The Timberwolves are suddenly stacked, and they have at least one contract that will look like a bargain during the upcoming season.
No matter how highly-touted a prospect is, he will not make Steph Curry money as a rookie. Instead, he will be relegated to whatever the bar is set at by the NBA for a first round pick that particular season.
This makes the soon-to-be All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns’ contract one of the best in the NBA.
This same argument can be made for nearly any current NBA player that is playing up to or over their potential while under their rookie deal. Still, Towns sticks out the most when it comes to comparing the dollars of his contract with the likes of other stars that play the same position around the league.
Towns is a multidimensional player with the ability to play power forward or center on any given night. As it turns out, after signing a three-year, $31,269,231 deal with the Denver Nuggets in the off-season, the third-highest paid player in the NBA is currently power forward Paul Millsap. On the center side, Millsap’s former teammate in Atlanta, Al Horford, is the highest paid center in the entire NBA at $27,734,406 per year with the Celtics.
There is no doubt that Towns is already a better player than both Millsap and Horford, but playing under his rookie deal, Towns ranks as the 168th-highest paid player in the league. This is terrible for Towns, of course, as he has a chance to make his first All-Star game this coming season in only his third year in the league. As for the organization, this deal works out perfect.
Towns’ rookie contract has allowed the Wolves to bolster their lineup this off-season, making them the talk of the NBA. With Towns and Wiggins having played for cheap their entire careers to this point, the Timberwolves were able to trade for Butler, who has the 42nd-richest contract in the league.
Of course, Butler’s contract could arguably be the best on the team, as he is one of the elite players in the NBA and not making a ton of money. However, when he is due to be resigned in 2020-2021, it will be hard for the Wolves to keep all of their pieces having to pay top money to at least three players.
KAT’s and Wiggins’ contracts are the best for the team, but as the organization keeps making moves to bring in elite level talent to play alongside the young superstars, it will be increasingly difficult for them to retain these players in the future.
As it stands now, the Wolves are in win-now mode and Towns is helping Minnesota have every chance to do so by playing at his current salary. This will not last forever, but the live in the present mantra is Minnesota’s current train of thought.