Josh Minott

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Wolves, Thunder Roster, OKC Arena

A month after Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Trail Blazers, specifically to the Heat, there’s little movement on a deal with Miami or any other team, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on NBA Today (video link).

Lillard’s huge contract, not his desired destination, is the biggest impediment. His contract runs through the 2026/27 season and he’ll make an estimated $58.5MM the previous season before a $63.2MM option in the final year.

“It has simply been – for a lot of teams – his age and the idea of playing him over 60 million dollars at 35 and 36 years old, the last two years of his deal,” Wojnarowski said. “Right not, there’s just not been a lot of engagement among teams on a Lillard trade.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Thunder might be in a position this upcoming season where they start trading assets rather than hoarding them, The Ringer’s Michael Pina writes.  The team may be good enough to warrant some moves that increase its chances of winning in the short term, not just the long term. The Thunder could begin attaching salary to draft capital for more established players, rather than doing the reverse.
  • The Timberwolves’ best chance at improvement is to develop young players like Josh Minott, Wendell Moore, Luka Garza and Leonard Miller, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. The article details Minnesota’s efforts to coach up those reserves. “When you have the roster that we have, we’ve got to be able to develop some of these young guys and turn them into real players,” assistant coach Max Lefevre said. “It’s just huge.”
  • Oklahoma City mayor David Holt is more concerned about square footage than a seating capacity exceeding 20,000 in the Thunder’s proposed new arena, Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman relays. Holt addressed a number of questions about the arena and other Thunder-related topics while answering readers’ questions. “Seating capacity is actually not that big of an issue in modern arena planning. The real issue for teams is square footage because the real revenue drivers for users are happening outside of the bowl,” Holt wrote. “That’s why it is so damaging for sports and concerts that our arena is dead-last of all NBA arenas in square footage. Some arenas are literally twice our size and most are 40-50 percent larger. I can’t tell you what the seating capacity of a new arena will be, but the current capacity is not really an issue and hasn’t really come up.”

Wolves Notes: Minott, Edwards, Free Agents

Josh Minott created excitement among Timberwolves fans with his G League highlights, but he knows he still has a lot to prove at the NBA level, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The second-year small forward understands that nothing will be given to him as he tries to make an NBA breakthrough, so he’s been approaching Summer League play the same way he did as a rookie.

“Last year, had no respect. This year, no respect,” Minott said. “I’m just trying to go out there and just show what I can do, show the coaching staff.”

The 45th pick in the 2022 draft, Minott impressed scouts with his athleticism, but he saw limited playing time in college and shot just 14% from three-point range. The Wolves took a chance on him because president of basketball operations Tim Connelly believed his energy, play-making and defense could help him develop into an NBA player.

Minnesota needs someone to replace Taurean Prince, who was lost to the Lakers in free agency, and Minott hopes to seize that opportunity. Krawczynski states that Minott has been working out regularly at the team facility, and the Wolves are giving him challenging defensive assignments during Summer League.

“They’re not trying to see me come down and jack five 3s,” Minott said. “They’re trying to see me come down and lock up their best player and stuff like that, cut, a lot of off-ball actions, screening, rolling, slipping, being able to knock down a corner 3 if need be. Overall, in terms of what I can do, it’s whatever a team’s missing.”

There’s more on the Timberwolves:

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Wolves Notes: Finch, Towns, Gobert, Edwards, Conley, Minott

Outside reviews of the Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert pairing were mostly negative, but the Timberwolves saw enough potential that they haven’t tried to break up the experiment this summer. In an interview with Chris Hine of The Star Tribune, head coach Chris Finch talks about how he will approach the upcoming season with the two big men in his starting lineup.

“I think we have to be way more definitive with our spacing around Rudy in pick and roll and KAT in the post,” Finch said. “That gives you two anchor points. Maybe in general, just a little more structured two-big spacing. Both bigs having a purpose at the same time. Then, I think we got away from KAT being in the trail spot. I think we’ve got to get him back where he’s really destructive, which is playing at the top of the floor early in the offense. That’s just off the top of my head of the things that pop out, which I feel pretty confident about being able to firm that up.”

Finch also said Anthony Edwards needs to re-establish his pick-and-roll game with Towns, who missed a major portion of last season with a calf injury. Finch believes Edwards and Gobert developed good chemistry together, and he wants to see that same decisiveness when Edwards is running the pick and roll with Towns.

