After officially announcing their intentions to resume the 2019-2020 season late last week, the NBA has been working feverishly to address a litany of questions surrounding their “return to play” proposal. Who gets a golden ticket to Disney World? What happens to the eight teams that don’t get to visit Space Mountain? How does this proposal affect the NBA Lottery and NBA Draft? How long can the Lakers hang out by the pool before it’s the Clippers turn?
Some of these questions are obviously far more important than others. As it pertains to the Timberwolves, there are very few Orlando-specific inquiries that directly affect them — because of their lousy record, the team will not be participating in any additional regular season games, meaning their offseason has officially kicked off. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve heard the last of the New Wolves Order this summer.
Sources: The NBA's "transaction window" starting around June 22 will include all 30 teams -- not just the 22 returning to play in Orlando. Teams will be allowed to covert two-way players into NBA contracts and sign eligible free agents for the rest of season. https://t.co/IhCtUQRYcb— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 8, 2020
As Woj (and Bobby Marks) reported earlier this week, the NBA’s new “transaction window” for teams to convert two-way players and sign free agents will extend to all 30 teams, not just the 22 franchises invited to Orlando.
The eight non-Orlando teams that have open roster spots include:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 8, 2020
Golden St. (2)
Last year we a saw a non-playoff team in Miami sign Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn during the last week of the season.
Marks added that of the eight non-Orlando teams, five of them currently have an open roster spot, including Minnesota. As Dane Moore outlines below, this latest news about the “transaction window” is fairly significant, especially from a salary cap perspective:
The Timberwolves are the only team not going to Orlando that is in the luxury tax. They're $455k over the tax line.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) June 8, 2020
I'd bet they look for creative ways to duck the tax in this "transaction window", and maybe even sign another player to a (cheap) pro-rated rest of season deal. https://t.co/DI21BhnGxv
While there is still a plethora of questions surrounding what the salary cap will look like going forward, the ability for Gersson Rosas and his staff to wiggle under the cap (while also staying active in the transaction market) is important to talk about. As Marks mentioned above in his tweet, another non-playoff team strategically used the final week of last season to sign two unfamiliar faces at the time, both of whom have quickly blossomed for the (now) contending Miami Heat. Could Minnesota be in a similar position this time around?
On the latest edition of the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast, Windy confirmed this speculation by saying:
“I heard that Minnesota was one of the teams who was VERY interested in whether or not this was something they could do.”
That “something” being the ability to continue making transactions — i.e. sign free agents, convert two-ways, etc. Since arriving in Minneapolis last spring, Rosas and his front office have made it abundantly clear that they would be aggressive not only in shopping around for star talent, but also exploring all corners of the CBA in order to gain a competitive advantage against the rest of the league.
Could this mean we finally get a resolution as it pertains to Omari Spellman? What about our beloved Jordan McLaughlin? Is Jacob Evans still a thing? Has Evan Turner phoned (his new) home?
While their season may have officially ended in terms of wins and losses, don’t expect the Wolves to completely yield all forms of competition, including roster moves and financial decisions. This amplified form of aggression *could* give the team a (much-needed) head start as they approach one of the most important seasons in franchise history.