KAT supermax, D’Angelo Russell crossroads and more

The Minnesota Timberwolves not only finally regained the playoffs, but also proved to be a dangerous opponent. This roster had 11 players returning from the 2020-21 squad, making it one of the franchises with the most continuity for this season. The biggest difference was the head coach Chris Finch spend more time with the team and fully integrate their system. Led by an All-NBA caliber season by Karl Anthony Townsas well as a significant jump from Anthony EdwardsWolves are now a team for the present and the future.

Minnesota will have the most cap flexibility in years this offseason. While they have several basics set for the foreseeable future, they still have room for several new additions, whether in free agency or trade. They will also have several players with upcoming expansions whose future may be decided this offseason.

Karl-Anthony Towns Supermax

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There is a strong possibility that Karl Anthony Towns will be named an All-NBA player this season. That would make him eligible to sign a supermax extension this offseason. He is currently projected at four years, $210.9 million, would start the 2024-25 season on a salary of $47.1 million and end with a salary of $58.4 million in 2027-28.

Towns enjoyed minimal success with Wolves during his seven-year career with them. They only made the playoffs twice and finished in the Western Conference bottom three four times. The franchise has finally found a second cornerstone in Anthony Edwards and their performance this season and in their playoff game against Memphis gives them plenty to look forward to. It’s possible Towns will see enough upward trajectory to sign the extension if offered to him.

The supermax extension becoming a possibility could be the ultimate stress test of Towns’ future with Wolves. If he doesn’t sign that, it could spark trade speculation with his future in Minnesota uncertain. On the other hand, if Towns wants to sign him and Wolves don’t want to hand the whole thing over to him, that could also speed up a potential split.

D’Angelo Russell and other players eligible for the extension

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D’Angelo Russel will be eligible for extension throughout 2022-23 for up to four years, $168.7 million. He was not quite a player of maximum contract caliber and played a lesser role in favor of Edwards. Wolves could be approaching a crossroads with him with just one year remaining on his contract.

Wolves gave up a lot to acquire Russell two years ago in a bid to make a playoff push. However, the front office that acquired him has been handed over, so it’s unclear if the new front office is attached to him as well. He might not necessarily be traded if they don’t want to extend it long-term, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they started listening to offers on him.

Wolves could decide they want to keep him for the long term, but also that he is testing free agency first. If they could get him back as part of a team-friendly deal, there was no reason not to get him back. However, Wolves could generate $40 million in cap space in 2023 if they don’t retain Russell. This could be the only chance for Wolves to have significant cap space for a while as Edwards will then need to be given extra time.

Malik Beasley, Jaylen Nowelland Naz Reid are other players eligible for the extension this offseason, though those are unlikely should Wolves prioritize cap space in 2023. That $40 million cap space figure could rise to $55 million if they decline Beasley’s $16.5 million team option for 2023-24.

Mid-Level Exception and Filling the List

Minnesota enters the offseason with 12 players under contract, assuming they exercise Reid and Nowell’s $1.9 million team options. They’ll be $26.5 million below the luxury tax, giving them plenty of room to fill out the roster, use their Mid-Level Exception (MLE), and even increase payroll through trades.

Wolves haven’t touched the MLE since the 2019-20 season due to being close to the luxury tax in 2020-21 and 2021-22. They will be able to use the entire exception and could prioritize a vault with it. Some players they can pursue include Michael Robinson and Montrezl Harrell. It is possible that they may be looking for other alternatives for part of their MLE, such as André Drummond, Serge Ibakaand Robin Lopezand there are still some left for another player.

Minnesota’s top two free agents are Josh Okgie and Taurus Prince. Okogie fell out of Wolves’ rotation at the start of the season, so it’s possible they let him become an unrestricted free agent. Prince has been playing consistent minutes off the bench, so a reunion could be possible. Wolves could opt to prioritize their MLE on the wing if they bring neither Okogie nor Prince back.

Wolves have $60 million in potentially negotiable salaries between their three highest-paid guards. They may not have the most attractive trade package for an All-Star compared to teams with more draft equity like the New Orleans Pelicans or New York Knicks, but they all have their draft picks in the future to make a competitive offer.

