Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have added undrafted rookie Melo Trimble this past week. Trimble played collegiately at Maryland from 2014-2017. The 22-year-old point guard went undrafted in the 2017 NBA draft.
In three years at Maryland, Trimble averaged 15.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game, while also shooting 34.3% from beyond the arc.
Melo was a 2014 McDonald's All-American; a member of the 2015 Big Ten All-Freshman team, All-Big Ten (Coaches) second team; All-Big Ten (Media) first team, and All American (SN) second team; 2016 AP Honorable Mention All-American team; and 2017 All-Big Ten first team.
Trimble played in the 2017 NBA Summer League for the Philadelphia 76ers. In three games with Philadelphia he averaged 10.3 points.
According to ESPN, Melo has joined the Wolves on a partially guaranteed deal. The likelihood of him making the final roster are slim. He does have potential to join the Wolves on their second two-way contract (the other being filled by Anthony Brown).
Trimble would certainly fit the mold of point guards that Thibodeau has employed in the past (D.J. Augustin, Aaron Brooks, etc.).
For now, Melo will attend training camp with the Wolves, so the undrafted rookie has his chance to make his NBA dreams come true.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced last week that they have signed shooting guard Anthony Brown to a two-way contract.
What's a two-way contract? Two-way contracts are new in the NBA this season and will allow the NBA to employ roughly 60 more players for the upcoming season. Each team has two, two-way contracts. They act at the 16th & 17th roster spot for NBA teams. The player signed can spend up to 45 days with the NBA team that signs him. While 45 days can be spent, no time at the NBA level needs to be guaranteed by any team to sign a player. The rest of the player's contract must be spent in the G-League (formerly the D-League) either for the team's affiliate or another (if the team doesn't have an exclusive affiliate yet). The Wolves are one of 26 teams (of 30) that have a G-League affiliate -- the Iowa Wolves. While in the G-League, the player will make $75,000 (an increase from the $26,000 a typical G-League player makes per season). If a player spends time in the NBA, it is prorated to a NBA rookie minimum contract. If he spends 45 days in the NBA, he'll make roughly $204,000. Thusly, a player who spends the maximum of 45 days with an NBA team will make about $279,000.
Anthony Brown was the 34th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. In his rookie season, he played 29 games (11 starts) before being released. He spent the remainder of his rookie season in the D-League. Brown did play a total of 11 games last season for the New Orleans Pelicans and the Orlando Magic.
Brown may very well develop into a "three-and-D" player at some point in his career, and in today's NBA, that type of player is incredibly valuable. It's why former D-League players like Danny Green and Kent Bazemore have received big paydays and roles for their respective teams. At 6'7" with a near 7'0" wingspan, Brown has potential to be a factor in the NBA. Though, it is likely a make-or-break season for Brown as he turns 25 in just a few short months.
If nothing else, Brown provides insurance for the Wolves on the wing if injuries should take Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, or Jamal Crawford out for a significant amount of time.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in the midst of contract negotiations with swingman Andrew Wiggins. The five-year extension is rumored to be worth roughly $148 million. When asked about the extension and whether Wiggins truly believes he's worth "max money" he replied, that he's worth "nothing less" than a max contract.
Whether that is true or not, still remains to be seen. The versatile wing has never shown the kind of consistency that you would like to see from a former number one overall pick. His lack of "killer instinct" has also been a hindrance during his tenure in the league. He's developed into somewhat of a go-to scorer in crunch time and his offense has steadily improved each season. While you'd still like to see more from him, it stands to reason that the Wolves brass is somewhat hesitant to throw max money at the young forward. The key reason being, his defense and his effort on that end of the floor. With the versatile Jimmy Butler now in the mix, the hope is that some of his tendencies on the defensive end wear off on Andrew, he's got plenty of improvements to make.
The craziest thing about this contract extension is that Andrew Wiggins is already one of the better players in Timberwolves franchise history. A year or two ago, max money for a player like Andrew wouldn't have even really been a question. Now with Jimmy Butler in the mix and an improved roster around him with the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns (who still has improvements to make on the defensive end himself), Jeff Teague, Butler, and Taj Gibson -- Andrew's flaws are being brought more to the forefront in these kind of negotiations.
I recall the year Michael Beasley was Minnesota's starting small forward, this was when K-Love was still in the fold and just on the cusp of becoming a bonafide star in the League. If you transported that offseason to this offseason, with the skyrocket in cap, I probably would have advocated for Beasley to get a max extension from the Wolves (despite his many -- and more glaring -- deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball). Because at that time, Beas was coming off a really good season in Minnesota where Rambis had given him the green light to fire at will. He was a high-volume shooter and he scored a lot of points. For the first time in about five years, at that point, the Wolves seemed to have a potent duo in Love & Beasley that could grow together. I would have seriously considered giving Beasley a lot of money to stick around Minny.
