Timberwolves Finally Have Salary (Not Talent) Issues


The Minnesota Timberwolves have a major problem looming ahead, but for one of the only times, it’s not a talent issue.

The Wolves are slated to shell out almost $90 million for the center position alone in 2024, which accounts for over 42% of the salary cap. The league average for the position is almost four times less than what the Wolves will spend. With young players ready for a payday, what options do Minnesota have to solve their money problem?

This offseason, the Wolves have paid Naz Reid and Anthony Edwards, while Jaden McDaniels is still waiting for his payday. The team already has the largest payroll for the ’24-25 season and will need to find a solution. The most obvious fix is to find a trade for one of their max-contract centers— Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert.


A Towns trade may be the most popular idea because of the value he still holds. Towns may be able to recoup most of the assets sent off in the Gobert trade a summer ago. However, Towns has been the franchise centerpiece since he joined the team and has repeatedly expressed his desire to remain on the roster.

Although acquired just a year ago, Rudy Gobert makes the most financial sense to move. He is already 31 years old and still has more than $130 million left on his contract. On the other hand, Gobert would certainly bring back less than what the Wolves gave up for him.

The Wolves’ management has made it clear that the team will attempt to contend for a title. In order for them to do that, it may be in their best interest to keep both Towns and Gobert. While that is a possibility, it becomes complicated quite quickly.


There may be a way for the Wolves to keep their core for the future, but it would require something the team hasn’t done before. Minnesota would have to venture into the luxury tax to make that happen.

The luxury tax is a system in place to reprimand teams that exceed the salary cap. The more a team exceeds the cap, the more fees they have to pay. Most team owners are unwilling to pay the fees, which is why a large majority of teams stay below the threshold.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement also implemented a second apron threshold. This new apron will significantly limit teams’ abilities to trade future draft selections and sign free agents. Currently, the Wolves are not in danger of crossing this threshold, but they will need to be wary of it shortly.

Historically, the Wolves have never dipped into the tax, but new owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore may be willing to go all in. If President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly wishes to keep his core together, Lore and Rodriguez must dig into their pockets. If the Gobert trade is any indicator, going into the tax shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Connelly and his front office have made it clear they are not looking to move any major pieces of their core. Assuming the team performs well this season, the luxury tax may make the most sense. It allows the team to capitalize on players still in their prime without moving a key piece.


The front office has signaled that no significant changes will come to the roster soon. Connelly has established that the Towns-Gobert duo will be back for at least the start of this season. However, that may be subject to change based on team and player performance.

In all likelihood, the Wolves will at least wait until the NBA trade deadline to decide. Expectations will be high for the team, and change can be expected should they underperform. The front office is set on competing and will surely do whatever it takes to win.

We don’t know what’s in store for the roster, but Wolves fans can be certain the front office will look to win it all.

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About Grant Yolch

Grant Yolch is currently a student at the University of Minnesota. Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, he has been a Minnesota sports fan since birth.

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