SALARY SITUATION 2022-23

Guaranteed wages: $118,676,025

Salaries not guaranteed: $3,861,362

Total salary: $122,537,387

Luxury tax area: $26.5 million

Exceptions:

Non-taxpayer intermediate level: $10,349,000

Semiannual: $4,050,000

Ricky Rubio Commercial Exception: $4,750,000 (expires July 1, 2022)

Karl Anthony Towns

Dan Hamilton – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $33,833,400

Guaranteed remaining salary: $69,849,600 until 2023-24

Additional notes: If Towns does not earn All-NBA honors this season, he is still eligible for an extension of up to three years, projected at $130.7 million.

He also has a 5% trade bonus worth $3.5 million if traded in the offseason, which would increase his 2022-23 and 2023-24 salaries by $1.7 million each. .

D’Angelo Russel

Daniel Dunn – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $31,377,750

Guaranteed remaining salary: $31,377,750

Additional notes: Russell is eligible for a season-long extension up to four years, $168.7 million.

Malik Beasley

Bruce Kluckhohn – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $15,558,035

Guaranteed remaining salary: $15,558,035

Additional notes: Beasley has a team option worth $16.5 million in 2023-24.

He is also eligible for an extension of up to four years, $83.6 million if Minnesota declines his team option.

Patrick Beverly

Harrison Barden – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $13,000,000

Guaranteed remaining salary: $13,000,000

Anthony Edwards

Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $10,733,400

Guaranteed remaining salary: $24,268,217 until 2023-24

Jarred Vanderbilt

Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $4,374,000

Guaranteed remaining salary: $8,960,000 through 2023-24

Additional notes: Vanderbilt has $189,000 in incentives in 2022-23.

Leandro Bolmaro

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Salary 2022-23: $2,471,160

Guaranteed remaining salary: $9,452,075 through 2024-25 (assuming final two-season team options are recovered)

Jaden McDaniels

David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $2,161,440

Guaranteed remaining salary: $6,062,839 through 2023-24 (assuming team option for 2023-24 is chosen)

Jordan McLaughlin

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Salary 2022-23: $2,160,000

Guaranteed remaining salary: $2,160,000

Additional notes: McLaughlin has a salary of $2.3 million for 2023-24 which is not guaranteed.

He also has $100,000 in unlikely incentives.

Jaylen Nowell

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Salary 2022-23: $1,930,681

Guaranteed remaining salary: $0

Additional notes: Minnesota can turn down Nowell’s $1.9 million team option and make him a restricted free agent this offseason. If they exercise his option, his contract would remain unsecured until the league-wide reduction date.

He will also become eligible for the season-long extension up to four years, projected at $59 million.

Naz Reid

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Salary 2022-23: $1,930,681

Guaranteed remaining salary: $0

Additional notes: Minnesota can turn down Reid’s $1.9 million team option and make him a restricted free agent this offseason. If they exercised his option, his contract would remain unsecured until July 20, 2022.

He will also become eligible for the season-long extension up to four years, projected at $59 million.

Taurus Prince

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Cap retention: $20,001,563

Free Agent Type: Bird (unrestricted)

Additional notes: Prince can still avoid free agency and extend with the Nets by June 30, 2022 for up to four years, $69.9 million.

Josh Okgie

Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

Cap retention: $12,263,712

Free Agent Type: Bird (restricted)

Additional notes: Wolves can offer Okogie a $5.9 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.

Jake Layman

Bruce Kluckhohn – USA TODAY Sports

Cap retention: $7,486,350

Free Agent Type: Bird (unrestricted)

Additional notes: Layman can still avoid free agency and extend with the Nets by June 30, 2022 for up to four years, projected at $59 million.

Greg Monroe

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Cap retention: $1,811,516

Free Agent Type: No bird (unlimited)

Nathan Knight

Daniel Dunn – USA TODAY Sports

Cap retention: $1,616,044

Free Agent Type: No bird (restricted)

McKinley Wright

Bruce Kluckhohn – USA TODAY Sports

Cap retention: $1,616,044

Free Agent Type: No bird (restricted)

Pick #19 2022

Salary 2022-23: $3,006,840

Guaranteed remaining salary: $14,565,732 through 2025-26 (assuming final two-season team options are recovered)

Additional notes: HoopsHype and ForTheWin’s Draft Expert Bryan Kalbrosky possesses Blake Wesley as the 19th overall selection in his most recent mock draft. Kalbrosky also EJ Liddell ranked 19th best prospect in his most recent grand council.

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