Timberwolves Rumors

Wolves Sign Jordan Murphy To Exhibit 10 Deal

5:03pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

3:35pm: Undrafted rookie Jordan Murphy, who has spent much of the summer working out with the Timberwolves, will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with Minnesota and be in training camp with the club, reports Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Murphy, a 6’6″ forward, averaged a double-double in each of his final two years playing college ball at Minnesota, putting up 14.4 PPG and 11.0 RPG in 36 games (31.1 MPG) in 2018/19.

Although he wasn’t selected in the draft, Murphy caught on with his local team for Summer League play, appearing in seven games in Las Vegas with the Wolves’ squad. He averaged 8.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG in just 14.0 minutes per contest.

The Timberwolves currently have 19 players under contract and also have a reported agreement in place with undrafted rookie Tyus Battle. The team can’t exceed 20 players, so if the team intends to sign both Battle and Murphy, another player will have to be waived at some point.

The Wolves have 15 players on guaranteed contracts and have filled both of their two-way contract slots, so the idea of Murphy earning a regular season roster spot may be a long shot. Krawczynski suggests the rookie forward is a candidate to end up with the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate.

NBA Teams With Most, Fewest Guaranteed Salaries

At this point in the offseason, the majority of the NBA’s teams are carrying either 13 or 14 players on guaranteed salaries. Teams will have to pare down their rosters to no more than 15 players on standard contracts once the regular season begins, so having 13 or 14 players on guaranteed deals now gives those clubs the flexibility to allow one or two non-guaranteed players to make the team — or to carry an open roster spot into opening night.

However, there are currently a dozen teams around the league carrying fewer than 13 guaranteed salaries or more than 14. With the help of our roster counts tool, here’s a look at those teams, with details on what they might be thinking as the 2019/20 season nears:

Fewer than 13 fully guaranteed salaries:

  • Houston Rockets (10)
  • Miami Heat (12)
  • Toronto Raptors (12)
  • Utah Jazz (12)

With only 10 players on fully guaranteed salaries, the Rockets may have some competition for their final few roster spots in training camp. For now Isaiah Hartenstein and Gary Clark – each of whom have partial guarantees – look like good bets to earn spots, with Ben McLemore perhaps the frontrunner for the 13th spot. Anthony Bennett, Chris Clemons, Michael Frazier, William McDowell-White, and Shamorie Ponds are candidates to fill out the roster, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston eventually acquires a veteran or two with its open spots.

[RELATED: 2019/20 Non-Guaranteed Contracts By Team]

Duncan Robinson‘s and Kendrick Nunn‘s partial guarantees put them in good position to earn the Heat‘s 13th and 14th roster spots. The hard-capped club won’t have room for a 15th player to start the season.

Royce O’Neale is a lock to make the Jazz, and Georges Niang seems like a safe bet too. William Howard and Stanton Kidd could be the prime contenders for the 15th spot if Utah wants a full roster.

For the Raptors, second-round pick Dewan Hernandez, veteran point guard Cameron Payne, and returning role players Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller are the top candidates for the final two or three openings on the regular season roster.

More than 14 fully guaranteed salaries:

  • Brooklyn Nets (15)
  • Dallas Mavericks (15)
  • Indiana Pacers (15)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (15)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (15)
  • New York Knicks (15)
  • Phoenix Suns (15)
  • San Antonio Spurs (15)

The Grizzlies were the only team carrying more than 15 guaranteed salaries, but a buyout agreement with Dwight Howard changed that. If they reach a similar deal – or find a trade – involving Andre Iguodala, their roster count would dip to 14 fully guaranteed contracts.

The Nets, Mavericks, Pacers, Timberwolves, Knicks, Suns, and Spurs could shake things up with roster moves before the season begins, particularly if any of those teams is impressed by a non-guaranteed camp invitee. But for now, their regular season rosters look pretty set with their 15 players on guaranteed salaries.

Jared Terrell Will Play In Israel

Former Timberwolves two-way player Jared Terrell has reached an agreement to play in Israel, tweets Dane Moore of 1500 ESPN. The 24-year-old shooting guard will play for Hapoel Eilat.

