Minnesota Timberwolves must use 2023 cap space now

Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are entering an intriguing offseason with many unanswered questions, perhaps none bigger than the future of D’Angelo Russell, who is set to earn just over $31 million in the final year of his contract this upcoming season.

Other key expiring contracts this upcoming season include Patrick Beverley ($13 million) and Malik Beasley ($16.5 million, team option for 2023-2024). Both players are vital rotational players for now. But what about when the 2023 off-season hits and the team must make decisions on these contracts while weighing the option to re-sign Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, and Jaylen Nowell? After all, head coach Chris Finch publicly challenged all three young players to step up their game and lead the Timberwolves into the future.

You can guess where the money will go then if those three players step up.

Timberwolves Tim Connelly cannot wait

For Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Tim Connelly’s front office, there are a few ways to approach these expiring deals. One is to leverage the expiring contracts in trades with cap-space-hungry teams who will want to hunt for free agents next season. The other approach is to let these contracts play out, leaving the Timberwolves with an abundance of cap space to use themselves next offseason.

While the latter may sound appealing, the Timberwolves cannot afford to wait until the next offseason to make significant changes to the roster.

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The likely improvements of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and even the Denver Nuggets this upcoming season will make the Western Conference even more competitive than last year.  As it stands right now, the Utah Jazz appears to be the only playoff team that is clearly looking to take a step backward.