Today is Tuesday, August 24, which means we are officially 41 days away from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first preseason game, and 57 days away from the team’s first regular season game. In other words, we are once again in the thick of the REAL NBA offseason — not the one with all the fun and exciting Woj Bombs, but the one where next to nothing happens and we’re forced to overanalyze the upcoming schedule and adjust our personal power rankings 102 different times.
As you know by now, the Wolves debuted their 2021-22 regular season schedule last Friday, and our own YoLeo broke down everything you needed to know over the weekend. With both the preseason and regular season schedules now in place, we have a little more structure for how many days the franchise has to finalize their roster, from making additional trades to signing players who are widely expected to be part of the puzzle starting in October.
One of those players is Leandro Bolmaro, who by all reports is expected to sign his rookie contract as soon as this week. On the latest episode of “The Scoop with Darren Wolfson,” our good friend Doogie said that the 2020 first round pick from Argentina arrived in Minneapolis late last week and a contract between him and the team should be finalized in the near future.
Episode 363 of The Scoop w/ @DWolfsonKSTP!— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) August 22, 2021
-Latest notes on the #Vikings, #Timberwolves, #MNTwins, and #mnwild
-#MNTwins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey
-Jeff Pagliocca, trainer for new #Timberwolves PG Patrick Beverley
LISTEN: https://t.co/lphnL6wxfP pic.twitter.com/0oSxDxW2Po
While I’m not exactly sure why there’s been a delay here in not only signing the deal but also announcing it, I am fairly certain it has nothing to do whatsoever with a possible Ben Simmons trade (I believe those two things would be completely unrelated but please correct me if I’m wrong). Regardless, signing Bolmaro seems like the most likely domino to drop next, and should give the Wolves a boost in terms of how many of us (myself included) view their overall 2021 offseason.
Staying with The Scoop, Doogie also reported that it is widely expected that Jarred Vanderbilt ultimately returns to the Wolves, although that situation is fairly interesting as well. More and more teams around the league have blown through their cap space as summer winds down, so the list of potential suitors for Vando is decreasing by the hour. According to our guy Dane Moore, even after the signing of Bolmaro, Minnesota will still have roughly $7 million in cap space (under the tax) to sign Vanderbilt + a minimum contract player:
By my tally, they have $9,226,857 in space below the tax. If Bolmaro comes, as is expected, his price is set by the rookie scale: $2,353,320 -- and that leaves $6,873,537 in tax space.— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) August 23, 2021
I'd assume that's enough Vando + a minimum player (which has a cap hit of $1,669,178).
As it pertains specifically to a “minimum player,” the list of remaining NBA free agents is still fairly intriguing:
- Wesley Matthews
- Dennis Smith, Jr.
- Demarcus Cousins
- J.J. Redick
- Denzel Valentine
- Avery Bradley
- Paul Millsap
- Lauri Markkanen
Most of the names listed above aren’t that sexy, although I remain a huge fan of the possibility of signing Paul Millsap to fill the starting power forward void and then platooning a combination of Vando, Naz Reid, and maybe Jaden McDaniels to fill those backup PF minutes. Millsap has recently garnered interest from both the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets, so the Wolves may not be able to provide the same level of contention as others, but they may be one of the last teams in the league who can offer the 36-year old a starting gig.
Outside of Bolmaro, Vando, and maybe Jordan McLaughlin, there isn’t much smoke around the Wolves right now. As we learned last week with the Patrick Beverley trade, deals can be put together rather quickly and without much leakage, so a lack of smoke today doesn’t mean that Minnesota is done making moves. For example, the Ben Simmons situation still needs to work itself out, and if/when it does, it will likely lead to additional teams/deals that could very well include the Wolves.
For now though, enjoy the fifth-to-last Tuesday of summer, and please continue to be safe and well.