Minnesota Timberwolves Roundup: Roster notes, G League bubble

Glen Taylor, current owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Glen Taylor, current owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves opted to leave their final roster spot open. Plus, they are likely to participate in the upcoming G League bubble.

Just prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, the Minnesota Timberwolves made the surprise decision to drop one of their most impressive performers from the preseason in forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

We had identified the likelihood that the Wolves were trying to avoid ending up in the luxury tax at some point in the coming weeks. But we’re getting confirmation from owner Glen Taylor that his franchise wants to maintain flexibility for any potential upcoming transactions.

Also, the Wolves are reportedly still planning to be part of the upcoming G League bubble.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s release

According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, the Minnesota Timberwolves made the best offseason signing of any team in the league (subscription required) when they added Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

But then, they waived him. In fact, Hollinger’s model actually dropped the Wolves’ final win projection total by three wins, from 36 to 33.

The Wolves’ calculation was obviously that they didn’t have enough minutes set aside for Hollis-Jefferson, and his salary would have eventually put them back in the luxury tax.

Owner Glen Taylor has confirmed what The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski had initially deduced, that the Wolves simply wanted to maintain as much flexibility as they could heading into the season.

This, from Darren Wolfson’s podcast on SKOR North and transcribed by Hoops Rumors:

"“If we’d (retained Hollis-Jefferson), then we’d have the roster. We wouldn’t have any room for any movement at all,” Taylor said. “And I just think that you want to go into this year leaving a little bit of flexibility to see if you get some injuries or something like that, that you can bring in somebody to fill it.”"

Of course, a potential injury replacement or additional depth down the road could very well come in the form of Hollis-Jefferson himself, who somehow remains without a team.

Minnesota Timberwolves expected to participate in the G League Bubble

The G League will not play a traditional season this year, largely due to concerns related to travel in the COVID-19 era. As it turns out, traveling long distances via bus or commercial airline on a frequent basis wasn’t conducive to following COVID protocols.

Instead, the G League is planning to host a bubble that begins in early January and will include at least 12 games, plus playoffs.

As of now, the Wolves plan to participate.

Minnesota has a few Exhibit 10 players and players on training camp deals that they would likely place on Iowa Wolves roster, including Ade Murkey, Charles Brown, Jr., and Tyler Cook.

It would seem unlikely that the Timberwolves would assign any of their young players on the 15-man roster to the G League like they might in a regular year. Given the necessary isolation periods and other COVID-19 protocols, don’t expect to see Jaylen Nowell or Jaden McDaniel with the Iowa Wolves this season.

We’ll keep an eye on the G League bubble and any firm announcements on what those rosters will look like. There’s at least one interesting wrinkle that we don’t yet have any Wolves news on as of yet:

We’ll keep tabs on the G League situation and any news surrounding how the Wolves’ entry may shake out.

Next. Predicting how many games the Wolves will win.... dark

Have a fantastic Christmas and a great weekend, and we’ll be back with coverage of Wolves-Jazz on Saturday evening.