Wolves Sign Guard Melo Trimble to Non-Guaranteed Deal

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed former University of Maryland Terrapin guard Melo Trimble to a non-guaranteed deal Tuesday afternoon; the exact terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed. Trimble went unselected in the 2017 draft after three years in College Park.

Trimble burst onto the scene as a freshman, garnering Second-Team All-American honors from Sporting News as well as All-Big Ten (First-Team – Media; Second-Team – Coaches) and Big Ten All-Freshman Team recognition.

The combo guard shot a scorching 41.2% (148 attempts) from 3 during his freshman season with a 62.8% true shooting percentage and 53.4% effective field goal percentage. However, his numbers from deep and, thus, his efficiency decreased with increased usage during his sophomore and junior seasons (tables via Sports-Reference).

Trimble’s contract is non-guaranteed meaning that the Wolves have until January 7th to decide if they want to keep him around or waive him. After January 10th (it takes three days for players to clear waivers), all contracts become guaranteed.

In all likelihood, Trimble will serve a similar function to how the team utilized point guard John Lucas III last year: as a body for training camp and preseason and should the need for an emergency point guard emerge. However, anything is possible.

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  1. The last two additions to the squad are not exactly what I would call “Key contributors” to a franchise desperately needing to make the playoffs. These are the kind of adds, you would expect Minnesota to get if they were lottery bound for another year. Sadly, deals like this during last year would have been much more helpful than the three bench adds we signed (Aldrich, Rush and Hill), but I don’t think we are much better off in players 10-15 or even similar results. Getting Melo means that Tyus is the back up PG and you hope no one gets hurt. I only hope that we can secure one more player of NBA quality (a Tony Allen or Gerald Green type). Not that Thibs will give them much playing time IF everyone stays healthy. I just haven’t seen a Thibs team go injury free.

  2. Trimble is a camp body and preseason cut auditioning for the Iowa Wolves. The offseason stage of “wait to see who accepts our minimum offer” started for the Wolves once they signed Crawford. Based on what they can offer now, what they do with rotation spots 10-13 (with Aldrich in that mix, Patton being #14 and 15 reportedly being left open) isn’t likely to affect their chances to make the playoffs. Right now, they have 4 bench guys who, if healthy, have earned a claim for minutes (Jones, Crawford, Bjelly, Dieng). They basically need 3 guys who could step in off the bench but shouldn’t be counted on every night. If something bad happens that highlights a lack of depth, the questions become more about using all their cap space on 2 players and/or not doing the CJ Miles S&T as opposed to not getting good enough guys for the minimum.

    Vets will wait because they have every reason to. Why take the minimum now when 6-8 weeks remain before training camp? Maybe someone gets injured, creating a better market. Maybe a team with cap space decides to give more than the minimum to outbid other offers. There are zero reasons for any vet to take the minimum right now, unless it’s an opportunity like Derrick Rose with the Cavs.

  3. I can understand why vets won’t take the minimum until the last minute, but unless you want to go to China or Europe and finish your career, it would seem that teams with promise of playoff runs like the Wolves, would get some interest from younger vets now before they take someone else and they have no other options. Most of the money is now spent to either reach the floor for the teams rebuilding, or teams making a run. Given that we are ultra thin at the two and three, I would think some vets would see this as a chance to see meaningful minutes and get a crack next year at a better contract. Maybe older vets like Tony Allen or Dunleavey would be patient because the end is near anyway, but guys like Green, Muhammad, Jordan McCrae, etc. should be scrambling to get on a playoff contender that may have playing minutes and hopefully get a second chance to cash in next year.
    There have been signings. Isaiah Canaan just signed with the Bulls for a min contract. I hope that Minnesota hasn’t lost its luster already as a destination site.