There is always fallout from moves made during the July Moratorium and for teams looking to acquire a big young defensive center, the Minnesota Timberwolves are about to waive Greg Stiemsma in order to make room for Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and their own free agent, Nikola Pekovic.
Stiemsma’s agent Mark Bartelstein said this was purely a cap clearing move and had nothing to do with his client’s talent according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
“This was a cap move,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “They like him. There are so many different variables right now with teams and their cap space. We’ll get through this [moratorium period] and see what happens.”
Stiemsma averaged 4.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks in 15.9 minutes last year and over his two NBA seasons, he has blocked a eye-popping 6.8 percent of opponents two-point shots and averaged a defensive rating of 97 points allowed per 100 possessions. That defensive rating compares favorably to what Roy Hibbert did last season in Indiana.
It was just a numbers game for Stiemsma. Minnesota had drafted Louisville junior Gorgui Dieng to develop at the center position for next season and with Pekovic returning, they just couldn’t justify keeping Stiemsma around. The rest of the NBA knew this and the Timberwolves couldn’t get any value for him back in trade.
The 27-year-old Stiemsma went undrafted out of Wisconsin as a senior and played in Turkey, South Korea and the NBA D-League before getting his first 10-day contract with Minnesota in April 2010. He got another 10-day contract from Cleveland, but didn’t play his first NBA game until Boston picked him up in December 2011.
Stiemsma was owed $2.7 million for the 2013-2014 season, however, the contract is not guaranteed provided the player is formally waived before July 17, 2013.
Teams like the Toronto Raptors and now the Los Angeles Lakers who have been relegated to the sidelines during the July Moratorium should be all over this relatively inexpensive center who can provide some solid defensive minutes and may still have room to develop his game.