Why the Minnesota Timberwolves will not have a busy offseason

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

For as much drama and speculation are packed into every NBA offseason, the Minnesota Timberwolves are likely to have a quiet summer.

While President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas has been anything but passive when it comes to upgrading his roster and swapping draft picks, all signs point to this offseason looking starkly different from his first two at the helm of the franchise.

Why the Minnesota Timberwolves will not have a busy offseason

For starters, the Timberwolves don’t have a single draft pick on their ledger. Both of this year’s picks were traded as part of the Andrew Wiggins-D’Angelo Russell deal in early 2020, and while the first-rounder was top-three protected, it will convey to the Golden State Warriors due to the results of the NBA Draft Lottery.

While it’s always possible that Rosas could trade back into the draft, picks will be at a premium this year in what is expected to be a deep and talented class.

So if the draft is out, Rosas can look to free agency, right?

Well … not really. The Wolves are already capped out, and if they choose to use their mid-level exception, they’ll be hard-capped and will lose their remaining flexibility.

They also don’t have much in the way of roster spots; Ed Davis is the only unrestricted free agent. Jarred Vanderbilt and two-way player Jordan McLaughlin are both restricted free agents and it seems likely that they could each be back.

The Wolves will have both two-way slots to fill, as McLaughlin is ineligible for the role after taking up one of the two available two-way contracts each of the past two seasons.

That leaves the trade market. But the Wolves are somewhat hamstrung in terms of their contracts. They have two max contracts that likely aren’t going anywhere, plus several of players on affordable contracts that offer fantastic value.

The only players in that middle ground are Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, and neither one is likely to fetch much in a one-for-one trade. Given that the Wolves don’t have any current picks to attach and make a potential trade more attractive, it’s even less likely that either one will be traded.

The only sizeable contracts that could be moved are Malik Beasley’s two years and roughly $30 million plus a team option for a third year, and Ricky Rubio’s expiring $17.8 million. But if those players aren’t moved, the Wolves will be hard-pressed to improve the roster via any other avenue.

Basically, if anything were to go down for the Wolves on the trade market, it would almost certainly be a significant move, given the makeup of the contracts on the roster. But large, blockbuster deals don’t come together all too often.

2 Wolves players who won't be traded. dark. Next

Therefore, it stands to reason that the Wolves offseason could remain fairly quiet outside of adding a couple of two-way players and perhaps some depth to the frontcourt.