Can the Timberwolves sign Paul George after opt-out decision?

The Clippers' wing is now a free agent. Does Minnesota have an opportunity to sign him?
Paul George, Anthony Edwards
Paul George, Anthony Edwards / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

With the Minnesota Timberwolves making their preparations, one of the biggest pieces of NBA news leading up to the free agency period has already dropped. On Saturday afternoon, it was officially announced that Paul George would be declining his player option with the LA Clippers and entering free agency.

This is a huge development because it means George will either be re-signing with the Clippers or he will be departing his former team while they get nothing in return. Perhaps the most coveted free agent in the league this summer, there is sure to be plenty of interest in the versatile wing from Los Angeles.

Of course, the Timberwolves are in the business of upgrading their roster as well. So the question remains: Do they have any hope of obtaining Paul George's services? The numbers say it would be hard to do, unless George comes to town on a minimum contract.

Minnesota could only get Paul George on a minimum deal

One of the primary reasons (or perhaps the main reason) the Clippers have not gone hard after re-signing PG is the immense contract he will command in free agency. George reportedly wants a four year, $221 million extension, which is a massive asking price.

At the moment, Minnesota's payroll will be in second apron territory next season. They have to pay out the first year of Karl-Anthony Towns' max extension, while also devoting at least $24 million in annual salary to three other players as well. As such, Paul George joining the Wolves is a pipe dream as of right now.

The team would be unable to sign George unless he is willing to take a massive pay cut with the expectation that the team could be in a position to win a championship if he did so. However, it is extremely difficult to see PG being willing to give up his max money for such a cause.