Omari Spellman

NBA rumors: Timberwolves considering waiving ex-Warrior Omari Spellman

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AP

NBA rumors: Timberwolves considering waiving ex-Warrior Omari Spellman

When Omari Spellman was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with D'Angelo Russell and Jacob Evans last week, he took his departure from the Warriors pretty hard. He turned his career around in Golden State, and it wasn't as if he was heading to an obviously improved situation.

Spellman was introduced alongside six other new players to Minnesota in his introductory press conference with the Timberwolves, but that's as close as he has come to wearing a T-Wolves jersey. He was inactive for his first game with his new team and was listed as 'not with team' for Minnesota's game against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

Apparently, that wasn't a clerical error. According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP in Minneapolis, the Timberwolves are in talks with Spellman's representation, with the possibility of waiving him.

Spellman thought highly of the Warriors, and considering the feeling was mutual, could a reunion be in store if he's waived by Minnesota?

The answer is yes, but not immediately.

Due to NBA trade rules, the Warriors would not be able to sign Spellman outright. If he cleared waivers and wasn't signed by any other team -- or at least not signed for longer than the remainder of the current season -- Golden State could then pursue Spellman as a free agent. However, given the Dubs' current salary-cap issues, it's awfully difficult to see an avenue for Spellman to return to the Warriors in the near future, especially considering he has a rather team-friendly contract and hasn't even been waived yet.

[RELATED: Why Draymond believes Wiggins fits so well with Warriors]

If he is eventually waived, though, it would not be surprising whatsoever to see Spellman back with Golden State at some point.

Omari Spellman sends farewell message to Warriors fans on Instagram

Omari Spellman sends farewell message to Warriors fans on Instagram

D'Angelo Russell is not the only player the Warriors traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans have been shipped to Minnesota as well.

Spellman took to Instagram to express his feelings on the move.

The Warriors acquired Spellman -- the No. 30 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft -- from the Atlanta Hawks last July in exchange for Damian Jones and a 2026 second-round pick.

In 49 games (three starts) this season, the big man is averaging 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds, while shooting over 39 percent from 3-point territory.

[RELATED: Breaking down assets Warriors acquired through KD's exit]

In late October, Golden State picked up his 2020-21 option, so the 22-year-old is guaranteed to make just under $2 million next season.

More importantly, Spellman turned his life around with the Warriors and is in a much better place physically and mentally moving forward.

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Steve Kerr considering Warriors lineup changes as youngsters struggle

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USATSI

Steve Kerr considering Warriors lineup changes as youngsters struggle

Eleven minutes into the Warriors' 119-104 loss to the Celtics, 22-year-old Omari Spellman stood at the top of the key, surrounded by teammates of a similar era.

To the right of Spellman, 20-year-old rookie Jordan Poole stood in the corner, waiting for a pass that never came. To his left, another rookie, 23-year-old Eric Paschall stood in the other corner. Of the five players on the floor, only Alec Burks was born before 1995, bringing a familiar sight for Golden State. 

The Warriors have the third-youngest roster in the league as of Thursday, a far cry from its veteran-led team from a year ago. Now, as the season advances, the coach overseeing the NBA's worst team expects changes going forward. 

"We might try to change the lineups a little bit," Steve Kerr told reporters in Boston after the loss. "Just so we're not bringing in three of four young guys at the same time." 

Kerr's words have merit. These days, Spellman is beginning to regress, making just 2-of-6 from the field Thursday night, finishing minus-8 from the floor in 21 minutes. Entering Thursday, he shot just 30 percent from the field, including a 2-of-7 performance against the Sixers on Tuesday.

Spellman's struggles have coincided with Poole's poor shooting from the field. Since returning from the G League, Poole is shooting just 33 percent from the field, forcing Kerr to find a new lineup. 

"Right now we're trying to bring along these young guys," Kerr said. "And it's tough because we're trying to bring them on at the same time."

Of the top 20 Warriors five-man combinations, the unit of Draymond Green, Marquese Chriss, D'Angelo Russell, Damion Lee and Glenn Robinson III has been the most successful. While the lineup has played just 35 minutes together this season, it's outscored opponents by 43 points while on the floor. Of the players, only Lee has played less than two years in the league. 

While Kerr's wishes are pure, his execution could be tricky. Two of his All-Stars -- Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- have been absent much, if not all, of the season. Meanwhile, Green is shooting just 38 percent from the field, leaving Russell has the only multi-faceted initiator on the roster. Against the Celtics, Russell missed five of his first seven shots, finishing 7-of-17 on the evening. Along the way, the Warriors turned the ball over 24 times as Boston outscored them 42-30 in the paint, building a 19-point lead.

"I didn't think we played particularly well tonight," Kerr said. "We hung in there, we fought, which was good. But we weren't very sharp." 

Kerr's conundrum comes as the Warriors have prioritized development over wins. In June, the team's biggest headline will be their draft position rather than the organization's performance in the NBA Finals. 

A peek into Golden State's near future came prior to Thursday's game, when Stephen Curry went through his pregame workout. Curry, who broke his left hand in October, has been pushing for an early March return. In recent weeks, he's even played on Golden State's scout team in practice, as mentioned by NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelenna Azubuike during Thursday's broadcast.

[RELATED: Kobe's death 'hurts,' Curry says]

With Curry's return closing in, Kerr's wish for fewer young players on the floor will materialize. Until then, the coach has an objective for his youthful roster. 

"We just have to keep fighting," Kerr said. "The goal is to keep getting better individually and collectively. If we do that, it becomes a productive season."