Just when you thought the 2020 NBA offseason was nearing an end for the Minnesota Timberwolves, a report from Chris Haynes on Monday night added a few mild fireworks to what has been a fairly active (fall) free agency:
Free agent swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has reached an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 1, 2020
Credit to where credit’s due, our friend Doogie Wolfson had been hinting at a possible signing of the former Toronto Raptor for the last couple of days, but it appears Gersson Rosas has finally made the possibility a reality.
But wait! It gets better!
Told that the Timberwolves agreement with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a training camp deal (non-guaranteed, 1-year deal). That means Jordan McLaughlin is still a possibility as well. Wolves maintaining flexibility.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) December 1, 2020
So not only did the Wolves add the 25-year old swingman to their roster, but they did so on a non-guaranteed, 1-year deal, meaning the window to re-sign Jordan McLaughlin still remains open.
As Dane points out in one hell of an Excel spreadsheet below, the latest free agent acquisition still leaves Minnesota roughly $1.45 million below the luxury tax, meaning that J-Mac could still sign for the minimum to fill the 15th spot on the roster.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's deal will be for $1,882,867 (his vet minimum) -- but will only carry a cap hit of $1,620,524.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) December 1, 2020
This leaves $1,451,373 below the luxury tax.
A minimum contract for Jordan McLaughlin would carry a $1,445,697 cap hit. JMac could compete for the 15th spot. https://t.co/QYYy9lZpqo pic.twitter.com/10aXFYKIoB
For those of you scoring at home, since signing both of their own restricted free agents (Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez) to fairly lucrative contracts, Rosas & Co. have filled out the backend of the roster with some strong, defensive-minded role players in Ed Davis and now RHJ. Each move is minor in and of itself, but the combination of the two addresses a real need on this team and should give head coach Ryan Saunders far more options when it comes to possible rotations once the season starts.
Speaking of the current roster — at some point it will become a numbers game, especially if the team can come to terms with J-Mac. The presumed “odd man out” would appear to be Jaylen Nowell, but that situation is far too murky to call right now and should play itself out over the next few weeks once training camp gets started.
But for now, the Wolves have another defensive-minded body to add to the mix of offensive weapons they’ve accumulated over the last twelve or so months, which should bode well for the overall balance of the roster. Training camp is shaping up to be extremely competitive, with multiple guys fighting for not only playing time, but roster spots as well.