It just goes to show how this franchise has changed since Tom Thibodeau has taken over lead in the Wolves front office -- and also how drastically the League has changed in the past few years.
Assuming Andrew Wiggins isn't shipped out of town, back to Cleveland, in a deal that nets the Wolves Kyrie Irving -- Andrew will remain in Minnesota, and get a nice bump in salary to boot (starting at roughly $25 million per year).
Stay tuned to HOWL for all the updates!
If it's up to Kyrie Irving, he's played his last game for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reports surfaced this afternoon that the star point guard who has been to three-consecutive NBA finals no longer wants to play with LeBron James (he may be the only player in the League).
In all honesty, it makes sense in two different scenarios. Number one: he is tired of playing second fiddle to LBJ and wants a chance to lead a team -- like he was promised when he signed that five-year extension back in 2014 just weeks before LeBron returned to Cleveland.
Number two: Kyrie knows that the Cavaliers are on the brink of implosion. GM David Griffin is no longer there and LeBron won't be hanging around much longer.
Considering the lack of moves the Cavaliers have made this summer, it makes sense that Kyrie sees the writing on the wall and knows that if there was ever a time to get out of town, this summer may be his only option until 2019.
The Cavaliers have handcuffed themselves. They have a lot of high-quality players, however since Kevin Durant took his talents to the Bay -- they simply can't match up with the NBA's elite. To clarify, the NBA's elite is Golden State and only Golden State.
So, with all that said, how does this pertain to Minnesota? Well, the Timberwolves were listed as one of four preferred landing spots for the all-star point guard.
The others include Miami, New York, and San Antonio. It was reported late Friday afternoon, however that New York is not on the list of preferred landing spots. While it's incredible to see one of the NBA's premier players interested in suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, it is highly unlikely to happen.
First of all, the Cleveland Cavaliers have no ultimatum to trade Irving. He's under contract for the next two years. Ultimately, the Cavaliers could hold on to Kyrie, when LeBron may walk. Then, the Cavs can fulfill that promise they made to Irving when he signed his extension.
I highly doubt that the Cavaliers are going to be able to find a deal that makes financial sense, while also netting them quality in return.
What could the Timberwolves realistically offer? They can't trade any of the free agents that they have signed until December 15th (Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford). A deal centered around Andrew Wiggins would likely be a starting point to get the two sides talking. Jimmy Butler isn't going anywhere and Karl-Anthony Towns is absolutely untouchable. Add to the fact that Jeff Teague can't be traded until mid-December, which means that if a deal was reached, the two would likely have to share a backcourt with one another. Not exactly ideal.
That being said, Kyrie Irving is one of the most talented players in the NBA and netting him would undoubtedly make the Timberwolves contenders, a near-guarantee that they would make the Western Conference Finals.
Stay tuned for HOWL for all the updates!
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, multiple teams have contacted the Minnesota Timberwolves with interest in third-year swingman Shabazz Muhammad.
While it's unclear what teams are interested in Muhammad, the Wolves have no interest in moving the 23-year-old Shabazz.
The Timberwolves do have a number of wings on the roster: Andrew Wiggins, Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Martin, Damjan Rudez, Zach LaVine and Nemanja Bjelica.
It is more than likely that the Wolves would be willing to move a player like Kevin Martin at some point this season--especially if it nets them a young player to add to their core, or a veteran that better fits with this team moving forward.
As Muhammad continues to prove his worth, it is highly likely that his role continues to increase for this young team. It is clear that he is seen as an integral part of this young core that features Andrew Wiggins & Karl-Anthony Towns at the forefront. Muhammad is part of that second tier with LaVine and Gorgui Dieng as key pieces moving forward.
Shabazz, the 14th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, is under contract for just under $2.1 million for this season and just over $3million next season. He also has a qualifying offer for the 2017-18 season for roughly $4million.
2013-14 Stats: 3.9 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.0 blocks, .460 FG%, .273
3PT%, .650 FT%, in 37 games (0 starts), 7.8 minutes
2014-15 Stats: 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, .489 FG%, .392
3PT%, .717 FT%, in 38 games (13 starts), 22.8 minutes
2015-16 Stats: 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.1 blocks, .462 FG%, .258
3PT%, .762 FT%, in 20 games (0 starts), 17.6 minutes
Karl-Anthony Towns was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month this past week for games played in October and November.
