The Timberwolves will never lack for inspiration this season. Of course, the whole point of a team trying to make it to the playoffs is the players trying to prove that they are who they think they are and the franchise, in general, is on the right track going forward. But trying to prove it.
But many players – including many potential rotation players – also have massive financial implications for the campaign.
D’Angelo Russell did not back down on Media Day.
“In this professional world whenever it’s a contract year, you’re under pressure, and you deserve it,” Russell said. “I just wanted to come back with that mindset and that attitude towards the game. Hopefully some young people can see it.”
To be clear, Russell still has two years left on his contract. But he is thinking about possible expansion at the conclusion of this campaign. Jake Lehman, Patrick Beverly and Taurean Prince will be true free agents after this season.
If he doesn’t come to an agreement on an extension before the preseason deadline, Josh Okogi will be a banned free agent next summer.
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch believes it is the responsibility of the team to increase the market value of its players. And he won’t shy away from chatting about the subject when it’s on the minds of his players.
Finch said, “I think if it applies to something that is happening within the team or something that is most important to them in their mind and is probably bothering their performance, then we will be with them.” Will talk face to face and maybe openly talk about it.” “But mostly it is about committing to their development, helping them not only improve their individual game, but also how we develop them in the system that helps them play well. enables. Lots of individual attention with both player development and film study. things that everyone else is doing.”
Finch acknowledged that a roster full of players in a contract year could cut both ways for a team. Players do their best on and off the court when their financials are at stake. But they can also worry about not getting hurt, and timing and role-playing can become even more personal when what you do in a given season can result in millions of dollars in profit or loss.
“That’s where anxiety builds up. That’s where they start worrying a lot about what their future will hold. Just normal human behavior,” Finch said. “It’s really down to the person and their point of view. Comes.”
The Timberwolves can point to their more recent history, where they have prioritized re-signing their players to free agency. This is often done out of necessity. Without much cap space to speak of, signing your own players has been about the Timberwolves’ only option in free agency, outside of trades.
Unless the roster is seriously overhauled, the same figures will continue to move forward. If you make a legitimate impression to help the team, there’s a good chance you’ll be compensated as of the following off-season. Such was the case with Malik Beasley and Jared Vanderbilt in recent years.
So maybe Prince is approaching this season with the right approach. He was also asked about playing in the contract year this season.
“It’s a big year for the Timberwolves, obviously, for the bigger scheme of things,” he said. “But for me, it’s obviously bigger that I continue to give my kids the life they deserve, and so does my family. So that’s what I’m working for. I get everything I want.” any day. Money doesn’t define it.”