Can the Wolves still add a veteran in free agency?
With the Timberwolves operating as an over-the-salary cap team, the only means they are able to add free-agent help is through the $12.4 million Mid Level Exception, the Bi-Annual Exception of $4.1 million, and minimum contracts. The Mid Level Exception (MLE) can be broken up into multiple players, which is what the Timberwolves opted to do in signing Brown Jr. and Milton.
If you include the two rookies Leonard Miller and Jaylen Clark, the Wolves currently have 15 players, which is the maximum an NBA franchise can carry during the regular season. For now, all NBA teams can sign up to 20 players to carry throughout the off-season.
The Timberwolves also have offers extended to players Luka Garza and Matt Ryan to return on a Two-Way deal. Though a recent rule change now allows teams to carry three players on Two-way contracts, which directly has implications on the Timberwolves heading into Day Two of free agency.
With Jaylen Clark expected to be out for the majority of the year with an Achilles injury, there is a strong likelihood that the Timberwolves could essentially give him a redshirt year, and sign him to that third two-way deal.
So how does this impact the Timberwolves’ ability to add another veteran? I’m happy you asked. Rookie Leonard Miller is expected to sign a rookie minimum deal, which is good for approximately $1.1 million. That would leave the Timberwolves with $3.245 million in space to sign a veteran to replace the roster spot opened up by Clark signing a two-way deal.
So with a need for more shooting on the roster, who is still available that the Timberwolves can target for $3.245 million or less?
- Will Barton – Former Denver Nugget wing with ties to Tim Connelly.
- Svi Mykhailiuk – Knockdown shooter, and former Kansas Jayhawk star.
- Austin Rivers – Tim Connelly did say he wanted to run it back, didn’t he?
- Aaron Holiday – An all-around rotation guard who has a plus shot and can hold his own defensively.
- Corey Joseph – a veteran PG who has come on as a three-point shooter the last two seasons.
All in all, a very solid first day of free agency for our favorite NBA franchise.
Shake Milton and Troy Brown fill roster needs, and the front office has left some room yet to bring in one more veteran player to beef up the 2023-24 rotation. So keep your heads on a swivel, there are some moves yet to be made.