NBA Roundtable

2010 Cap Space: Minnesota

In Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on June 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

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Minnesota Timberwolves Salaries

Contracts above $5 million

  • Al Jefferson – $13 million

Big Al is the only large contract on the Wolves’ books and he has three years left on his contract.

Rest Of Team’s Salaries

  • Ramon Sessions – $3.96 million
  • Corey Brewer – $3.7 million
  • Kevin Love – $3.64 million
  • Jonny Flynn – $3.19 million
  • Ryan Hollins – $2.33 million
  • Wayne Ellington – $1.08 million

Four of those six players are on their rookie contracts. Corey Brewer will be finishing the final year of his deal, while Love enters his third season, with Flynn and Ellington starting their sophomore campaigns. Ramon Sessions has three years left on his contract and Ryan Hollins has two years.

This gives us a sub-total of $17.9 million which takes the Wolves salaries up to $30.9 million.

Other Costs

  • Draft Picks — Minnesota will have the #4 pick in the draft this summer. That pick comes with a cap hold of $3.1 million. The Wolves also own the #16 and #23 picks which come with cap holds of $1.37 million and $1 million respectively.
  • Draft Rights — Ricky Rubio — A cap hold remains on the Wolves books until either the Wolves (1) sign him (2) trade him (3) rescind their draft rights. This cap hold costs $2.81 million.
  • Non-Guaranteed Contracts — Ryan Gomes has a partially guaranteed contract. He has $1 million of his $4.235 million contract guaranteed. He also has partial guarantees on the following two years of his contract ($1.75 million of $9.5 million) for a total of $2.75 million of just under $14 million over three years. All of that contract becomes guaranteed if he’s not waived before the 30th of June 2010. It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll survive the cut (I’d like to see him waived).
  • Open Roster Spots — Minnesota will have seven players + one draft pick + Rubio + possibly Ryan Gomes. That’s 9/10 players. So they’ll have a cap charge of around $1.43 million to $1.9 million.

The draft picks and Rubio carry a cap hold of $8.28 million. That leaves us with two possibilities (1) Ryan Gomes gets waived = another $1.475 million (2) Ryan Gomes stays = another $4.235 million.

That gives us a sub-total of either $9.76 million or $12.52 million.

That gives us a final total of either $40.66 million or $43.42 million.

The Cap

David Stern recently announced

NBA commissioner David Stern said on Friday that the league is projecting the cap to come in at about $56.1 million. The actual number won’t be determined until early July, before teams can begin officially signing players.

Though that figure would still be lower than this season’s $57.7 million cap, it’s far better than estimates from last summer, when the league sent a memo to teams warning them of a potential sharp drop to between $50.4 million to $53.6 million.

2010 Cap Space

The means that the Timberwolves will either have

  • Keep Gomes — $12.68 million
  • Waive Gomes — $15.44 million

Summer Options

Major Free Agent Signing

The Wolves have no chance at any of the top tier free agents (LeBron, Wade, Bosh). It is also unlikely that the Wolves will have any interest in Carlos Boozer or David Lee due to the presence of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.

Their best chance at acquiring a major free agent is by handing out a major contract to either Rudy Gay (best chance) or Joe Johnson.

Other Routes

  • Minnesota decides to try and acquire a young prospect to a midlevel type contract — Anthony Morrow and Josh Childress are the two names the jump off the page.
  • Minnesota decides to make a high risk play on Tyson Chandler’s health … viewing him as their defensive anchor and the answer to the Love/Jefferson defensive issues.
  • Minnesota keeps their cap space and tries to use in the trade market

Al Jefferson

The Wolves desperately want to move Big Al but due to his (1) recent injury (2) underwhelming form (3) lack of team success … it is very unlikely that they find a suitable trade partner.


In conclusion, the Wolves options in free agency (outside of the Rudy Gay possibility) and the trade market are very disappointing and unlikely to bring home an impact player.

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