The Wolves are in buyout discussions with third-year forward and 2013 first overall pick Anthony Bennett, a person with knowledge of the talks said today.
The Wolves presumably have been unable to trade Bennett. So, failing that, this move will save the team a chunk of the $5.8 million they owe him for next and bring down the number of fully guaranteed contracts they have to the maximum opening-day roster size of 15.
They would have had to pay him more than $7 million for the 2016-17 season if they had decided by the end of the October to exercise his option for that season.
If he is bought out and released, he will become a free agent if no one NBA team claims him on waivers first.
Cleveland chose Bennett first overall in 2013, but he hasn't yet reached such expectations, partly due to injuries sustained each of his first two NBA seasons.
The Wolves appear ready to move ahead still stockpiled at the power-forward postion with veteran Kevin Garnett, newly signed Nemanja Bjelica, second-year forward Adreian Payne and newly acquired Damjan Rudez, even though Bennett is just 22 years old and was healthy and played well for Canada this summer in the Pan Am Games and an Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico.
Yahoo!Sports first reported the buyout discussions.
Bennett was acquired in the August 2014 trade that also brought Andrew Wiggins and Thaddeus Young to the Wolves in the deal that sent three-time All Star Kevin Love to Cleveland. That trade in essence now has become a Love for Wiggins and Garnett trade.