Wolves Continue Great Offseason With Jordan Hill Signing
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The Wolves made footnote NBA news once again with their third signing of the 2016 offseason, by inking Jordan Hill to a two-year $8 million contract.
The move brought the their total spending this season to $33.5 million, or just less than the E'Twaun Moore's 4/34 contract with the Pelicans, just over half of Timofey Mozgov's 4/64 contract with the Lakers, a third of Hassan Whiteside's 4/98 deal with the Heat, and just under a quarter of Demar DeRozan's 5/145 deal with the Raptors.
They have added only $14.83 million for this coming season and still have $15 million to spend before hitting the Cap, and potentially another $8 million if Kevin Garnett decides to retire (unless they go the Spurs route and release him so he gets that final eight million, like the Spurs did with Tim Duncan).
Don't get me wrong, I wanted the Wolves to go out and make a big, but smart, signing this offseason and grab a player like Kent Bazemore, but the fact that they instead played the long game, while also being fiscally responsible for future opportunities, impresses me and gives me the thought that Tom Thibadeau is not only a smart coach, but also a smart executive.
By having the longest deal they sign be only three years, it A). Sets them up to have room for extensions for Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns that will help keep them below the tax line, B). Gives them room following the 2017-18 season when Nikola Pekovic's $11.6 million goes of the books and gives them room to resign Wiggins to a max deal, and if things go right, add the final piece (I'm thinking, with what looks like ample cap space, a run at DeMarcus Cousins, Danillo Gallinari or Gordan Hayward would be perfect) to the Championship puzzle after atleast one playoff appearance.
In Aldrich, Rush and Hill, the Wolves get three guys who have played on winning teams and know what a winning environment looks like, know who they are as players and won't stray from their lane, play defense and can continue the teaching environment of how to be a professional that was put in place by the deceased Flip Saunders, by having Andre Miller, Tayshaun Prince, and of course KG on a lottery team.
Although the three signings this year don't have the experience or titles of the first three, what they offer instead is three parts, or two if Aldrich starts next to Towns, of what is turning into a very good bench unit.
The Wolves presumably will have a starting five of Rubio (if he doesn't get dealt, though he could be on the move during the 2018-19 offseason as he will be on an expiring deal), Dunn, Wiggins, Towns, Dieng. Then off the bench, the Wolves with have LaVine as their sixth man, or Dunn but I see LaVine being the 15 point scorer off the bench, Rush, Muhammed, Aldrich and Hill. Not to mention Tyus Jones who is showing what he can do in Summer League, averaging 17 points and six assists, and if Dunn steps up opens the way for Rubio to be traded.
I still think that trading Ricky Rubio would be the best move for the Wolves going forward as they could add a guard who can shoot, but if they decide to keep him at least until February when they know what they have in Dunn that isn't a bad move.
With the right improvements from their stars, Wiggins and Towns, as well as their other young players, LaVine, Dieng, Muhammad and eventually Dunn, the Wolves have the makings of a team that could push for a playoff spot and with one, maybe two, in play that ever valuable first playoff experience could come this season.