Terrell signed a two-way deal with Minnesota last July after going undrafted out of Rhode Island. He appeared in 14 games at the NBA level, averaging 2.2 points in about eight minutes per night. He posted a 15.3/4.0/2.3 line in 32 G League games with Iowa.

Terrell spent a lot of the offseason training at the Wolves’ facilities, Moore adds, and played for their Summer League team. Minnesota already has the league limit of 20 players headed to training camp, including 15 with guaranteed contracts.

Ty Wallace Has No Contract Guarantees

  • Unlike last season, Timberwolves guard Tyrone Wallace does not have any guaranteed money in his contract, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tweets. Wallace had a $300K partial guarantee if he remained on the roster through September 12 a year ago. Wallace’s $1,588,231 salary this season won’t become fully guaranteed unless he’s on the roster through January 10. Wallace, who came off the bench in 62 games with the Clippers last season, is the No. 3 point guard on the roster behind Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier, and may ultimately be the odd man out on opening night, since Minnesota has 15 other players on fully guaranteed deals.

Wolves Hire Greg Stiemsma, Finalize Coaching Staff

The Timberwolves have hired former NBA center Greg Stiemsma as a player development associate, the team announced today in a press release.

Stiemsma, who will turn 34 later this month, played in the NBA for four years from 2011-15, spending one of those four seasons in Minnesota. He has been out of the league since being waived by the Trail Blazers in the fall of 2016 before the regular season got underway.

Stiemsma is one of a handful of new hires joining the Wolves’ coaching staff, along with Kevin Hanson (assistant coach/director of player development), Jeff Newton (offensive associate/player development coach), and Max Lefevre (video coordinator/player development associate). Kwadzo Ahelegbe and Cole Fisher will also return with added responsibilities, as the team outlines in its press release.

The Wolves’ coaching staff has undergone significant changes since Ryan Saunders was named the permanent head coach earlier this offseason. None of the team’s front-of-the-bench assistants – including Ed Pinckney, Jerry Sichting, Larry Greer, Malik Allen, and John Lucas III – are returning, but the franchise has filled out Saunders’ staff with some notable names.

Veteran Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool joined Saunders’ staff in June, as did former NBA point guard Pablo Prigioni. Minnesota also hired veteran assistant Bryan Gates away from Sacramento in July.

Timberwolves Hiring Joe Branch As Assistant GM

The Timberwolves are making another addition to their new-look front office, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is hiring Roc Nation agent Joe Branch as an assistant general manager.

Branch, who has also previously worked for the NBA’s league office, represented clients like Caris LeVert, Justise Winslow, and Josh Hart. He recently helped finalize a three-year extension for LeVert in Brooklyn, clearing the way for him to accept a front office role in Minnesota, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter).

After hiring Gersson Rosas as their new president of basketball operations in the spring, the Wolves have made several more changes to their management group in recent months. Former Pistons executive Sachin Gupta joined the Wolves as their executive VP of basketball operations, while former Nets exec Gianluca Pascucci also came aboard as an assistant GM.

As Darren Wolfson of SKOR North tweets, the hiring of Branch will further diminish the role of former Wolves GM Scott Layden. Wolfson recently heard from owner Glen Taylor that Layden will primarily focus on scouting this season and will be based out of New York rather than Minnesota.

Iowa Affiliate Will Work Closely With Parent Club

  • The Timberwolves want their G League affiliate in Iowa to mimic what the parent club is doing, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. Iowa coach Sam Newman-Beck will employ similar systems, both a motion offense and switching defense, to what Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders is running with the Timberwolves. “We want the players when they’re coming to Iowa or going to Minnesota to feel like it’s the same playbook, that there’s no change,” Newman-Beck said.

12 NBA Salary Guarantees To Watch In October

The majority of the NBA players who are currently on non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their salaries for 2019/20 become fully guaranteed until January 10. That’s the league-wide salary guarantee date and the default deadline that applies to players who haven’t negotiated an earlier salary guarantee date.

Still, some players did negotiate an earlier trigger date, and the majority of those deadlines will arrive in October. At least a dozen players around the NBA are believed to have partial or full guarantees that will go into effect in October.

