Report: Wolves give guaranteed deal to Glenn Robinson III

GRIII

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a numbers issue at the moment, but it looks to be a pretty good one. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Wolves and second round pick Glenn Robinson III have agreed to a guaranteed deal. Robinson was selected 40th in the 2014 draft and puts the Wolves at 16 players with guaranteed deals and 18 players overall.

Kyrylo Fesenko and Brady Heslip are the two players with non-guaranteed deals for the upcoming season. They’ll come to training camp and be casualties of a crowded roster. But even then, the Wolves have 16 players for 15 spots. That leads to us wondering which player will be the next to go via a trade or a buyout. The top candidate for either is J.J. Barea, which is probably best for all parties involved. Wolves fans can’t stand him because he was asked to play outside of his proper role and failed enough in the process. Barea’s ability (and yes, he has positive abilities for a team) is wasted on a team looking to rebuild and would be much better suited as a scoring spark plug off the bench for a contending team, much like we saw in Dallas.

Barea is owed $4.5 million in the final year of a four-year deal he signed with the Wolves back in 2011, following a championship with the Mavericks. Typically, buyouts for players rest somewhere in that 80% of the money owed range and allow the player to become a free agent and sign with any team that is willing to have him. This seems like the most probable scenario because the Wolves would have zero leverage in a trade and would probably have to give up a second round pick in the process to get rid of him. If you can trade him and get a trade exception back in return, you do it but not if it means giving up a draft pick of any sort (unless it’s heavily protected). The buyout would save the Wolves money (assuming it isn’t for the full amount, which rarely happens), but it wouldn’t improve their cap situation at all.

As for Robinson, it’s great news to know he’ll be fully entrenched with the Wolves this coming season. We could see him spend quite a bit of time in the D-League with Fort Wayne, and really that’s where he should go for most of the year. The Wolves have a bevy of options at the wing positions, which need to be cut down a little bit by the end of next offseason. Let’s take a quick look at a rough draft of the depth chart for the Wolves:

PG: Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams, JJ Barea
SG: Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, Chase Budinger, Glenn Robinson III
SF: Andrew Wiggins, Corey Brewer, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel
PF: Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett
C: Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf

Eventually, you’d like to hope Flip Saunders can make a deal to move Martin and/or Brewer, maybe even Chase if his knee doesn’t come back to full strength. But a buyout/trade of Barea will set the roster for now and let the Wolves begin the rebuilding process with a lot of athleticism.

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13 Responsesso far.

  1. Snyder says:

    When do the Timberwolves need to set their final 15-man roster by?

  2. Uglyfunk says:

    Seeing that roster all fleshed out on “paper” looks like a lot of fun. I’m positive Martin wants out of here. Mostly because when he was signed he said he would never sign with a team without a legit star. We no longer have that star. Hopefully he and Barea can find better fits.

  3. Fan says:

    Considering buyout JJ, i would really want to talk about Shved. Last two years, the problem for Shved is that he played SG instead of PG, while he played PG in Russian National Team. Although I understand his shooting is frustrated. Mo Will is not a PG through out his career. If buyout JJ, we didn’t have a natural PG backup. I may not think the buyout is possible unless we can get another backup PG through trade.

  4. Skunedog says:

    Fan~ What is there left to talk about re:Shved? He’s been moved to Philly and isn’t coming back. I doubt that they’ll move JJ and try to get a replacement backup PG. Flip has “insisted” that LaVine is capable of PG duty. I think LaVine has great handles, but he doesn’t seem like an aggressive penetrator or is a natural distributor. But it could work out if Flip adopts some of Adelman’s old sets which don’t require PG’s to create off the bounce. My guess is at some point this year we’ll see the ulta-big defensive lineup of LaVine, Wiggins, Young/Brewer, Dieng, and Pek/Turiaf on the court.

  5. Snyder says:

    As Zach points out in his post, JJ has positive attributes, but running an offense as a traditional PG are not among them. Mo Williams is an upgrade there and having him allows the team to bring LaVine along slowly as a PG. I’d much rather that, along with seeing if GR III has anything to offer than wasting a roster spot on someone who no longer has any fit on this team.

