The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly re-signed forward Juancho Hernangomez on Sunday, shoring up the power forward spot.
Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas has said all along that his offseason priority was to re-sign his own restricted free agents.
In the first 48 hours of free agency, Rosas did just that.
On the heels of Malik Beasley signing a four-year, $60 million deal on Friday evening, the Wolves waited for the market to develop a bit before agreeing to a new contract with their other restricted free agent, Juan Hernangomez.
Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly re-sign Juancho Hernangomez
The Hernangomez signing was first reported by The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania. Then, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski added some important detail to the move.
While an average annual value of $7 million is a bit richer than we had speculated, the team option is key. Similarly Beasley’s four-year deal has an option on the final year. The Wolves front office has clearly been fine with paying more early in deals in order to have more flexibility later, as well as making the contracts more tradable.
Hernangomez was fantastic after coming to Minnesota via trade at last February’s deadline, averaging 15.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game over 14 games. Both would easly be career-highs if they had held up over an entire season.
He had been part of the Nuggets’ rotation during a 54-win season in 2018-19, starting 25 games and appearing in 70 regular-season contests. Hernangomez saw his role shrink considerably in 2019-20, and the Nuggets sent him to Minnesota as part of the four-team deal that also saw Robert Covington end up in Houston.
The Wolves clearly value Hernangomez’s shooting ability at the 4; he shot 42 percent on six attempts per game in his appearances in a Timberwolves uniform.
It’s also important to note that Hernangomez played in just two games alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, averaging 14.5 points and shooting 5-of-7 from beyond the arc in those two contests.
Hernangomez is a bit of an underrated defender, too, holding his own as a big-bodied 4 (6-foot-9 with a 7-foot wingspan) that is an intelligent cog in the defensive unit. He isn’t ultra-quick laterally but can stay in front of most 4s and does a decent job when switched onto 3s.
While the annual salary may be a bit rich, Hernangomez was clearly the best fit of the remaining options in free agency for the Minnesota Timberwolves. And at 25 years old, there may still be a bit of upside remaining for Juancho.