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Offseason | NBA Week 26

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch lands extension through 2027-28

Mon Jun 24 6:56pm ET
Field Level Media

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Chris Finch has signed an extension, the club announced Monday.

ESPN reported the agreement is for four seasons and runs through the 2027-28 season.

The extension comes after Finch guided the Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals for just the second time in franchise history. Minnesota lost to the Dallas Mavericks in five games.

"I'm proud of the way we've been able to establish a great culture here with the Timberwolves and I look forward to continuing to lead this organization and make our fans proud," Finch said in a news release.

Minnesota went 56-26 this season for the second-highest win total in franchise history and Finch placed third in Coach of the Year balloting. The Timberwolves were the No. 3 seed in the West and swept the Phoenix Suns in the first round for their first playoff series advancement since 2004.

Then the Timberwolves took out the defending champion Denver Nuggets in the second round. Minnesota pulled off the biggest Game 7 road comeback in NBA history, overcoming a 20-point deficit en route to a 98-90 win over the Nuggets.

"Chris is a wonderful coach, and an even better person," president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said in a statement. "We are thrilled that he is being rewarded with a well-earned extension. Under his guidance the team has improved every year, he's the perfect leader for our organization."

Finch, 54, sustained a ruptured right patellar tendon in his knee in Game 4 of the series against Phoenix when point guard Mike Conley accidentally ran into him on the sideline. He had surgery and had to sit on the bench, back away from the sideline, to protect the knee for the rests of the playoffs.

Assistant Micah Nori stood on the sidelines in Finch's place and handled some of the other coaching responsibilities.

Finch has a 160-127 record in 3 1/2 seasons as Minnesota's head coach, his first time leading an NBA squad.

Player Notes
Keita Bates-Diop Mon Jun 24 4:00pm

Brooklyn Nets forward Keita Bates-Diop will exercise his player option for the 2024-25 NBA season. His option is worth $2.65 million which was negotiated into his contract when he signed with the Phoenix Suns last offseason. Ahead of the last trade deadline, Bates-Diop was moved from Phoenix to the Brooklyn Nets in a three-team deal which moved Royce O'Neale to the Suns. With Brooklyn, Bates-Diop only averaged 1.6 points and 0.6 rebounds across 4.9 minutes per game. The 28-year-old journeyman only appeared in 14 games for the Nets, but he may be utilized a bit more with the new coaching staff that has moved into town.

Kris Dunn Mon Jun 24 4:00pm

The Phoenix Suns are believed to be a landing spot for free agent guard Kris Dunn. According to Evan Sidery of ESPN, the 30-year-old combo guard could head to Phoenix on the veteran minimum after spending two seasons in Utah where he started in 35 of his 88 appearances. Dunn has bounced around to five different teams through eight seasons in the NBA and has experienced very mixed results at every stop. During his time in Utah, Dunn averaged 7.4 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the floor and 39.5% from deep. His defense continues to be the number-one reason why teams are interested in his services and that would be the perfect compliment to the big three in Phoenix.

Scottie Barnes Mon Jun 24 3:30pm

Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes just finished his third season in the NBA which was his best one to date and resulted in his first All-Star Game appearance. Now that he's going to enter his fourth season, he was up for a contract extension to follow his rookie deal. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Barnes intends to sign a max rookie extension that could be worth up to $270 million over five years. This would make the new cornerstone player the highest-paid Raptor of all time. Barnes averaged 19.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game last year while posting shooting splits of .475/.341/.781. The team already made some moves this past season before the trade deadline, which made it clear they're building around Barnes moving forward.

Mitchell Robinson Mon Jun 24 9:50am

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson looks set to suit up for a different team next season, and the Washington Wizards are reportedly one of the clubs interested in his services. According to NBA insider Ian Begley, Robinson has "come up" in trade talks between Washington and New York. Last season, Isaiah Hartenstein outplayed Robinson, who battled an ankle injury, leaving the big man from Florida with an uncertain future. However, a move away from New York would definitely boost his fantasy value if Hartenstein remains in the Big Apple. Robinson appears to be a good fit for the Wizards, whose lack of depth under the rim resulted in Kyle Kuzma logging center minutes over the final stretch of the season.

Donovan Mitchell Mon Jun 24 9:50am

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell doesn't appear to be going anywhere this offseason. A fresh report from NBA insider Shams Charania notes that the Cavaliers are "confident" about reaching a contract extension soon with Mitchell. Charania adds that the team is also in the "final stages" of deciding its new head coach. Mitchell has enjoyed two very productive campaigns as a Cavalier, averaging 27.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 steals. It has been suggested that his backcourt partner Darius Garland isn't interested in returning for next season if Mitchell sticks around, and it's going to be interesting to see how the situation pans out. Garland's exit would allow Mitchell to play an even more dominant role in Cleveland's play.

