It’s time to take a step back and admire the way that Gersson Rosas is setting up the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster for his next big move.
It was difficult to have a positive outlook on the upcoming season when the biggest move made was acquiring Jake Layman. But I’m here to tell you that Rosas was as smart as possible this summer and set the Wolves up for future years to come.
Let’s start by taking a look at every significant move made this summer by the front office.
- Dario Šarić and the No. 11 overall pick were traded to Phoenix for the No. 6 overall pick, which was used to select Jarrett Culver.
- Jaylen Nowell was drafted with the No. 43 pick.
- Naz Reid signed as an undrafted free agent to a two-way contract, which later became a multi-year contract.
- Jake Layman was acquired through a sign-and-trade with Portland.
- Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham were acquired by facilitating the sign-and-trade that saw Kevin Durant and D’Angelo Russell swap teams.
- Noah Vonleh was signed to a one-year contract.
- Jordan Bell was signed to a one-year contract.
- Kelan Martin and Jordan McLaughlin signed two-way contracts.
Now, let’s breakdown each category of moves and why they each make sense as part of the larger puzzle.
Now, none of these moves seemed flashy or gave fans any hope going forward. However, these transactions will prove to have great benefit for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the near future in the form of financial flexibility.
To start, four of the players acquired this offseason are on one-year contracts worth $2 million or less: Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, Jordan Bell, and Treveon Graham. Napier has brought immense value to the Wolves and is underpaid for his performance. Vonleh has provided key minutes and played well. Bell has not cracked the rotation consistently, but it useful as an energy man when needed.
Graham was just traded to the Atlanta Hawks alongside Jeff Teague, but he provided valuable energy early in the season. Unfortunately, his offensive struggles saw him fall further out of the rotation as the year wore on.
These one-year contracts allowed the Timberwolves to kick the tires on some intriguing players going forward without jeopardizing the financial plan moving forward. Typically, teams sign end of the bench guys to these low-end deals, but Rosas has found a way to get great value from some low-risk contracts.