NBA Free Agency: Minnesota Timberwolves Signing Cole Aldrich For $22 Million

Depth on the front court is something that NBA teams love having. According to CBS Sports, the Minnesota Timberwolves are signing Cole Aldrich to a three-year contract worth $22 million. Considering how much money has been doled out in free agency, that seems like such a bargain for the Timberwolves.

Thanks to a record breaking rise in the salary cap, backup centers in the NBA have been receiving a ton of money. Timofey Mozgov and Ian Mahinmi have received $64 million each; Bismack Biyombo was signed for $72 million; and none of those three players were considered superstars on their respective teams, so the haul is quite surprising to many.

Cole Aldrich is essentially receiving $7 million a year to be a back-up big man for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team is going to heavily feature Karl-Anthony Towns, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year. There will be instances where Towns will be the sole big man on the floor for the Timberwolves.

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According to ESPN, Cole Aldrich averaged less than 14 minutes a game for the Los Angeles Clippers last season. The six-foot-11, 250 pound center should have no issues with coming off of the bench for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Aldrich knows what his role on the team will be.

Throughout his seven-year career in the NBA, Cole Aldrich has been a bit of a nomad. He has played for five different teams during that stretch. In addition to playing for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, Aldrich has also played for the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

One possible reason why Cole Aldrich chose to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves is the fact that he is from the area. Being comfortable with your surroundings is an underrated aspect when it comes to making a choice in free agency.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl Anthony Towns Karl Anthony Towns [Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images]With Tom Thibodeau taking over as the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, defense is going to be a focal point. According to SB Nation, the Los Angeles Clippers were actually better on defense when Cole Aldrich was on the court.

Offensively, Cole Aldrich should be able to fit in well with Karl-Anthony Towns. The latter is very adept at playing from the perimeter, so Aldrich can have some space inside to work whenever his number is called. Of course, that won’t be too frequently because the Minnesota Timberwolves have plenty of scoring options already.

Even with the addition of Cole Aldrich and his $22 million contract, the Minnesota Timberwolves need to spend at least another $10 million in order to reach the salary cap floor. That should be enough to add another bench player or two in the coming days.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng Gorgui Dieng [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]According to FanSided, the Minnesota Timberwolves are aggressively pursuing Pau Gasol in free agency. The veteran big man would bring along a wealth of championship experience, something that the Timberwolves desperately need, as their roster is filled with younger players.

The addition of Pau Gasol would definitely have a direct affect on the playing time of Cole Adrich. Gasol would more than likely receive more than 25 minutes a game, despite his age. Tom Thibodeau is going to want the veteran on the floor as much as possible so that he can mentor Karl-Anthony Towns on how to be a successful player in the NBA.

After years of bouncing around the NBA, Cole Aldrich is finally back home after signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now, he is tasked with helping a young roster try to make it back to the playoffs.

[Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]