Timberwolves transfer Kyle Anderson to Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal

When NBA free agency began on Sunday, the Timberwolves were not optimistic about keeping Kyle Anderson, who has been a key part of their bench the past two seasons.

On Tuesday, Anderson agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract with the Warriors, who will acquire him from the Wolves via a sign-and-trade. The Wolves will receive a future second-round pick swap and cash as part of the deal.

Anderson's salary would have added a significant amount to the Wolves' already high luxury tax bill, which was around $84 million after the draft-night trade that landed Rob Dillingham with the eighth pick in the first round.

Two seasons ago, Anderson played a key role in keeping the Wolves' season going when Karl-Anthony Towns was sidelined with a severe calf strain in November. As a starting power forward, Anderson used his playmaking skills to keep the Wolves' offense going while playing solid defense on the other end of the court. He also became a respected voice in the locker room and was never afraid to speak his mind or offer advice to younger players.

That season ended with Anderson having to undergo eye surgery after a collision in the playoff loss to Denver. Recovery from surgery was not smooth for Anderson, and his shooting percentage dropped last season. His three-point percentage dropped from 41% to 23% and he was hesitant to shoot at times.

This season, Anderson played more as a small forward and was inconsistent while trying to overcome the effects of his eye injury, frustrating fans at home.

“I had to deal with a lot. Playing the three kind of threw me off because it was an adjustment,” Anderson said after the season. “I got better at it as the season went on. That's something I want to continue to improve at, no matter where I end up next year if I have to play the three. I have to be prepared for that. But of course, I think my natural position in this league is the four, and I've always been excellent at that position.”

His scoring dropped from 9.4 to 6.4 points per game, but his basketball IQ and ability to fit in on defense kept him supported by coach Chris Finch.

He played his best basketball when Towns had knee surgery late in the season and was able to return to playing power forward.

“[Finch] “They trusted me to make decisions, trusted me to play my game and allowed me to have the ball in my hands,” Anderson said. “That meant a lot to me because I've met a lot of coaches who didn't allow me to do that.”

Now he's moving to Golden State, which just lost Klay Thompson to the Mavericks and had a trade exception to complete the transfer with the Wolves.

Anderson's departure opens up opportunities for younger players on the roster such as Leonard Miller, Josh Minott and draftee Terrence Shannon Jr.

Anderson wasn't the only former Wolves player to move on Tuesday, as guard Monte Morris agreed to a deal with the Suns.

The Wolves need to sign at least two more players as their NBA roster currently stands at 12. Jordan McLaughlin remains a free agent from last season's roster after the team agreed to terms with Luka Garza on Monday.