Minnesota Timberwolves to sign Noah Vonleh to one-year deal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 28: Noah Vonleh #32 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)`
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 28: Noah Vonleh #32 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)` /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have made their second signing of the summer, inking power forward Noah Vonleh to a one-year deal.

While the Minnesota Timberwolves came up empty on Sunday night when they went big game hunting, they’ve scored a couple of small victories in the two days since.

A day after agreeing to sign Jordan Bell to a one-year deal at something close to the minimum salary, the Wolves picked up another big man in former New York Knick Noah Vonleh according to a report from The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski.

Minnesota entered the summer with only Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng under contract in the frontcourt, but they’ve already made progress in shoring up the depth chart.

Vonleh will be on his fifth team in five years in the NBA. He was the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets but only appeared in 25 games as a rookie before being shipped to Portland as part of the trade that sent Nicolas Batum to Charlotte.

He spent two-plus seasons with the Trail Blazers, starting 109 of his 185 appearances. Vonleh averaged just 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in Portland but was a solid defender on a consistently good Blazers squad.

After playing 21 games with Chicago at the end of 2017-18, Vonleh had the best season of his career with the Knicks, averaging 8.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He added something of a 3-point shot for the first time in his career, launching two attempts per game and shooting 33.9 percent (46-of-137) from beyond the arc.

Vonleh finished No. 14 among all NBA power forwards who appeared in at least 55 games in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus metric as he improved on both ends of the floor for one of the league’s worst teams.

At this stage, it’s hard to say what Minnesota’s is planning to do in the frontcourt. Dieng may very well start at power forward with both Bell and Vonleh coming off the bench, but it’s probably more likely that the Wolves’ coaching staff chooses to go with Vonleh as the starting 4 while Dieng and Bell coming off the bench.

Of course, there are still a few days to go before any deals become official, and a couple months left in the offseason. Anything could still happen, and you can bet that Gersson Rosas and Co. are still looking to move Dieng’s contract and/or add plenty more talent to the roster.

Next. Timberwolves agree to sign Jordan Bell. dark

All that said, it’s undeniable that the Wolves have added rotation-worthy talent at minimum deals. It’s solid work with limited cap space, and it will interesting to see where they go from here.