Report: Timberwolves, Cole Aldrich agree on 3-year deal


According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Timberwolves have made their first signing of the offseason.

Aldrich has been a journeyman so far in his career, this now being his sixth team in eight years. But in that time, he has developed a reputation as a solid, defensive-minded backup center that can give a team quality minutes.

Last year, Aldrich played 60 games for the Clippers, averaging 5.5 points (on a career best 59 percent shooting clip), 4.5 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 13.3 minutes per game of action.

Aldrich is a native of Minnesota and attended Bloomington-Jefferson High School, but this does not have the feels of a “country club” signing. Tom Thibodeau is not from Minnesota. He doesn’t care about who is and isn’t from Minnesota. This move, a relative bargain of a move (look at what centers of similar reputation have made this summer), is about basketball.

What this means for the bigs clutter of Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Kevin Garnett, Nemanja Bjelica, Adreian Payne, and now Aldrich is unclear, but what is clear is that Thibs and Scott Layden are not done this summer.

We’ll have more as the Wolves make more moves in free agency. From the sounds of it, there’s more to come.

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12 Responsesso far.

  1. Mark says:

    Sign Jamal Crawford and Brandon Jennings then get Jimmy Butler in a deal. How about a 3 team deal where we send Rubio to Philly, LaVine and Shabazz to Chicago, and Philly sends either Okafor or Noel to Philly? If we have to toss in protected draft picks, do it.

  2. Mebert says:

    I like it. I was expecting a small ball 4, but Dieng and Towns could both play the 4, so a 3rd center is not bad. Solid D and rebounding. And at a great price.

  3. gjk says:

    They’re not serious about a playoff berth for next season. If that’s how the organization sees this situation, a move like this is fine. I don’t need more seasons with the Chris Johnsons and Arinze Onuakus of basketball on this team, and they’re past the point of tanking once they’re out of playoff contention. If they think they’re a playoff team without overpaying for a Deng or Lee (who were apparently willing to come here but the team didn’t meet the $ that the Lakers and Knicks did) or even apparently calling on useful pieces like Jared Dudley or Trevor Booker, this is and should be considered a disappointment. Add that in to drafting a somewhat-redundant piece in Dunn who is being set up to replace one of the few useful pieces already on the team, and there shouldn’t be blind trust in what this group is planning to build. That’s not even mentioning their apparent burning desire to buy out KG even though they still have 2 open roster spots and not much besides 9th-15th men left on the open market. It’s not exactly a fine look to dump a franchise icon to chase guys like Jason Smith.

    I wasn’t expecting a splash. But I also wasn’t expecting them to overlook guys like Dudley and Booker (both of whom got great deals) and be unable to figure out an attractive offer for Deng or Lee. I wouldn’t have had a problem with them offering Deng a 2-year max deal and seeing if he chose it over the Lakers’ offer (reportedly their offer was less $ and fewer years), and it makes no sense to balk at paying more than $50 million over 4 for a guy like Lee. Filling out the bench helps, but they need starters at positions they don’t already have starters in.

    • FNorth says:

      I agree with pretty much your entire post. It feels like there is a lack of effort to add the right pieces here. Where is the stretch 4? where is the 3 and D guy at SG? Those were the missing pieces and we got a journeyman center..

      • gjk says:

        Or the 3-D wing who can slide over to the 4, like Deng, Dudley, or even Lance Thomas (who’s also now off the market). Yesterday on Twitter, the local AP NBA guy said they were struggling to be considered a credible organization by free agents and paying the “tundra tax,” the far end of it that Gasol took 2/$30 from the Spurs and would’ve needed 2/$46 to even consider the Wolves. The 1500 ESPN radio scoops guy said people around the league were questioning their approach so far since Deng would’ve come here but they lowballed him on money (not sure what it would’ve taken for him to pass up 4 years but their $ per year was lower than the Lakers’). I’ve seen on Twitter both that they didn’t offer Lee what the Knicks did (he would’ve considered them if they’d beaten that offer) and that they did beat it but not by enough for him to come here.

        • FNorth says:

          That’s the problem when your coach is the GM but has never been a GM before. He knows the the spotlight is on him, and does not want to make a mistake so instead we get uncertainty and hesitation. Which = lack of actually getting anything meaningful done.
          If they would have raided Charlotte and aggressively pursued Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee. We would be celebrating a return to the playoffs next season. I am not sure how plugged in Thibodeau really is. He mainly pursued his former players, and from what I can gather offered non competitive offers for them. Nothing he has done so far indicates he has the pulse on who else might have been available or even would have been a good fit.

          PS hated the Dunn pick with Murray sitting there. We’re as fans going to regret that decision as much as we’re regretting Flynn over Curry.

          • Uglyfunk says:

            Curry never would have signed. People somehow forget that the Wolves were the only team Curry refused to work out before the draft. Curry also had questionable ankles coming out of college and was even considered a possibility that he couldn’t/wouldn’t play in the NBA at all. Hindsight is 20/20 and although I would never endorse picking a March Madness darling like Johnny Flynn in the spot he was drafted, there were legit reasons as to why Curry wasn’t selected.

      • Benjamin Ford says:

        Bejelica is the stretch 4, Karl is gonna hit 3’s with LaVine and Wiggins Dunn and Rubio our lockup on D bro

  4. Tom says:

    I like the pickup, but it just seems nuts that Cole should get more than KAT next year. I’m not so concerned about who they get this year, they should be better with Dunn and the core getting better, but if they sit on their hands next year, without KG on the books and Pek down to one year left on his contract, I will be scratching my head as to what Thibs and Layden are doing. I’m all for them making a play for any of the three restricted blazers to fill out the roster. Mo Harkless, Crabbe, or even Henderson would be OK with me.

  5. Jello says:

    I think Wolves fans are far too pessimistic. The Wolves are a much better team right now than they were at the end of last year when they went nearly .500 after the all star break. Better coach, better backup PG, better bigs rotation, Wiggins, Towns, LaVine all older. Aldrich alleviates the need of playing guys like Payne, Smith, Rudez. Our four bigs are now Towns, Dieng, Aldrich, and Bjelica. Garnett and Pek cannot be counted on for any minutes, so they are not included. Add in summer leaguer Coty Clarke who I really like (smaller 4 in the vein of Draymond Green) and the bigs are looking good even when the inevitable injuries begin to accumulate. No way in my opinion that Payne makes the roster now, so I’m seeing two spots still available. Would be great to add a four like Brandon Bass or Kris Humphries and a SG like Allen Crabbe if the Blazers end up signing a guy like Pau and can’t match the offer sheet.

    Rubio Dunn Jones LaVine Crabbe Wiggins Muhammad Bjelica Bass Clarke Towns Dieng Aldrich Garnett Pekovic

  6. No says:

    What pek?

  7. Benjamin Ford says:

    Everyone needs to chill out about missing free agents, our only priority needs to be resigning Wiggins, Towns and LaVine. If we do that we’ll win a championship. We’re not ready to beat LeBron and Druant yet. Let them get old while we get better and stop thinking that moving LaVine and getting Butler is a good idea. We’re doing the right thing looking for bargains on the market this year because we’ll be dropping over 400M on our big 3 once contracts come due in the next 2 years.

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