Report: Timberwolves, Pelicans fighting over Dante Cunningham

AP Photo/David Goldman

Dante Cunningham declined his $3,106,500 player option this offseason.

At this point, that looks like a mistake. It appears unlikely Cunningham will exceed his minimum salary ($2,106,470).

But at least he has multiple suitors.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Both the Pelicans and Timberwolves can offer Cunningham just the minimum. Minnesota could offer two years, but New Orleans – though possessing his Bird Rights – has just enough room below the hard cap to afford the one-year minimum (which includes the NBA reimbursing a share of his salary).

That said, the Pelicans are desperate at small forward after Solomon Hill‘s injury. Maybe they would move other players to create room for Hill.

On either big-heavy team, Cunningham would likely be (slightly mis)cast as a small forward. He’s better at power forward, but he’s versatile enough and shot 3-pointers well enough last season to contribute at small forward.

It’s not surprising these teams are vying for the 30-year-old Cunningham. It is surprising teams with more money available never got into the mix.