There’s more on the Timberwolves:

  • In the same interview, Finch said Mike Conley was able to upgrade the offense after being acquired in February, and he hopes to see even more progress this season. “I think the single biggest thing he can do for us that we weren’t able to maximize or figure out is to be that connective bridge between Ant, Rudy and KAT,” Finch said. “Make all the right plays and all the little plays that you don’t see, and help talk everybody through all these situations. He’s not wired to want to score all the time.”
  • Edwards will face a new level of pressure in the wake of his max extension, including the expectation of bringing an NBA title to Minnesota, observes La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune. The deal also signifies that Edwards has replaced Towns as the face of the franchise, Neal adds.
  • After appearing in just 15 games as a rookie, Josh Minott is approaching Summer League in hopes of showing the Wolves he can handle a larger role, Hine adds in another Star Tribune story.“It’s just another opportunity to show the jump I’ve made, to show the work that I’ve been putting in over the summer,” Minott said. “Anybody can watch a workout, but I feel like it’s environments like this, environments like Summer League, where you see how much the work has translated and just how much you’ve gotten better.”

Contract Details: K. Williams, J. Green, Nembhard, Minott, Rivers

Kenrich Williams‘ new four-year extension with the Thunder came in at a total value of $27,170,000, Hoops Rumors has learned. Williams will earn $6,175,000 in 2023/24 when the extension goes into effect, then $6,669,000 in ’24/25. His final two years are each worth $7,163,000, with a team option on the ’26/27 season.

In other Thunder cap news, JaMychal Green gave up $2,628,597 in his buyout agreement with the team. As our chart of minimum salaries shows, that’s the exact amount an eight-year veteran like Green would earn on a minimum contract, which is what he’ll reportedly sign with Golden State.

Here are a few more salary notes from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers took advantage of their cap room by giving second-round pick Andrew Nembhard a contract with a declining structure. His four-year deal begins at $2,244,111 this season, then dips to $2,131,905 in 2023/24 and $2,019,699 in ’24/25 before increasing to the ’25/26 minimum of $2,187,451. The first three years are guaranteed, while the fourth is a team option.
  • The Timberwolves used a portion of their mid-level exception to sign second-rounder Josh Minott to a four-year, minimum-salary contract. It’s fully guaranteed for the first two years and non-guaranteed for the last two. Minott’s third-year salary would become guaranteed if he’s not waived by June 28, 2024, and the fourth year is a team option. Minnesota now only has about $692K left on its mid-level exception, which could potentially be used very late in the season to sign a player to a three- or four-year minimum-salary deal.
  • The Timberwolves‘ minimum-salary contract with Austin Rivers is only partially guaranteed for $650K. It would become fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through the league-wide salary guarantee date in January.

Timberwolves Sign Josh Minott To Four-Year Deal

JULY 22: Minnott’s deal with the Wolves is now official, per’s transactions log.

JULY 16: The Timberwolves are signing forward Josh Minott to a four-year contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Minott was originally selected No. 45 overall by the Hornets last month, then was traded to Minnesota on the night of the draft.

Before declaring for the draft, Minott played one season at Memphis, averaging 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The 19-year-old also shot 52% from the field, playing an average of 14.6 minutes per contest.

At 6’8″ and notably athletic, Minott has the potential to be a combo forward and excel on both ends. He can still improve his shooting — he only made two 3-pointers in 33 games last season — but that typically isn’t more pressing than work ethic, athleticism and size for young, developing players.

The Timberwolves also recently signed veteran guard Austin Rivers and still have an open roster spot to use. The team expects to compete for a title in the coming years, especially after adding Rudy Gobert to a core that already includes D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Minott will be able to learn from a blend of young players and veterans during his rookie season.

Although Charania pegs the value of Minott’s new deal at $6.8MM, a four-year minimum-salary contract would be worth $6.94MM, so that’s likely what the former Memphis Tiger is receiving. The Wolves still had a portion of their mid-level exception remaining after signing Kyle Anderson, and will use some of that MLE to complete Minott’s deal.

Northwest Notes: Lillard, Moore, Minott, Mitchell, Porter Jr.

Damian Lillard hasn’t joined many of his peers by demanding a trade or signing with another team as a free agent during his career. The Trail Blazers star just signed a two-year max extension and says there’s power in loyalty, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes.

