According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Nickeil Alexander-Walker have agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $9 million.
And it's done: Nickeil Alexander-Walker has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Timberwolves, league sources tell @TheAthletic.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) June 30, 2023
Timberwolves free agency contract details, per a source…— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) July 1, 2023
Shake Milton: 2 years, $10 million (team option Year 2)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker: 2 years, $9 million
Troy Brown Jr.: 2 years, $8 million (team option Year 2)
The team opted to not extend him a qualifying offer on Thursday, opening the door to sign him to a deal that was less than his $7 million qualifying offer. On this new deal, he’ll receive roughly $4.5 million annually, perhaps slightly less in year one and slightly more in year two. It also looks as if there’s no team or player option on the second year of this contract, making it increasingly likely he plays out those two seasons for the Timberwolves.
A return to Minnesota has been speculated for weeks, but it’s now official: NAW will return to the Timberwolves.
After being traded to the Wolves with Mike Conley and three second-round picks in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Alexander-Walker averaged just under six points per contest on 38% shooting from the field. In the playoffs NAW became the Timberwolves’ top perimeter defender, likely playing a large role in the front office fighting for his return to Minneapolis.
He also shot 40% from 3-point range in the playoff series against the Denver Nuggets — five attempts per game — flashing his two-way ability. The wiry guard also displayed some solid offensive connection with Rudy Gobert, which is obviously a critical part of being an impactful connective piece on this iteration of the Timberwolves.
The 24-year-old became a fan favorite for his defensive effort on Jamal Murray in the playoffs, and solidified his ability to fit in with Minnesota’s young core as a point-of-attack defender. Now he’ll continue to develop his game alongside Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid.
Minnesota has Alexander-Walker’s bird rights, so it is still possible that the Wolves could sign another player in addition to NAW and Troy Brown Jr., who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Timberwolves, using the $12.4 non-taxpayer mid-level exception and still stay under the first apron of the salary cap.
Update as of 7:24 p.m. CT: That player became Shake Milton, who the team signed to a two-year, $10 million deal.
After signing NAW, Milton and Brown Jr., here’s a look at the Wolves’ potential depth chart entering next season:
Wolves' projected depth chart as of right now, if Jaylen Clark signs a two-way deal:— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) July 1, 2023
Conley / Milton / J-Mac
Ant / NAW / Moore Jr.
Jaden / Brown Jr. / Minott
KAT / Slow-Mo / Miller
Gobert / Naz
One roster spot left. That's a rock solid team when healthy.
The Timberwolves not only brought back an important free agent in Alexander-Walker, but added two players who fit well with the current roster. Brown and Milton can both provide shooting and increase guard/secondary-playmaking ability, while NAW returns with his tenacious perimeter defense.