The free agency frenzy has slowed down and the Wolves are still hanging around with most of their money available. While the Wolves were busy taking their shot with D’Angelo Russell, most of the other high-profile free agents were signed.
Kawhi Leonard is still deciding who gets to be the favorites for the next NBA championship, but the Wolves have to figure out the rest of their roster, which suddenly is full of holes. The Wolves have a plethora of wings to play with, but Anthony Tolliver, Taj Gibson, and Derrick Rose have all moved on. Combined with the loss of Dario Saric, the Wolves have lost quite a few players who played major minutes last year. Glaringly, the team has no real power forward on the roster.
However, the Wolves do still have the full mid-level exception available with room on top of the MLE to bring back Tyus Jones on a relatively small contract. With Shabazz Napier, Jordan Bell, and Traveon Graham in tow, the Wolves have the back-end of the roster filled, but have almost no three-point shooting outside of Karl-Anthony Towns and Robert Covington.
The Wolves have been awfully quiet since the Russell debacle. It is also super weird that we actually never found out how the Wolves were planning on creating space/signing and trading for Russell. The easy path seemed like it was going to be Jeff Teague and filler, which would have potentially cost the Wolves two future first round picks based upon what happened with the Andre Iguodala trade. But there was a lot of smoke around a potential Andrew Wiggins trade.
It’s possible that something big is in the works. Or at least the attempt for something big is. The front office has probably pivoted to playing their cards a little closer to the chest after the last few weeks. The one big lesson from the recent events is that the front office is very aware that they need to radically reshape the roster in order to maximize Towns’ window. Running it back with an MLE power forward ain’t that.
So now we watch and wait. The Wolves are one of the few teams that have their MLE left and they can pick and choose how they will use it. It is possible they will be able to find a higher value contract as players run out of options. Of course, the other end of this is that the Wolves may run out of quality players to pay.
While Kawhi chooses, the Wolves have to figure out how to execute Plan B for this offseason. I’m guessing it involves fewer helicopter rides.