In an offseason in which big men are getting huge contracts, the Minnesota Timberwolves just had a sneaky, cost-effective signing. Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting the Wolves have come to an agreement with Los Angeles Clippers' backup center Cole Aldrich on a three-year deal worth $22 million.
This makes it essentially a mid-level exception move for the Wolves, while the Los Angeles Lakers committed four years, $64 million to Timofey Mozgov as a starter, the Washington Wizards have committed four years, $64 million to Ian Mahinmi as a possible backup, and the Orlando Magic have committed four years, $72 million to Bismack Biyombo as a possible backup unless they move Nikola Vucevic.
Cole Aldrich has landed a three-year, $22 million deal with the Timberwolves, league sources say— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2016
This adds some needed frontcourt depth to the Wolves. They have Karl-Anthony Towns as their franchise player. Gorgui Dieng may start beside him or play a reserve role with Aldrich. The team also has Adreian Payne on a rookie deal, although he hasn't been able to produce much at all on the court when he plays in his first two years. They recently declined an option on Damjan Rudez and waived Greg Smith.
Aldrich did a great job in a backup role for the Clippers in 2015-16. He averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes. He made just under 60 percent of his shots for the season and provided sound defense in the second unit. Aldrich is from the Minneapolis area and will join his sixth team in seven seasons. He's previously played for Oklahoma City, Houston, Sacramento, New York, and the Clippers.