Timberwolves Day of Reckoning: What happens if no McDaniels deal happens?

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves want to get a deal done with young small forward Jaden McDaniels. And I don’t think that I am going too far out on a limb to suggest that Jaden McDaniels wants to sign a contract extension with the Timberwolves.  As long as both parties want to get a deal done, then both sides will likely succeed at doing so.

So what is up with the October 23, 2023, deadline for a contract extension? Well, it’s the deadline for any NBA player who is on the final year of a first-round rookie scale contract to get a contract extension negotiated and signed. Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Jaden McDaniels was selected with the 28th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which qualifies him for that deadline:

Why might the two sides fail to get a deal done by October 23?  The valuation of the contract will stick with both sides for multiple years. McDaniels, naturally, wants to get as much money as possible in a deal. But the Minnesota Timberwolves have every incentive to try to get Jaden McDaniels for the best team-friendly deal possible.

So, like many contracts, the agreement centers on the value of the player.

Is a deal worse than no deal?

If the Timberwolves fail to negotiate an affordable deal with McDaniels now, entire rows of dominoes could fall the wrong way, and literally force the Timberwolves to part ways with a significant player at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. In essence, there may be more permanent damage done to the Timberwolves roster by a poorly constructed deal on October 23 than no deal and waiting to negotiate later in the season.

If no extension is done now, then the Timberwolves will have a choice to make. Jaden McDaniels could become a restricted free agent, but that will require the Timbeolves to submit a qualifying offer to McDaniels between the day after the last game of the NBA Finals and June 29.

Once the Timberwolves have done so, if McDaniels wants to sign with another team, he and the new team sign an offer sheet. The Timberwolves will have the right of first refusal, which gives the Timberwolves the right to match any offer sheet within 48 hours of it being signed.

Why RFA makes a great deal of sense

If the sticking point is money, then the Timberwolves front office may see an RFA option as the best solution at this point. In essence, it allows McDaniels to get his best possible deal but gives the Timberwolves the right to come in and match the offer. That ensures McDaniels gets his top value but remains on the Timberwolves roster.

So what makes Jaden McDaniels so very valuable? Minnesota Timberwolves fans know, but just as a reminder:

It’s clear that missing the October 23, 2023 deadline is not Armageddon for the Minnesota Timberwolves. And it may be wiser to sit back and see how the 2023-24 NBA season plays out before the Timberwolves paint themselves into a financial corner.

Stay tuned, as the next 24 hours could be very dynamic, indeed:

Plenty of other Red Hot Minnesota Timberwolves articles to check out as well: