NBA Roundtable

2010 Cap Space: Minnesota

In Draft, Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on June 30, 2010 at 5:22 am

First Edition — click here
Update – higher cap expectation

This is the third edition of the Wolves post to account for the addition of Martell Webster on draft day.

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

  • Martell Webster – $4.8 million
  • 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 seven 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.

Meanwhile, both Martell Webster and Ramon Sessions have three years left on their contracts and Ryan Hollins has two years.

This gives us a sub-total of $22.7 million which takes the Wolves salaries up to $35.7 million.

Other Costs

  • Draft Picks — Minnesota drafted Wesley Johnson with the 4th pick in the draft this summer. That pick comes with a cap hold of $3.1 million. The Wolves also own the rights to the final pick in the first round, Lazard Hayward, who comes with a cap hold of $850k.
  • 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.
  • Open Roster Spots — Minnesota will have eight players + two draft picks + Rubio. That’s 11 players. So they’ll have a cap charge of around $475k.

Those costs add another $7.24 million which gives us a final total $42.94 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 have $13.16 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. The Wolves also lack enough cap space to pursue Joe Johnson or Amare Stoudemire.

That leaves Rudy Gay as the Wolves only real possibility for a major signing.

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.

Update: There have been reports speculating that the Wolves will use Al Jefferson as bait for a sign and trade.

Summary

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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