Offseason Report Card: Timberwolves get three As, two Bs and a C for offseason moves

Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

3. Re-signed Nickeil Alexander-Walker

Re-signed free-agent wing Nickeil Alexander-Walker to to 2-year, $9 million contract

The Portland Trail Blazers made a trade during the 2021-22 season to clear cap space, space they used to sign Jerami Grant. That deal landed CJ McCollum in New Orleans and brought Josh Hart and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to the Blazers. Instead of keeping “NAW” around, Portland turned around and dumped him on the Utah Jazz.

That’s how Alexander-Walker, cousin to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and recent first-round pick, found himself on the Utah Jazz and thus able to be included in the massive three-team deal that brought Mike Conley to Minnesota — along with Alexander-Walker.

The former Virginia Tech standout (and current Team Canada starter) may have seemed like a throw-in for three consecutive trades, but he hit the ground running in Minnesota as a defensive stopper in the backcourt and energy player on both ends of the court. He averaged 29.6 minutes per game for the Wolves in the playoffs, often a part of closing lineups.

Another team should have been willing to bid up Alexander-Walker’s salary for next season, but instead, the Timberwolves were able to bring him back on a two-year, $9 million deal. If Alexander-Walker continues as a bench wing he’ll be well worth that contract, and it’s so inexpensive that there is very little downside risk for Minnesota.

Grade: A-