“Something that’s missing in our league is the character and the fight and the passion and pride about not just the name on the back, but the name on the front and how you impact the people you come into contact with,” Lillard said. “I think because of how much I’ve embraced that, and haven’t pretended to embrace it, this just shows the power in that.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Timberwolves rookie draft picks Wendell Moore and Josh Minott have shown promise but also growing pains during Summer League play, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Moore has a shot to be the team’s No. 3 point guard and Minott, a frontcourt player, has intriguing potential as well. “I guess my playbook is going to open up a little bit for him, I’ll tell you that,” assistant coach Kevin Burleson said of Minott. “Some of the stuff he did, I didn’t know he could do. I didn’t see that in practice or the camp.”
  • While the Jazz reportedly are building their roster around Donovan Mitchell, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on Brian Windhorst’s podcast that there are whispers around the league that “(top executive) Danny Ainge is not convinced Mitchell can be the face of a contending franchise,” as HoopsHype relays.
  • Michael Porter Jr. offered another encouraging update on his health, Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports tweets. The Nuggets forward says he has fully recovered from his latest back surgery. “I’m doing really well. I’m feeling good,” he said. “I just continue to give all the glory to God. I’m feeling great. I’m able to workout as much as I want. No pain or anything. I’m in a really good spot. I’m excited to get back with the team.”

Northwest Notes: Green, Hart, Timberwolves Draft, Jazz Targets

JaMychal Green was officially traded to the Thunder by the Nuggets on Thursday, but it’s unlikely the forward will ever suit up for Oklahoma City. General manager Sam Presti says they’ll look to trade Green, Brandon Rahbar of the Daily Thunder tweets. Green, 32, is at the stage of his career where he provides greater value to a contender than a rebuilding team. He’s on an $8.2MM expiring contract for 2022/23.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Josh Hart had his $12.96MM contract guaranteed by the Trail Blazers over the weekend. However, it shouldn’t have major implications on Portland’s offseason moves, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. The Blazers now have $105MM in guaranteed contracts but they’re over the cap because of the free agent holds on Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic. They still could have the flexibility to re-sign those two free agents and use the full $10.5MM mid-level exception to pursue outside targets.
  • The Timberwolves prioritized rebounding in the draft and addressed that by making moves to select Auburn’s Walker Kessler, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. Kessler was the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year. They also wound up with Duke wing Wendell Moore late in the first round and Memphis wing Josh Minott and Italian guard Matteo Spagnolo in the second round. President of basketball operations Tim Connelly isn’t expecting too much out of those rookies. “We don’t want to put too much expectations on their ability to contribute right away,” he told The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. “When you have a team that had as much success as we did, it’s hard to put that on your shoulders.”
  • What might the Jazz do with their taxpayer mid-level exception in free agency? Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune lists 25 potential free agent targets — breaking them down into wings, guards and bigs.

Timberwolves Send McGowens To Hornets For Minott, Future Pick

11:53pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Hornets.

10:42pm: The Timberwolves are set to send Nebraska shooting guard Bryce McGowens, selected with the No. 40 pick in the 2022 draft, to the Hornets, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The Wolves will receive Memphis wing Josh Minott, the No. 45 pick in this year’s draft, as well as the 2023 second-rounder the Hornets acquired from the Knicks earlier in the draft, per Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).

The 6’7″ McGowens appeared in 31 games, all starts, for the Cornhuskers during his lone collegiate season. He averaged 16.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.4 APG and 0.7 SPG across 33.5 MPG. McGowens converted 40.3% of his 12.8 field goal attempts and 83.1% of his 6.3 free-throw looks during 2021/22.

A Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree, McGowens was also named to the 2021/22 All-Big Ten Third Team in 2022.

The 6’8″ Minott played more sparingly with Memphis during the ’21/22 season, averaging 6.6 PPG and 3.8 RPG in just 14.6 MPG over the course of his 33 games with the Tigers.

Wolves Notes: Connelly, KAT, Draft, Russell, A. Williams

If it were up to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, Karl-Anthony Towns would remain with the Timberwolves for his entire career. Towns is eligible for a super-max extension this summer after being selected to the All-NBA Third Team.

