Timberwolves agree to two-year deal with Kyle Anderson
The 28-year-old is belovingly referred to as “Slo-Mo” — because while the 6-foot-9 forward had a vast skillset, he succeeds in spite of a lack of speed
The Timberwolves made their free agency move roughly three hours into the moratorium period Thursday night, agreeing to a two-year, $18 million deal with versatile forward Kyle Anderson, a source confirmed.
The 28-year-old is belovingly referred to as “Slo-Mo” — because while the 6-foot-9 forward had a vast skillset, he succeeds in spite of a lack of speed. He’s crafty and capable of handling a number of roles, something he’s consistently done for winning teams in San Antonio and, most recently, Memphis.
He defends, rebounds and makes plays.
Anderson is, put simply, a winner.
That’s why he was worth Minnesota using a big chunk of its mid-level exception. The Timberwolves are a talented team with a strong, but still young core. While Minnesota made the playoffs a year ago, the Wolves showed their lack of experience in their first-round loss to a Memphis team that included Anderson. The forward shot 63 percent from the field over those six games.
Anderson knows how to win, including in the postseason — where he’s played every season of his career except for one.
There is a reason Patrick Beverley responded to the news by simply tweeting, “Love this.”
Anderson represents more wing depth, which is critical come the postseason. He can defend bigs — as he did against Karl-Anthony Towns in the playoffs — and can also run an offense. He’s a calming force who’s also capable of getting key buckets in big spots with his mid-range offense. He can start — as he did for every game of the 2020-21 season — or come off the bench, as he did for the bulk of this past season.
Anderson’s signing likely signals the end of Minnesota’s free-agent “signings” — as the mid-level was Minnesota’s primary source of spending power and the addition of Anderson puts the Wolves at 15 contracts. But that doesn’t mean the Wolves are done making moves.
At least one more is expected — Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to eventually ink the same four-year, $214 million max extension Devin Booker and Phoenix reportedly came to an agreement on Thursday. That Towns extension will be more celebratory than surprising in Wolves circles when it indeed takes place.
Any other massive moves would likely need to come via trade.
There certainly are plenty of rumors abound re: big names potentially on the move, from restricted free-agent center DeAndre Ayton to Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Nets forward Kevin Durant, the latter reportedly requested a trade out of Brooklyn on Thursday. Pacers forward Myles Turner has been on the block for seemingly forever now. Wolves guard D’Angelo Russell can certainly be had on the trade market.
The Wolves view Gobert — with his interior defense and rebounding prowess — as a top-tier fit to play alongside Towns, who would then shift over to power forward. Minnesota just selected a shot blocking force in Walker Kessler with the first draft pick of the Tim Connelly era.
The Wolves have movable players in Russell, Malik Beasley and maybe even Naz Reid, who could be moved for the sake of providing the young center with more opportunity with another team.
The Wolves have also made minor moves to retain current players — such as exercising the options on Jaylen Nowell and Naz Reid, which the Wolves officially did Wednesday, or re-signing Taurean Prince to a two-year deal, which the team made official Thursday.
It is still possible the roster remains close to the status quo in Minnesota heading into next season, with the addition of Anderson.
The Wolves can certainly exercise that option and simply allow the internal growth of young players such as Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels and Nowell move the team forward.
At the same time, there is plenty of offseason remaining, and time for Connelly, Sachin Gupta, Matt Lloyd and Co. to make another splash if the opportunity presents itself.
Tyus Jones agreed to a two-year, $30 million deal to stay in Memphis, a source confirmed. Jones will continue to backup Ja Morant, but gets a massive raise to do so and sets himself up well to enter free agency again when he’s 28 years old and in a prime position to earn another big contract.
Morant tweeted “Stones” right at the start of Thursday’s moratorium period. The Apple Valley product played a big role in helping the Grizzlies reach the second round of the playoffs last season.
Amir Coffey, who starred at Hopkins and then with the Gophers, inked a three-year, $11 million deal to stay with the Clippers, per reports. Coffey has established himself as a valuable NBA player after signing a two-way deal with Los Angeles as an undrafted free agent in 2019.
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