The Wolves landed the knock down 3-point shooter they have been looking for in Brandon Rush this afternoon, according to his agency, Priority Sports, and confirmed by ESPN's Marc Stein.
Brandon Rush has landed a one-year deal at $3.5 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to his agent Mark Bartelstein— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 6, 2016
The deal is for 1-year at $3.5 million (also known as next to nothing under the new salary cap). With the signing, the roster now sits at 14 guaranteed contracts and close to $19M in cap room (18,749,076 to be exact). The salary floor is set at $84.7 and with this move the Wolves now sit at $75,393,924.
Obviously another signing or trade could get them above the salary floor but it's certainly not the end of the world if they don't eventually get there. Teams that fall below the floor simply bump the remaining difference to the current players. If this does ultimately happen, it could be seen as a sign of faith by the organization or almost like a bonus of sorts given to the current roster. The real takeaway is that getting past the floor isn't imperative. Thibs and Layden don't have to offer an undeserving player a 1-year, $10 million deal simply to get there. It might make more sense to save the final roster spot and swing for the fences on a project like, say, Coty Clarke (if he dominates for the Wolves in Summer League).
Getting back to Rush briefly ... he's 30 years old and appears to be fairly one dimensional at this point. The Wolves needed a dead-eye shooter on the roster that can space the floor with the second unit and Rush can certainly do that. He hit 41.4% from deep last season with the Warriors on 157 attempts. 60.4% of his shots were 3s and the reality is he probably doesn't bring much else to the table offensively at this point in his career. His defense will be something to watch early on with the team, as Shabazz Muhammad struggles mightily on that end. If Rush can prove to be a solid team defender and knock down 3-pointers at his career rate (40.3%) he could steal wing minutes from Muhammad as Thibs looks to implement his defense and get the entire team playing far better on that end.
All in all, this seems like another positive low-cost, low-risk move by the Wolves that fills one of the more glaring needs on the roster and can help sure up a lackluster bench from last season (along with the additions of Kris Dunn and Cole Aldrich, and year two of Nemanja Bjelica). Either this signing works out well and the team found a cheap shooter to eat up bench minutes on the wing or Rush is gone at the trade deadline/next offseason.
We will see.