I hope he’s here forever. I hope we have the type of team success that would allow us to look up and see Karl’s jersey being hung up in the rafters,” Connelly said in a Q&A session with Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “I reached out to a bunch of these guys, but I don’t want to force relationships. You have to develop those things naturally. So, I’ve heard so many great things about him. I know how great a player he is on the court, but off the court it’s been so consistent, just an unbelievably sweet guy that treats everyone in a really classy manner.

“I think he’s been through so much, so many different faces and different chairs, from the front office to the coaching staff. So I think with continuity with Finchy (head coach Chris Finch), you’re going to see a better version of Karl and he’s already a great player.”

Connelly conceded that the team’s potential first-round pick (19th overall) likely won’t have a significant role on the team next year, but he believes the Wolves can find a good long-term fit with the selection.

We’ll beat up all the different possibilities pretty good. We’re also very content and pretty excited about if we’re going to get a good player at 19,” he said. “It’s going to be hard for any player we draft to have a huge role with the team that just had the success they had. We’re not drafting for June 24, we’re drafting for, hopefully, to add a person that can be a part of sustained success and a person who can grow into a role. I think things are on the table, but we do feel pretty convinced that 19 is going to yield a good player.”

It’s an interesting interview from Hine for any Wolves fans looking for insight into Connelly’s approach.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Amid rumors that Minnesota is exploring the trade market for veteran centers, including Clint Capela, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune wonders if one of the team’s biggest offseason moves might be a position change for Towns. Rand notes that sliding Towns down to the power forward spot would improve the Wolves’ rebounding woes, and he’d likely feast on smaller players in the post, but there are some possible drawbacks. Towns is quicker than most centers, so he might lose the ability to pump-fake and drive past slower-footed defenders, and it would take him time to adjust defensively. Ultimately, Rand believes utilizing a bigger lineup could work in certain matchups.
  • Jon Krawczynski and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic discuss Minnesota’s draft possibilities for the 19th and 40th picks (the Wolves also control the 48th and 50th picks). Vecenie doesn’t love the team’s options for the first-rounder and believes trading out in order to acquire additional first-round selections makes sense, but if the Wolves keep the pick, he thinks Blake Wesley or E.J. Liddell could be decent options. Wesley, a guard from Notre Dame, is ranked 22nd on ESPN’s big board, while Liddell, a forward from Ohio State, is ranked 21st. Vecenie says there are a number of “interesting, high-upside” prospects who could be available with the 40th pick, including Peyton Watson, Josh Minott and Kendall Brown, among others.
  • The Wolves haven’t come close to trading D’Angelo Russell “or any other player,” sources tell Krawczynski in another story for The Athletic. However, Krawczynski says trade talks are expected to heat up “the closer it gets to the draft,” which is tomorrow, and the fate of Russell and other possible trade candidates should become clearer once it concludes.
  • Alondes Williams worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). The 6’5″ guard averaged 18.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.2 SPG on .507/.282/.691 shooting as a junior for Wake Forest. He’s ranked 59th on ESPN’s board, so he could be a possibility for one of the team’s second-round picks.

Northwest Notes: Morris, Hyland, Nuggets Draft, Minott, Wiggins

The impending trade of JaMychal Green to the Thunder portends a very busy summer for the Nuggets, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes.

Denver is intent on maximizing Nikola Jokic‘s prime years, so the fact that the team now has two first-rounders in this year’s draft suggests more moves are coming. It’s unlikely two rookies would have an immediate impact on a team with championship aspirations.

With Jamal Murray returning this season, Monte Morris could be moved. He has an affordable contract and has generated significant interest around the league, a source told Singer. Alternatively, the Nuggets might consider moving Bones Hyland for a much-needed defensive wing player.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • If Denver holds onto the No. 21 pick or trades up in the draft, which wings might interest the front office as it looks to improve the team defensively? Singer lists a handful of wing prospects, including Duke’s AJ Griffin and Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell.
  • University of Memphis forward Josh Minott visited the Jazz and that’s significant, given where Minott is projected to go in the draft, according to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Most of the prospects the Jazz have worked out are projected as late second-round selections at best. In contrast, Minott is expected to go higher in the second round and could even sneak into the first round. He’s rated as the No. 46 prospect on ESPN’s Best Available list. Utah doesn’t currently have a draft pick.
  • Andrew Wiggins followed the footsteps of Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love by winning an NBA championship after being dealt by the Timberwolves in a high-profile trade, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Reusse seeks out opinions from several sources as to why Wiggins has excelled with Golden State after underperforming with Minnesota.