Report: Wolves to Exercise Option on Williams

From Darren Wolfson:

First, what it means on the salary sheet:

Player

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Kevin Love

14,693,906

15,719,063

16,744,219

 
Kevin Martin

6,500,000

6,792,500

7,085,000

7,377,500

Nikola Pekovic

12,100,000

12,100,000

12,100,000

12,100,000

Derrick Williams

5,016,960

6,331,404

   
JJ Barea

4,687,000

4,519,500

   
Corey Brewer

4,500,000

4,702,500

4,905,000

 
Ricky Rubio

3,678,358

4,660,479

   
Alexey Shved

3,150,000

3,282,056

   
Chris Johnson

916,099

     
Dante Cunningham

2,180,000

     
Chase Budinger

5,000,000

5,000,000

5,000,000

 
Shabazz Muhammad

1,887,120

1,971,960

2,056,920

3,046,299

Gorgui Dieng

1,352,640

1,413,480

1,474,440

2,348,783

Ronny Turiaf

1,500,000

1,500,000

   
         
Total

67,162,083

67,992,942

49,365,579

24,872,582

(all numbers from shamsports.com)

The 2013-14 salary cap is $58.7 million, the luxury tax line is $71.7 million and the salary cap floor is $52.8 million.

Derrick Williams’s option, that will reportedly be picked up, factors into the 2014-15 season. The most recent projection that I can find is that next season will have a cap of $62.1 million and a tax line of $75.7 million. Again: that’s just a projection.

By picking up the option and keeping D-Thrill for another year beyond this one, the team will have $67,992,942 on the books for 2014-15. Had they let him become an unrestricted free agent, the number would be $61,661,538.

The costs:

  • A negligible amount of cap space that would’ve netted the team nothing.
  • $6.3 million out of ownership’s pocket. It’s easy for us to sneeze at. It’s Monopoly money to me.

The benefits:

  • Keeping Derrick Williams for another season.
  • Keeping matching rights for Williams’s restricted free agency in the pivotal Summer of 2015 (when Love opts out and Ricky and Shved are also RFAs).

Not a cost:

  • Opportunities to sign free agents in 2014 under the CBA rules. Even if the Wolves re-sign Dante Cunningham to a reasonable deal ($3 or $4 million per?) they’ll remain under the “apron”  (see no. 25) and allowed to exercise their full mid-level exception (starting salary of $5.3 million) should they choose to. Of course, Monopoly money; they might not choose to if they’ve already spent this much.

Potential costs:

  • Williams’s trade value drops with poor performance in the early part of this season (shit, it can’t be too high right now) and he does not even have the “expiring contract” appeal that is usually easy to move.
  • The team elects against using its mid-level exception because of an already-high payroll. See above.

Potential benefits:

  • Williams gets better, and is either traded for a higher return (read: a ticket back into the hyped 2014 Draft) or allows the Wolves to explore Kevin Love trade options in anticipation of his possible departure in 2015. If the Wolves keep Williams and he *actually* improves, it will increase their management options going forward.
  • Williams learns how to play small forward and fits perfectly between Martin and Love. (Sorry, I’m just not buying this.)

Those are some of my notes.

What do y’all think?

 

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5 Comments

Filed under Timberwolves

5 responses to “Report: Wolves to Exercise Option on Williams

  1. Nice post. First, I don’t think Taylor could’ve let Williams walk, given the financials you laid out, without looking more interested in saving Monopoly Money than in (trying to) win(ning). Second, Flip’s enthusiasm for Williams likely stems from his desire to trade him and belief that he can do so. We know he has Taylor’s ear. I suspect Flip said to Glen, “Buy me some more time to move this guy, and we both come out ahead.” If so, I hope he’s right.

    • I like your second point more than your first. To this point, we haven’t seen much (anything?) to suggest that Williams is helpful to winning games. Committing an additional $6M plus to that type of player doesn’t really show me anything, even if it shows Thrill the money. (!)

      We’ll see, I guess. I hope he’s traded or improves. To make an obvious statement.

      • Alberto Super

        “We’ll see, I guess. I hope he’s traded or improves. To make an obvious statement.”

        It’s this exact statement that moves us to pick up his option. Flip is doing the best with what he’s been dealt. It’s a bad hold em’ beat where you’ve been dealt a stellar hand yet get burned by every card played after. You kind of just have to commit and hope it shakes out when dealer is calling cards. D Thrill has done the exact opposite at every turn…

  2. DAG

    Start Williams with Love, Pek, Martin, and Rubio. “Energy” can come in off the bench. Williams was the second person selected in the draft. Ego, confidence and belonging pretty much tell the muscles how to react and play. Williams is a big man who plays small. He drops the ball down and double pumps on layups. The man cannot finish until he recognizes his strength and size. He has mental blocks, a lack of confidence. I fault the coaches for his lack of progress. Some players need extra care and he’s one. He is not unique when it comes to coaching “nice guys”.

    • Brewer seems better suited for an energy/bench role. Adelman is apparently telling this to media, today. With Williams starting (potentially) this would really strain the defense, I think. We’ll see – maybe he’s better than I give him credit for as a perimeter defender. He just seems too big and slow to chase people around out to 25 feet, and that’s not even taking into consideration that he’d be paired next to Martin, who is also a weak defender.