The Scoops: Derrick Williams' future with Wolves still up to debate
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Even after spending $117 million in free agency in July and August, Minnesota Timberwolves president of operations Flip Saunders will have another sizable monetary decision to make.
Before his third year begins -- Oct. 31 is the deadline -- the Wolves need to figure out if they will pay forward Derrick Williams $6.3 million for the 2014-15 season.
In a phone conversation earlier this week spanning a few topics, Wolves owner Glen Taylor acknowledged the team isn't quite sure what to do.
"We'll evaluate his summer program, and how he looks coming into camp (which starts Oct. 1)," Taylor said. "I heard he is looking good."
Exercising Williams' fourth-year option is potentially enough to carry the Wolves over the luxury tax and not allow them to sign a free agent for the mid-level exception, according to Grantland.com's Zach Lowe.
Williams is working out in Los Angeles with trainer Gunnar Peterson, who said recently via email that Williams is stronger and more balanced than a year ago.
• In addition to his $12 million per year base salary, center Nikola Pekovic can earn up to $1.6 million per year in incentives. However, a number of the contractual bullet-points, including league MVP and All-Star game appearance, seem unlikely. Pekovic can earn the most in incentives if he plays over 70 games in a season, something he's yet to accomplish as he enters his fourth year.
• After being dismissed from rookie orientation for having a girl in his room, Wolves wing Shabazz Muhammad wrote an apologetic letter to Saunders and Taylor. Soon thereafter, Taylor sent Muhammad a letter back. "I want to get to know him," Taylor said. "I wrote to him about first impressions."
• Taylor said it's unlikely that Saunders will bring in a 15th guaranteed contract. In other words, forwards Robbie Hummel and Othyus Jeffers, rookie guard Lorenzo Brown and an expected to-be-determined big man will compete for the final spot in camp. Those three players, first round picks Muhammad and center Gorgui Dieng, and big man Chris Johnson arrive into town Monday for developmental work. Other players are expected to be in-and-out for informal workouts before training camp starts.
• As previously reported, Milt Newton will leave Washington and become the Wolves' general manager. "I had not met him until I interviewed him, and I was very impressed," Taylor said.
• Taylor on where Target Center renovation plans sit, a project that was supposed to break ground in May: "We have a term sheet with the city. We've agreed to everything. They need to work out a term sheet with AEG (managers of Target Center)." Taylor added that the renovations will take a couple years, so work will be done with the Wolves and Lynx maintaining their presence.
• Taylor said he hasn't heard from former president of operations David Kahn for a while. Kahn interviewed for the 76ers general manager opening, and also talked to a couple other teams about front office roles. But if his goal is to remain involved in roster construction, nothing has materialized.