3 Timberwolves who hurt their contract value in 2023-24

Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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In today's NBA, a player's value is almost entirely tied to his contract. For instance, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris averaged 17.2 points and shot 48.7 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc. He also chipped in 6.5 boards and 3.1 dimes per game.

Harris notched pretty good numbers across the board. However, the 31-year-old received an incredible amount of flak for his play. The reasoning behind the extreme criticism was his albatross contract. The 6-foot-8 wing infamously re-signed with Philadelphia for five years and a whopping $185 million in 2019.

The 76ers forward is by no means a bad player. He's a quality third option on a championship-level team. However, due to his $36 million per year price tag, Harris' once-high value has seemingly catered.

Looking at the Minnesota Timberwolves roster will lead some to believe there are numerous bad contracts. For one, Karl-Anthony Towns will rake in nearly $50 million next season. Towns is a good player like Harris—but even better than the 76ers forward. The Minnesota big man is a four-time All-Star and one of the best shooters in league history.

However, his massive payday will certainly tarnish his reputation. Towns will be owed $61 million in his age-32 season. It'll be extraordinarily tough to live up to those standards. Towns' frontcourt mate, Rudy Gobert, is in a similar boat.

Not as skilled, but more accomplished, Gobert is set to earn nearly $44 million as a 32-year-old next season. He's a once-in-a-generation defender whose placement on the court pretty much guarantees a top-10 defensive unit. Nevertheless, a $200-plus million contract is always difficult to stomach for a specialist. Even if said specialist is in a world of his own.

Neither Towns nor Gobert will be mentioned in the piece. If Minnesota didn't offer each player a max extension—another team would. We will instead examine three looming free agents who'll likely sign veteran minimum deals this offseason after cashing in on larger deals in the past.

3. Monte Morris

First up, Timberwolves point guard Monte Morris. The Wolves may re-sign the veteran guard due to a precarious future cap situation. However, Morris did himself no favors this past season. The 28-year-old floor general averaged just 5.1 points and 2.3 assists per game for Minnesota.

Morris's lackluster regular season carried on into the postseason. He appeared in just nine games and played a total of 67 minutes. Morris averaged 2.3 points and shot 30.0 percent from beyond the arc and 7.1 percent from downtown in his limited time.

For reference, in 2022, the last time Morris hit the hardwood in a postseason, he averaged 14.0 points and 5.4 assists while canning 49.0 percent of his field goals and 42.3 percent of his triples. Despite his last playoff appearance coming two years ago, his play decreased drastically.

There are likely multiple factors for Morris's decline. He sat out half of last season due to various ailments. Morris began the season with the Detroit Pistons, but it took three months for the veteran guard to make his debut. And after six games in Motor City, Morris was uprooted and shipped to Minneapolis.

A midseason team change always takes some time to integrate. There are several outliers, such as the Dallas Maverick duo of P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford. But as for Morris, he never settled into his role. He only scored double-digits twice and never once shot more than 10 field goals.

This past season, Morris earned roughly $10 million. It's all but likely the former Denver Nuggets re-ups with Minnesota on a short, team-friendly pact to reprise his backup floor general role. It'll be surprising to see if Morris receives more than the veteran minimum elsewhere.