Chris Paul Mon Jun 24 9:40am

Golden State Warriors point guard Chris Paul has been linked with a move back to Los Angeles. NBA insider Marc Stein believes that Paul would draw interest from both the Clippers and Lakers if he hits free agency. However, he adds that interest in bringing him to the Lakers "might not be unanimous within the organization." The suggestion of Paul reuniting with the Clippers definitely raises a few eyebrows as well, especially if James Harden and Russell Westbrook stick around. Paul has a non-guaranteed $30 million contract for next season, and he would become a free agent if Golden State doesn't guarantee the contract by June 28. The 12-time All-Star remains a big name in the NBA, but his numbers have been declining for several years. Paul provided only 9.2 points, 6.8 assists, and 1.2 steals to fantasy managers off the Warriors bench in 2023-24. A starting role away from San Francisco could give his numbers a boost.

DeMar DeRozan Mon Jun 24 9:20am

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan has been expected to re-sign with the team this offseason, but there might be a twist in the tale. "One of the loudest questions bouncing around the league at the minute is thus: Will DeRozan be more available in free agency than expected now once the marketplace officially opens on June 30 at 6 PM ET?" writes NBA insider Marc Stein in a recent Substack post. "Likewise: Will DeRozan even want to return to the Bulls?" The Bulls have just made a big move by trading Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City for Josh Giddey, and it could affect DeRozan's mindstate regarding a potential extension. The 34-year-old has crushed it in Chicago over three seasons, averaging 25.5 points,4.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. DeRozan's fantasy stock might take a hit with a move elsewhere.

Kyle Lowry Mon Jun 24 9:10am

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Kyle Lowry is expected to return to the team for the 2024-25 campaign. Lowry is a free agent after completing a short-term deal with his hometown team. The Knicks and Clippers have reportedly kept tabs on him, but according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the 38-year-old is "widely" expected to re-sign with the 76ers. Lowry averaged 8.0 points and 4.6 assists in 28.4 minutes after moving to Philadelphia in February. The former All-Star is clearly past his best and only a deep-league asset in fantasy basketball at this point.

Paul George Mon Jun 24 9:00am

Los Angeles Clippers guard/forward Paul George could remain in the Pacific Division as a member of the Golden State Warriors. According to NBA insider Brett Siegel, a "very close eye" should be kept on the Warriors regarding George if Klay Thompson leaves the team. George has previously linked with moving to the East, with the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic seen as the most realistic landing spots for the nine-time All-Star. Considering Thompson's massively disappointing campaign in 2023-24, George would be a major upgrade for the Warriors, adding value to the team at both ends of the floor.

Luka Doncic Sun Jun 23 9:50pm

According to NBA reporter Grant Afseth, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (knee, ankle, chest) is uncertain to participate in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. The multi-time All-Star finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging a career-high 33.9 points, 9.8 assists, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. He played nearly as well in the postseason. However, Doncic battled various injuries while leading the Mavs to the NBA finals, including a thoracic contusion that required pain-killing injections. The Slovenian National Team's medical staff will determine if he's healthy enough to play. But there hasn't been anything to suggest Doncic won't be ready when the 2024-25 season commences in October, so managers should continue to expect him to go within the first few picks of fantasy drafts.

Oshae Brissett Sun Jun 23 6:20pm

According to NBA insider Keith Smith, Boston Celtics forward Oshae Brissett will decline his $2.5 million player option, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. The veteran, who signed a two-year contract last June, appeared in 55 games for the C's during the 2023-24 campaign, averaging 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds. While there's a good chance Brissett will find a new team, his production needs to improve before he finds his way onto any fantasy roster ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Malik Beasley Sun Jun 23 6:10pm

According to NBA insider Chris Haynes, impending free agent guard Malik Beasley isn't expected to return to Milwaukee. The 27-year-old appeared in 79 games for the Bucks during the regular season, averaging 11.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. He also shot 41.3% from deep, making him among the most proficient three-point threats in the National Basketball Association. Unfortunately, Beasley didn't see the floor as often late in the season, negatively impacting his statistical contributions for fantasy managers. At any rate, with Milwaukee strapped for cash this offseason, the team can't afford Beasley, who could seek around $13 million. As such, his fantasy outlook will hinge on where he signs for the 2024-25 campaign.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Sun Jun 23 6:00pm

