuggets]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74989 2017-09-25T12:19:51Z 2017-09-24T19:51:39Z Agreeing on a trade to acquire Carmelo Anthony on Saturday took the Thunder roster from formidable to elite. Joining the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, Russell Westbrook, and fellow offseason acquisition, Paul George, gives Anthony the winning culture he craved in New York the last four seasons. Despite the upgrade, the Thunder are still far from the Western Conference’s best team, Fred Kerber of the New York Post writes.

    Several rival executives explained to Kerber that the defending champion Warriors are still the best team in the West. While the Thunder can give Golden State a challenge, and possibly fend up the Spurs and Rockets for second place, one scout said the underwhelming package the Knicks received for Anthony is also alarming.

    “Are the Thunder a better team than they were yesterday? Yes. Are the Knicks a worse team than they were yesterday? Yes. The fact they got a second-round pick says they really wanted Carmelo gone. And they needed another center? Unless they’re going to buy [Joakim] Noah out. Kanter is a horrible defender,” the scout said to Kerber.

    The Warriors have been to the last three NBA Finals, winning two of them. Factoring in a roster that has two-time MVP Stephen Curry, one-time MVP Kevin Durant, and stalwarts Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, the Thunder will have a lot of work to do before claiming dominance over the West.

    Below you can read additional news around the Northwest Division:

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Latest On The Carmelo Anthony Trade]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74925 2017-09-23T19:40:54Z 2017-09-23T19:40:54Z Carmelo Anthony recently added the Thunder to the list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause to join, but Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti and New York GM Scott Perry had been discussing a deal for weeks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    Talks intensified over the last 24 hours before the agreement was reached earlier today. Anthony had reportedly insisted for most of the summer that he would only go to Houston, but he expanded that list this week to include the Thunder and Cavaliers.

    The deal will be formally completed Monday, and Oklahoma City expects to have Anthony on hand when training camp begins Tuesday.

    More has emerged since the trade was announced:

    • Sources tell ESPN’s Ian Begley that Anthony believed yesterday there was a good chance he was headed to Cleveland (Twitter link). Anthony has a tight relationship with LeBron James, and the Cavaliers could use another scorer while Isaiah Thomas is sidelined with a hip injury.
    • The addition of Anthony could put the Thunder in the running to sign Dwyane Wade once he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, tweets Chris Mannix of the Vertical. Wade probably wouldn’t start in Oklahoma City and the team can’t offer much money, but he may be willing to accept a sixth man role to take another shot at a ring beside Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
    • Presti should be lauded for rebuilding the Thunder without surrendering a first-round pick, tweets Michael Lee of The Vertical. OKC send Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana in exchange for George, then shipped Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-rounder to the Knicks to get Anthony. The Thunder already owe their 2018 first-round pick to Minnesota (lottery protected) and another first-rounder to Orlando two years later.
    • Oklahoma City had a secret weapon, Lee adds, in vice president and assistant GM Troy Weaver, who helped recruit Anthony when he was an assistant coach at Syracuse (Twitter link).
    • The trade establishes the Thunder as the greatest threat to the Warriors’ dominance in the West, writes Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News. He sees Anthony stepping into a much better role as a complementary stretch four in Oklahoma City, rather than a primary scorer in New York. OKC added free agent Patrick Patterson this summer and re-signed defensive ace Andre Roberson and may now have the pieces to challenge Golden State in a seven-game series.
    • ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded the deal, giving the Thunder an A and the Knicks a D. Kanter and McDermott were both defensive liabilities, Pelton states, and the new alignment gives Oklahoma City a small-ball lineup that matches up much better with the Warriors. The Knicks didn’t take on any long-term contracts, but they also didn’t fill any pressing needs unless McDermott develops into a reliable wing scorer. Pelton expects New York to explore the trade market for Kanter before the February deadline.
    • Oklahoma City used two key pieces from the Bulls to pull off today’s deal, and Chicago doesn’t have much in return, writes Scott Krinch of CSNChicago. McDermott and the 2018 second-rounder that was shipped to the Knicks both came to OKC in a February trade that sent Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow to the Bulls. Lauvergne and Morrow left as free agents over the offseason, and Payne will miss three to four months after foot surgery.
    • Kanter posted a message on Twitter, thanking the fans and management in Oklahoma City and saying, “Please beat the Warriors for me.”
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    Austin Kent <![CDATA[Timberwolves Sign Aaron Brooks]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74736 2017-09-22T04:27:04Z 2017-09-21T21:43:36Z 8:44pm: The Wolves have signed Brooks, Zgoda confirms, citing a press release from the club.

