Key decision by Wolves owner Glen Taylor paved way for D'Angelo Russell trade

It was either enter the luxury tax or bust for the Wolves.
Publish date:

Billionaire owner Glen Taylor deserves credit for opening his bank account to allow the Timberwolves to enter the luxury tax through a series of trades that ultimately saw Andrew Wiggins go to the Warriors for All-Star 23-year-old point guard D'Angelo Russell. 

In an interview with Darren Wolfson on The Scoop podcast, Taylor said President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas needed the Wolves to enter the luxury tax so he could orchestrate trades that would've otherwise been impossible.  

"It's a difficult one. It's a financial one that I don't particularly like to be there. But when we got down to how we were going to do all of these trades and to work it out to get the right players, it just came up that we were going to go over," said Taylor. 

"Eventually he asked me to make a decision and if I was willing to do that and I told him I was. That gave him some freedom to do some things that when we had a lower figure he just couldn't do."

How difficult was the decision to let his club go into the luxury tax?

"Since we're talking about millions of dollars it wasn't a snap of the fingers," Taylor said with a laugh. "If we get our team and we win and show that we can be a very competitive team, then I'll be really satisfied with my decision." 

Dane Moore of Zone Coverage reports that Taylor will be billed a tax payment of approximately $3 million. 

Granted, attendance should rise and lead to revenue increases for a team that is last in the league in attendance, in addition to expected merchandise sales increases with a fanbase reinvigorated by the arrival of new players, namely Russell and Malik Beasley, whom Minnesota got in the four-team, 12-player trade that sent Robert Covington to the Rockets. 

The move could also prove monumental in keeping Karl-Anthony Towns happy and in Minnesota. 

“I think with D-Lo here, it’s always going to be a big incentive for me to want to stay,” Towns told The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski Thursday night. “D-Lo is a big part of everything the vision is. D-Lo always knows he’s going to be wanted because his brother is here with him and he always knows he’s going to have his back covered because I’m always going to be there for him.”

What's more is that Rosas has created a cap situation that should allow the Wolves to be aggressive this summer in free agency. Look at the salary committed to 2020-21 as it stands today, according to Spotrac. 

  • Karl-Anthony Towns - $29,467,800
  • D'Angelo Russell - $28,649,250
  • James Johnson - $16,047,100 (player option)
  • Jarrett Culver - $6,104,280
  • Jake Layman - $3,761,085
  • Josh Okogie - $2,771,040
  • Jacob Evans - $2,017,320
  • Omari Spellman - $1,988,280
  • Jarred Vanderbilt - $1,663,861
  • Naz Reid - $1,517,981
  • Cole Aldrich - $685,340 (dead cap)

That's a total of approximately $92.6 million, which is more than $21 million under the projected 2020-21 salary cap of $114 million. If Johnson doesn't opt in, that'll give Rosas around $37 million in cap space. 

A sizable chunk of that could go to Beasley, who is a restricted free agent, with another small chunk to Juan Hernangomez, also a restricted free agent. 

Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner, who Taylor said the Wolves might buy out of his contract, are unrestricted free agents after this season. 

Next Up

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher basketball

Gophers offense disappears in loss to Northwestern

The Gophers are quickly falling out of NCAA tournament contention.

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.


D'Angelo Russell

Report: New development in Wolves' pursuit of D'Angelo Russell

Multiple reports link the Wolves, Rockets, Hawks and Warriors.

D'Angelo Russell

NBA insiders: Wolves chances of getting D'Angelo Russell are real

Long time Wolves writer Zach Harper joined a Twin Cities radio station this week.

D'Angelo Russell

Report: Warriors, not Wolves, trade for D'Angelo Russell

The 23-year-old All-Star is reportedly going to Golden State.

D'Angelo Russell

The latest on the Wolves' reported interest in D'Angelo Russell

The rumor mill is going wild less than a week before NBA free agency begins.

Robert Covington

Trade deadline: Wolves rumors on Russell, Covington, Wiggins

The deadline strikes at 2 p.m. Central Time Thursday.

Ryan Saunders

D'Angelo Russell remains out, Wolves coach claims 'heavy minutes'

Minnesota has not been forthcoming about injury specifics.

Glen Taylor on Jimmy Butler: 'We're not going to get the perfect deal'

The Wolves owner said half the teams in the league have inquired about Butler.