Towns was second among rookies in scoring with 14.4 points and led rookies with 9.4 rebounds, 2.18 blocks and shooting 86.7% from the free-throw line. KAT was also third in field-goal percentage at 52.6%. Towns had 8 doubles-doubles, including 6 in his first 8 games. This was higlighted by a 28-point, 14-rebound victory over Denver (his second career game) on October 30th.
Towns also had an impressive outing in a win over the Heat with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals as well as 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks in a three-point overtime loss vs. the Orlando Magic.
Kristaps Porzingis, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft was also named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month after posting 13.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.89 blocks, while also adding 8 double-doubles, highlighted by a 29-point, 11-rebound win on November 17th vs. the Charlotte Hornets and a 24-point, 14-rebound, 7-block outing in a win over the Houston Rockets.
Other nominees for Western/Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Brooklyn), Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver), Stanley Johnson (Detroit), D'Angelo Russell (LA Lakers), Justise Winslow (Miami), T.J. McConnell (Philadelphia), and Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia).
A report from the Star Tribune had Tayshaun Prince quoted recently saying that he was surprised that he was Minnesota's starting small forward.
Sam Mitchell has elected to go with Rubio, Wiggins, Prince, Garnett, and Towns as his starting five through the first three games of the season. With Prince & Garnett the Wolves sacrifice some offense, but it's quite clear what they provide on the defensive side of the ball.
It remains to be seen if Prince will hold on to that starting role throughout the season, but it's clear that, that combination is working as a starting group.
Prince knows there will be nights he'll play 10-12 minutes and others where he'll be asked to play 30+ minutes. For Tayshaun, it's all about doing whatever the team needs him to do.
Through three games Prince is averaging 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in 21.3 minutes per game.
When it was first announced that Flip Saunders had been diagnosed with a very treatable form of Hodgkins Lymphoma, it seemed as though he'd likely miss an extended period of time and the hope was that he'd be back patrolling the sidelines in the very near future.
Unfortunately, today we all have to say goodbye to the man that will go down as the man responsible for getting the ailing Wolves franchise back on track.
It was announced Sunday afternoon that at the age of 60, Flip Saunders had passed away. This coming just a couple days after a story came out in the Star Tribune by Jerry Zgoda that quoted Glen Taylor in saying that Flip definitely wouldn't coach this season. Obviously his condition had worsened in the past week.
This certainly leaves the Wolves with some big question marks for their future. Sam Mitchell has been named interim coach and Milt Newton has taken over managerial duties as the team's GM. It is very likely that they will continue in those roles this season, but the Wolves will most likely be going through another transition this offseason.
The Timberwolves lost an integral part of their rebuilding plan. People lost a friend, a husband, a father, a coach, a great NBA mind, and from all the great things you hear about Flip--an even greater man.
There's no doubt that everyone will be rooting for the Wolves to finally turn things around this season!
It has been a couple weeks since it was announced that Flip Saunders would miss (at least) part of the season after there were further complications with his treatment for Hogkins Lymphoma. As a result, assistant coach and former Coach of the Year (with Toronto) Sam Mitchell was named interim head coach.
It was announced today that Mitchell will almost definitely be head coach for the entire 2015-16 season because Saunders won't be returning to the court this season. Unfortunately, Saunders' situation has taken a turn for the worst and his condition is now life-threatening.
This means that while Mitchell handles the head coaching duties, general manager Milt Newton will handle the day-to-day operations as the boss in the front office.
Looking beyond this season is hard to do because a lot of Minnesota's future in head coach and the President of Basketball Operations depends on the status of Flip Saunders.
Training camp is underway and Minnesota's first game of the season is just around the corner, stay tuned for more.
Canadian forward and former Wolf Anthony Bennett officially cleared waivers this weekend and signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors for the veteran's minimum.
He'll have a chance to carve out minutes behind starter Patrick Patterson on the depth chart.
For Minnesota, buying out Anthony Bennett clears space in their crowded front court with Kevin Garnett, Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Nikola Pekovic, Nemanja Bjelica, and Adriean Payne.
The Wolves now have 15 guaranteed contracts heading into training camp this coming week: Ricky Rubio, Andre Miller, Tyus Jones, Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Tayshaun Prince, Damjan Rudez, Kevin Garnett, Nemanja Bjelica, Adriean Payne, Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, and Nikola Pekovic.
Media day is tomorrow (Monday, 9/28) for the Timberwolves and that means practices and preseason games are just around the corner! Stay tuned!
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.