    4:43pm: Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press has tweeted that he believes the deal is done.

    3:15pm: The Timberwolves are expected to sign Aaron Brooks before training camp opens on Saturday, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweets. The 32-year-old point guard played 65 games for the Pacers last season.

    A Brooks deal would reunite the nine-year veteran with former head coach Tom Thibodeau. Brooks played 151 games for the Bulls from 2014-2016, averaging 9.6 points and 2.9 assists per game in the process.

    The Wolves currently have 16 players on their roster, only 12 of whom have guaranteed deals, so there’s certainly room for Brooks to carve out a role for himself into the regular season although no details of what a potential contract might look like have been revealed.

    Don’t expect the vet to siphon any time or opportunity away from incumbents Jeff Teague or Tyus Jones but he could fill a niche as an aggressive guard familiar with Thibodeau’s style.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Timberwolves Eyeing Aaron Brooks, Other Free Agents]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74677 2017-09-21T16:22:25Z 2017-09-21T16:22:25Z Having missed out on free agent forward Dante Cunningham, the Timberwolves remain on the lookout for a couple more veterans to fill out their roster, and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News suggests (via Twitter) that it’s worth keeping an eye on Aaron Brooks. While Minnesota wants to sign a wing player, the team also continue to seek a backup point guard, and Tom Thibodeau has a history with Brooks, a former Bull.

    Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune also identifies Brooks as a potential target for the Timberwolves, suggesting that C.J. Watson and Kirk Hinrich – another player with a Thibodeau connection – may be options as well. As for possible fits at the forward spot, Zgoda indicates that Gerald Green and Thomas Robinson are among the veteran free agents who could be in play for Minnesota.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Teams That Can’t Offer More Than The Minimum]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=74645 2017-09-20T21:01:55Z 2017-09-20T21:01:55Z At this point in the NBA offseason, most free agents who remain on the open market will have to settle for minimum salary contracts, if they receive an NBA offer at all.

    There are some exceptions, particularly on the restricted free agent market, where Mason Plumlee just signed a three-year, $41MM deal with the Nuggets. Within the last week or two though, we’ve seen top remaining unrestricted free agents like Shabazz Muhammad, Tony Allen, and Andrew Bogut settle for minimum salary contracts.

    That’s good news for several teams who have used all their available cap room and/or exceptions and can only offer minimum salary contracts for the rest of the 2017/18 league year. They won’t necessarily be at a disadvantage when it comes to signing free agents if those players aren’t being offered more than the minimum by teams with the means to do so.

    In some cases though, an inability to offer more than the minimum can handicap a team. Dante Cunningham‘s free agent decision this week reflects this — according to multiple reports, the deal Cunningham agreed to with the Pelicans is actually worth $2.3MM, which is more than his minimum salary of $2.1MM. While we haven’t seen the official terms of Cunningham’s new contract yet, it’s possible that the $200K difference was one reason Cunningham chose New Orleans over a suitor like the Timberwolves, who could only offer the minimum.

    Teams with the flexibility to offer more than the minimum could also benefit later in the NBA season. For instance, if Dwyane Wade negotiates a buyout with the Bulls and considers which team to join as a free agent, the fact that the Heat have retained their $4.328MM room exception could be a factor — it would allow Miami to make a stronger offer than the Cavs could.

    With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the teams that currently don’t have the ability to offer more than the minimum salary, which is $815,615 for a first-year player:

    • Boston Celtics
    • Detroit Pistons
    • Golden State Warriors
    • Houston Rockets: $350 of mid-level exception available
    • Los Angeles Clippers: $774,770 of mid-level exception available
    • Memphis Grizzlies: $1,440,385 of mid-level exception available, but will use at least $815,615 to sign Ivan Rabb.
    • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • New York Knicks
    • Oklahoma City Thunder

    Meanwhile, the following teams have less than $3.29MM (the value of the bi-annual exception) to offer to free agents:

    • Cleveland Cavaliers: $2,549,143 of taxpayer mid-level exception available
    • Utah Jazz: $1,128,000 of room exception available
    • Washington Wizards: $1,902,000 of taxpayer mid-level exception available

    Of course, just because a team has an exception available, that doesn’t mean the club will be eager to use it. Teams like the Bucks or Pelicans, for instance, still have various MLE and BAE exception money available, but their proximity to the luxury tax threshold will make them reluctant to offer more than the minimum salary to anyone the rest of the way.

    For a full breakdown of how teams have used their mid-level, room, and bi-annual exceptions for the 2017/18 league year, be sure to check out our MLE tracker and BAE tracker.

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