And here we are:
Portland restricted free agent F Jake Layman is signing a three-year, $11.5M deal with Minnesota, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. Minnesota is acquiring Layman in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Blazers.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 4, 2019
The Wolves will use the trade exception from sending Dario Saric to Phoenix to acquire Layman.
Layman has been in the NBA for three seasons, all with Portland after being a second round pick of the Magic in 2016. It was only this past season that he found a place in the rotation, appearing in 71 games, with 33 starts and an average of 18.7 minutes per game.
He had by far his most efficient year, improving his shooting from all distances, but also putting together a strong shot mix in which 80% of his shots were either within three feet, or were three pointers. He’s not been a great three point shooter, with last season’s 32.6% a career best, but he was a much better three point shooter in college at Maryland, and there is some hope for improvement.
Layman is an off-ball player who excels moving without the ball and as an athletic finisher around the rim.
He is yet another wing on the roster, although another capable of serving as a small-ball four, but I do think it’s going to be worth watching how and if Ryan Saunders is able to find playing time for all of:
A list that does not include Keita Bates-Diop.
I like this at the price. Layman showed some promise and could be a solid rotation guy for under $4 million a year—that’s a bargain. The Wolves have done nice things around the margins in the last few days, filling in the roster with inexpensive, mostly young guys with some upside.
They also still have the MLE available to them should they want to use it, though using it in its entirety and re-signing Tyus Jones would now put them over the tax line.
In order to be a real factor in the West however, they still need at least one more needle-moving player. With D’Angelo Russell not working out, they might be out of options for such a player this summer.