Wolves’ shopping list
The Timberwolves enter Friday night’s opening bell of NBA free agency with more than $18 million to spend. They’ll have well more than that if they trade starting point guard Ricky Rubio and his $14.1 million salary to Utah or elsewhere in return for extra cap space they could use to upgrade at the position.
New Wolves star Jimmy Butler promises he will actively recruit free agents. The NBA’s negotiating periods begins 11 p.m. Central time.
Here’s a look at how some free agents might fit the Wolves’ needs.
Help wanted: Point guard needed?
Kyle Lowry, Toronto
The market’s best available point guard might leave if Raptors don’t offer a five-year extension. Tom Thibodeau and Butler know him from the 2016 Olympic team, but the Wolves would need more cap space or a trade to get him.
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans: Big, gifted and defensive-minded, he’s maybe the perfect fit despite his injury history. Expect the Pelicans to do all they can to keep him.
Patty Mills, San Antonio: Career backup who shot 41.3 percent from three-point range last season is just coming into his prime.
Derrick Rose, New York: He’s a Thibs favorite from their Chicago years together, but last season ended with yet another knee surgery.
Jeff Teague, Indiana: He’s 29 and this would be his third team in as many seasons if he leaves the Pacers.
George Hill, Utah: He’s not flashy in the least, just a dependable, experienced veteran who, like Lowry, is 31.
Other needs: A starting stretch 4
Paul Millsap, Atlanta
A perfect fit every which way, but probably too high an aim for Wolves team still seeking credibility.
Taj Gibson, Oklahoma City: He’s aging (32) and not a three-point shooter, but he’s reliable and Thibodeau admires everything about him. His hometown Brooklyn team might make a big offer.
Patrick Patterson, Toronto: Raptors have three other free agents to sign, so this solid veteran could be a good buy.
Others: JaMychal Green*, Memphis; Amir Johnson, Boston; Serge Ibaka, Toronto; Nikola Mirotic*, Chicago.
J.J. Redick, L.A. Clippers
Best of the bunch probably too expensive for Wolves, with many needs to fill.
C.J. Miles, Indiana: He’s a consistent three-point shooter who will defend, too. He turned 30 in March.
Mike Dunleavy, Atlanta, and Kyle Korver, Cleveland: Both are 36, but are specialists who can still shoot it and played for Thibodeau in Chicago, too.
Others: Arron Afflalo, Sacramento; Langston Galloway, Sacramento; Randy Foye, Brooklyn.
Andre Iguodala, Golden State
He’s aging (33) and has no reason to leave the champs (other than money), but he still defends and settles a team.
Others: P.J. Tucker, Toronto; Tony Allen, Memphis; Luc Mbah a Moute, L.A. Clippers; Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta.
*-restricted free agent