  6. Tim says:

    Am I alone in wondering why Hummel seems to be a lock to make this roster? Nothing against him personally but he had several opportunities to earn playing time under Adelman and never really flourished. Isn’t GR3 going to quickly pass him up with his athleticism, rebounding, and ability to score? I think Lil Dog is more naturally a SF, not a SG anyway… Thoughts on Robinson vs Hummel?

  7. Skunedog says:

    I’m with you Tim. Part of the problem is they gave Hummel a guaranteed contract, so they’d either have to trade him or buy him out to move him. Hummel’s appeal is as a floor spacing bomber a la Kyle Korver. The Wolves weren’t a great 3pt shooting team last year as it was and they only look to be worse now that their two top 3pt shooters (Love & Martin) are already or soon to be out the door, so it makes sense they want to hold onto anyone capable of putting the ball in the hoop from 18+ feet.

    The thing I don’t get is that Robbie didn’t kill it from long range last year. He shot just barely above league average at 36%. He seems to be a capable team defender but is a matchup liability for the majority of wings and other hybrid forwards in the league. That said, I don’t see the upside either, Tim, in keeping him with the super log-jam at the wing.

  8. farnorth says:

    I agree Tim, Hummel is a head scratcher I don’t see him as a lock to make the team and really did not see the “stroke” the guy is supposed to have.

    We look long in the backcourt and short up front. So my only guess is they think they can get minutes out of him as a stretch 4.

  9. gjk says:

    Mo Williams can play PG much better than Barea or Shved. He’s not an elite passer, but he’s good at setting up an offense and keeping the ball moving. He’s a scoring point, but he’s still a much better point guard than Barea or Shved. More concerning should be the lack of a 3rd PG (not that they should keep Barea). LaVine’s going to have enough of an uphill climb that being an injury away from having to run an NBA offense is worrisome, and Martin’s not exactly a SG who can take on more ballhandling duties.

    As for Hummel, he had a bad November (7-28) and then shot 40% on 3s from December 1st until the end of the season. He was also a good defensive rebounder, better than Young, Muhammad, or Cunningham and close to Pek (also better than Robinson in college, even after he tore his ACL twice). He had the best turnover percentage on the team. Defensively, he may not be someone to stick on the league’s top scorers, but he’s probably a better help defender than the other wings on this team, and only Brewer and Wiggins can be expected to be even average on-ball defenders. Last fall, I questioned why they brought him to camp; watching him play, it became clear how smart of a player he is. If the Wolves want to be good drafters and developers, they need guys like Hummel as much as they do guys like Robinson. Now that the Wolves have seriously boosted their athleticism, a guy like him fits in well with the existing talent if he’s shooting 37-45% from 3.

  10. Fan says:

    Mo Will + LaVine maybe the plan for the backup PG to Flip, although it is a risky option in my opinion. There are many many possibility to LaVine. Nothing surprise if he can be the Westbrook type of PG. It’s exciting to see the Wolves this year.

  11. gjk says:

    Thinking LaVine is going to be like Westbrook is a bad idea. He may be a good ballhandler for a SG, but that’s the key: make that skill a strength instead of playing him at a position where it’s a weakness. Westbrook had strength when he entered the NBA that LaVine doesn’t, and it can’t be assumed that LaVine will become muscular. Most importantly, it’s not even clear if he’ll be any good next season, and I get the sense that if he doesn’t play, fans will complain, even though it’s clear Flip wants him to succeed and probably is coaching with LaVine’s best interests in mind. They want him to be good in 3 years, not March, and playing him when he isn’t ready won’t speed up that process.

  12. Jordan says:

    How can Minnesota offer a Max for Bledsoe? Is this depedant on Phoenix agreeing to take players back?

  13. biggity2bit says:

    re: Hummel – anyone else get the sense that Flip is banking on regression to the mean when it comes to our three point shooting? Hummel, Chase, and Martin are all guys who could be 40%+ three point guys but were average at best last year. I feel like Flip has assembled a core of 4-5 players and then a bunch of ‘let’s see if they stick’ guys around them. Of course , this being Flip, we are going to lead the league in long two point jump shots.

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