How are we doing Wolves Nation? At this point in the summer, basketball withdrawals tend to drop into overdrive as the NBA dead period is well underway. The Minnesota Timberwolves did most of their work early in the offseason, but the Timberwolves still have an open two-way contract, and a slot on the 15-man roster available.
Though one cornerstone piece of the Wolves’ future remains unresolved. Like fellow 2020 draftee SG Anthony Edwards, wing Jaden McDaniels is eligible for a contract extension. McDaniels has quickly blossomed into one of the best, if not the best wing defender in the NBA, and will surely be looking to cash in.
Checking in on the negotiating table
As suggested by Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, current negotiations are progressing in the $21-24 million or higher, and a deal getting done feels more like a when and not if. Of course, this contract is more wishy-washy than that of Edwards. That is, the actual value of the contract is up to negotiation, which makes this one a bit slow going. But could we learn from other recent contract extensions to narrow down where a contract extension will end up?
Comparing previous deals in today’s dollars
To make an educated guess, we must first analyze the deals handed out to players of similar caliber and role to what Jaden does for the Timberwolves. I would like to point out that when examining the contracts handed out in the past, you must first understand that the NBA is currently in a period of exponential salary cap growth. So a deal that was signed three years ago by a similar caliber player may be an unrealistic dollar figure for Jaden today.
For any deal analyzed, I will be looking at the percentage of the cap that the deal occupied when it was signed and extrapolated to resemble what that deal would be worth today. By multiplying that percentage by the 2023-24 season salary cap of $136 million, we can gain insight into projecting where Jaden’s deal will fall.
A $20 million deal signed in 2020, would be 18.3 percent of the 2020-21 season’s $109,140,000 salary cap.
That same 18.3 percent of the 2023-24 $136,021,000 salary cap would be equivalent to $24,891,843.
While that price tag comes with some sticker shock, when you compare it to deals handed out to similar caliber players that range would be an incredible victory for Tim Connelly’s front office.
Still with me? Great! Let’s dive in. Let’s compare our unknown contract to three known contracts.