Without knowing who will be on the roster next season, aside from the few players that we already know — Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Nikola Pekovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Gorgui Dieng and Tyus Jones.
I’m not even sure Pekovic or Muhammad will survive the draft, but let’s say they do. Minnesota will have $50,242,401 under contract for next season.
The best news for them? The salary cap will jump up to $92 million this summer.
That first total doesn’t include Kevin Garnett’s $8 million, but even including that, the Timberwolves will have money to spend.
First, let’s look at the roster breakdown.
PG: Ricky Rubio, Tyus Jones/Zach LaVine
SG: Zach LaVine/Shabazz Muhammad
SF: Andrew Wiggins/Shabazz Muhammad
PF: Gorgui Dieng/Nemanja Bjelica/Kevin Garnett
C: Karl-Anthony Towns/Nikola Pekovic
Despite having the No. 5 pick in the draft, Minnesota needs some depth up front and at guard.
Power forward options: Dieng proved to be a very good starter and, if nothing else, would make for an excellent backup. He can shoot, rebound, defend and pass. Bjelica really turned it on at the end of last season. He started out well, then got hurt and was pretty bad for a stretch of months. But over the last month or so, he played very good basketball. However, no team can have too many good and talented bigs. Al Horford has a relationship with Towns that spans to the Dominican Republic national team, and they have known one another for quite some time. That could entice Horford to join Minnesota, along with a boat filled with cash. This would be a prime signing for Minnesota. Imagine a frontline of Towns and Horford. Horford is the only option at power forward if Minnesota was looking to sign a starter-caliber player. Also, I think Horford has to come to grips about one thing — Atlanta will never win. While he has been a big part of Atlanta’s success since being drafted, the Hawks have had a very tough time signing marquee free agents. Horford would be much better suited coming to a team that has legitimate pieces, where he could be an outstanding third or fourth option.
This would be Minnesota’s marquee free agent signing if it was able to land Horford, and it might put them over the edge when it comes to competing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.