Now, it’s worth noting that salary guarantee dates are somewhat malleable. If the player’s camp agrees, a team can quietly move that deadline back, giving the club more time to make a decision on whether or not to fully invest in its player for the 2019/20 season. The player doesn’t necessarily have to agree, but he may be on board with postponing that deadline if the alternative is being waived and receiving none of his salary.

Most of our information related to salary guarantee dates is coming from the salary database at Basketball Insiders, and BI hasn’t published all the details on the latest signings from around the NBA yet. In other words, there could be a few more recently-signed players who have October salary guarantee dates.

For now though, these are the 12 players believed to have salary guarantee dates coming up next month:

Full guarantees:

  1. Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies): Partial guarantee of $371,758 increases to full guarantee of $1,618,520 salary if not waived by October 19.
  2. Chris Boucher (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $125,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  3. Malcolm Miller (Raptors): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,588,231 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  4. Duncan Robinson (Heat): Partial guarantee of $1,000,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.
  5. Kenrich Williams (Pelicans): Partial guarantee of $200,000 increases to full guarantee of $1,416,852 salary if not waived by first day of regular season.

Partial guarantees:

  1. Christian Wood (Pistons): $1,645,357 salary becomes partially guaranteed ($822,679) if not waived before first day of regular season.
  2. Trey Burke (Sixers): Partial guarantee of $405,000 increases to $810,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  3. Jordan McRae (Wizards): Partial guarantee of $400,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,645,357).
  4. Dragan Bender (Bucks): Partial guarantee of $300,000 increases to $600,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,678,854).
  5. Ben McLemore (Rockets): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $500,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $2,028,594).
  6. Kendrick Nunn (Heat): Partial guarantee of $150,000 increases to $450,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $1,416,852).
  7. William Howard (Jazz): Partial guarantee of $50,000 increases to $250,000 if not waived by first day of regular season (full salary is $898,310).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NBA Teams With Full 20-Man Rosters

Training camps are still several weeks away from opening, but a number of NBA teams have already reached their 20-player offseason roster limits, either officially or unofficially.

Offseason rosters are fairly fluid. Teams will often sign a player to an Exhibit 10 contract to ensure he’ll receive a bonus if he spends time with their G League affiliate, then waive him days later. So the clubs with full 20-man rosters now won’t necessarily bring those specific 20 players to training camp. Still, it appears that at least a handful of teams may be done making roster moves until camps open.

With the help of our roster count tracker, here’s a breakdown:

Officially full 20-man rosters:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Utah Jazz

While the Cavaliers are carrying 19 players on standard contracts and just one on a two-way deal, the six other teams listed here have an 18/2 split and probably won’t have their camp invitees compete for a two-way slot.

Still, a few roster decisions are likely in store for some teams on this list. The Grizzlies, for instance, are carrying 17 players with full or partial guarantees, and probably won’t still have Andre Iguodala on their roster by the time they set their 15-man regular season roster.

Unofficially full 20-man rosters:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Minnesota Timberwolves

Each of these three teams technically has 19 players under contract, with one roster spot still open. However, Kobi Simmons is expected to fill that final spot for the Hornets, Michael Beasley will do so for the Pistons, and Tyus Battle will be the Timberwolves‘ 20th man.

Very unofficially full 20-man rosters:

  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks

The Pelicans have 18 players under contract, but various post-draft reports in June indicated that they’d sign Jalen Adams, Aubrey Dawkins, and Javon Bess at some point. It’s possible one or more of those reports was erroneous, or the agreements fell apart. For now though, we’re assuming some combination of those players will fill out New Orleans’ 20-man roster.

The Knicks are in a similar boat, with 16 players officially signed and five other contract agreements reported. Deals with Kris Wilkes, V.J. King, and Amir Hinton were reported in June, while July and August reports indicated that New York would also sign Kenny Wooten and Lamar Peters. We’re still waiting to see if the team finalizes all those signings.

Wolves Hire Sam Newman-Beck As G League Head Coach

  • The Timberwolves announced this week in a press release that Sam Newman-Beck will assume head coaching duties for their G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. Newman-Beck, who was an assistant for the Erie BayHawks last season, previously spent eight years (2010-18) in Minnesota as a coaching associate/video scouting director.