It has been over two weeks since the NBA was the initial actor that set off a chain reaction across the sports world of shutting down or postponing seasons.
There is still so much uncertainty about the rest of this season, and there are some lingering questions about what will happen with the league and the Wolves, who were in the middle of a road trip when the league postponed its season following Utah center Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test. Let's get to a bunch of good reader questions from Twitter and e-mail:
Pao @PaoCXiong -- Will the NBA finish this season?
Nothing like the most direct and important question to kick it off. Nobody knows for sure if the league will, but indications are that the league is going to do everything in its power to have some sort of end to this season. There’s too much television money at stake. It could entail an abbreviated end to the regular season followed by abbreviated playoffs, or just go right into the playoffs. It could also entail playing games in front of no fans.
My guess, and this is just a guess, is there would be some sort of five- or six-game end to the regular season so that teams aren’t just going right into the playoffs without some playing time under their belt. Also, it’d be abrupt to shut the lights out on the season on those teams not in playoff contention.
@MrMikeMQ How's Kat's wrist? How are players spending this time? What's the latest from Silver re: practices? Has everyone been tested? What's @CallMe_NonStop latest composition?
The Wolves said on March 6 they would re-evaluate Towns’ injury, which is a left wrist fracture, but with the postponement of the season, the Wolves haven’t released any information since the two weeks has passed.
The Wolves were hoping Towns could avoid surgery by having him just rest the wrist so it might heal on its town. But there hasn’t been an official update lately for understandable reasons since the business of basketball has taken a backseat.
As it pertains to practices, the NBA recently ordered all teams to close their practice facilities. The Wolves had already closed theirs before Silver’s announcement, but there are no practices or workouts for the foreseeable future. The league doesn’t want players and staff congregating in groups, like most workplaces around the country. As we reported last week, the Wolves had not tested their players in line with state department of health recommendations on testing. No player was showing symptoms nor had the Wolves played any team that has had a player recently test positive.
And the players are trying to spend time like a lot of other people and atheltes their age – video games, working out, posting stuff on social media. As you saw, Josh Okogie was posting about making a beat on his keyboard. The Wolves have been giving players workout recommendations, meal plans and meals while they are at home.
Logan, @LaltenNBA -- What's your walking away price for Juancho Hernangomez and Malik Beasley?
Let’s first stipulate this by saying a lot depends on how the salary cap is going to look next season. The Washington Post reported the NBA could be looking at a $1 billion loss in revenue from the coronavirus and since revenue is divided between players and owners, it means the salary cap is likely to take a significant decline for next season.
Let’s start with Beasley, because from the moment he put on a Wolves jersey and hit his first three fans have been wondering if the Wolves will have the ability to re-sign him. The short answer is yes.
The Wolves hold a lot of the cards in Beasley’s upcoming restricted free agency. They have his Bird Rights and can exceed the cap to re-sign him. Other teams won’t have that ability, and those who may have interest are going to be battling against a lower salary cap.
Beasley also has opportunity here in Minnesota that he didn’t have in Denver, and the match has been a mutually beneficial one since he got here. Beasley fits well alongside Towns and D’Angelo Russell and figures to get a decent number of open threes playing with them.
Just spitballing since we don’t know where the cap is going to end up, but I’d go as high as the high teens per year on Beasley. The upper limit being $18-ish? Something in the $15-16 million range feels about right. Beasley has shown he can produce in this short time, but it is just a short time. Can he sustain it? That uncertainty should be baked a little bit into the price.
As for Hernangomez, let’s look at one of his former teammates as a guide, Jerami Grant, who is on a three-year, $27 million deal. The could be the upper limit for what Hernangomez could make on his next deal. But again, the Wolves have leverage because Hernangomez is a restricted free agent and also have his Bird Rights.
Steve Horan @smhoran1 -- In Gersson Rosas’ live tweet last night he answered a question about rebounding strength by saying he would, “go with two bigs with the right two bigs”, which seems a departure from their stated philosophy of PG-C-3 wings ... who would be a good big to pair with Towns?
It’s not that the Wolves are absolutely locked into a three wings, point guard and center combination. Part of what Rosas was saying is it’s all about who those other players are. If you’re looking for who that someone could be, look at what the Wolves are looking for in a player.
They want someone who can shoot, someone who can play up-tempo, someone who is versatile enough to guard multiple positions. It feels like they have two of those type of players in James Johnson and Hernangomez. But as it relates to more traditional center types, I’m not sure who that match would be. Perhaps someone like Brook Lopez? If you asked this question in a vacuum?
Is there a way the Wolves can trade for [Devin] Booker from Arizona? Is there any attempt for a trade? – Bob K. from Mendota Heights.
Bob sent his question via email and not on Twitter, so shoutout to Bob for being kind of old-school in that sense.
As for the question, Booker would complete the trinity of Towns and his friends being on the same team, something all three have talked about doing. In the crazy world of the NBA, I’d never rule anything out, that being said, the Wolves would have a LOT of cap space tied down in three players if they were to swing for a Booker trade (not that Phoenix is currently interested in doing anything like this). But sometimes all it takes is a player saying he wants out to set the wheels in motion, and if Booker were to ever do that I’m guessing the Wolves would be on line one.