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may be on the Magic and 76er's radars. But first, he must decline his $15.4 million player option. TNT's Chris Haynes reported that KCP might decline his player option if he doesn't reach an extension agreement with the Nuggets before the deadline. However, even if he reaches unrestricted free agency, both sides could still work things out, although Philadelphia and Orlando have the cap space needed to make an enticing offer. The 31-year-old has played in Denver for the last two seasons, appearing in 76 games in each of them. He finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging 10.1 points and shooting 40.6% from behind the arc. Caldwell-Pope will likely remain a starter wherever he ends up moving ahead, which isn't bad for fantasy purposes, even if he's not the most consistent producer.

Vlatko Cancar Sun Jun 23 1:30pm

The Denver Nuggets have declined the team option of forward Vlatko Cancar (knee). The 26-year-old suffered a torn ACL last summer and underwent surgery. As a result, he wasn't available for the Nuggets in 2023-24. Cancar has averaged only 3.5 points and 1.7 rebounds during his career but was in line for an increased role ahead of last season. With that said, Denver may offer him a new minimum contract, so there's a good chance Cancar remains with the Nuggets. However, he won't see much fantasy interest unless he gets routine minutes, regardless of the team he's on.

Jerami Grant Sun Jun 23 1:20pm

According to SNY's Ian Begley, several teams have "checked in" on Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant. The veteran finished the 2023-24 campaign by averaging 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He also shot a career-high 40.2% from behind the arc. Without question, Grant would bolster a starting lineup for any club. However, he hasn't logged more than 63 games in any of the previous four seasons, which makes him a risky investment for teams. The same is true for fantasy managers.

Klay Thompson Sat Jun 22 10:40pm

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, contract talks between guard Klay Thompson and Golden State are "frozen." While the Warriors have the luxury of negotiating a new deal right now, there hasn't been any movement. As a result, Slater indicated that Thompson's exit from Golden State "feels closer and more probable than ever before." The 34-year-old spent time between the starting lineup and a bench role during the 2023-24 campaign. As such, Thompson's statistical contributions regressed from a season ago, and he finished the year by averaging 17.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 38.7% from behind the arc. At any rate, there are rumblings he could end up in Orlando, a team that has expressed interest. But since there "has been no traction" between both sides, other clubs with money this offseason could enter the equation.

Jeremy Sochan Sat Jun 22 10:30pm

According to Nick Moyle of The San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Jeremy Sochan (ankle) was cleared to resume basketball activities and is currently training with the Polish national team ahead of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The 2022 No. 9 overall pick had a decent sophomore season, averaging 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists. However, he was limited to 74 games because of ankle surgery. Sochan has several areas that need to be addressed, with his three-point shooting being one of them. But his usage rate could improve if he remains a primary ball-handler, and his involvement in the offense could increase if the Spurs move on from Keldon Johnson this offseason.

Tim Hardaway Jr. Sat Jun 22 10:30pm

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to trade guard/forward Tim Hardaway Jr. The 32-year-old, who has one year left on his current deal, has averaged 14 points in the previous three seasons. However, he fell out of the rotation and logged just 12.7 minutes during the postseason. Although Hardaway isn't a reliable fantasy producer, he can get hot when given minutes. With that said, he's worth monitoring if he gets traded, especially if he gets consistent playing time for a new team.

Victor Wembanyama Sat Jun 22 10:20pm

According to Nick Moyle of The San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio Spurs forward/center Victor Wembanyama has been working on his dribbling with the help of former player Jamal Crawford. The 20-year-old had a stellar inaugural campaign, averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, and 1.6 steals. As a result, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year while earning NBA All-Defensive First Team honors. However, he had issues taking care of the ball, logging 3.7 turnovers per contest. Hopefully, Wembanyama's time with Crawford will help him improve. Either way, the 2023 No. 1 overall pick has top-10 fantasy potential in all formats for the 2024-25 season.

Ja Morant Sat Jun 22 10:10pm

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (shoulder) is expected to resume basketball activities in the next two weeks. "I hate being around basketball and not being able to play," said Morant at his youth basketball camp. "I don't got too much longer. I can wait to make sure I'm able to play and be cleared when the season comes." The 24-year-old began the 2023-24 campaign, serving a 25-game suspension. He eventually returned, although he suffered a torn labrum that resulted in surgery after appearing in nine contests. But if Morant can stay out of trouble and remain healthy in 2024-25, he has top-10 fantasy potential in all formats.