The Timberwolves remain "very serious" about restricted free agent center Greg Stiemsma, according to a league source, despite not making an offer at this point. The Wolves have other free agent business with forward Nic Batum and there cap issues to juggle.
Minnesota has been talking with Stiemsma since free agency began and those talks picked up on Saturday. The 26-year old Stiemsma grabbed the Celtics' backup center job at midseason and emerged as one of the league's most prolific shot blockers. His block percentage of 8.5 percent would have ranked behind only Serge Ibaka if he had played enough minutes to qualify. (For comparison's sake, Stiemsmsa's percentage was also higher than JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan's).
The Celtics extended a qualifying offer worth just over $1 million making him a restricted free agent, but they are limited by how much they can match an offer. As a first-year free agent, the Celtics do not have Bird rights on Stiemsma and are limited to paying him just over the minimum, unless they use cap space -- which they don't have -- or the bi-annual exception. It seems likely that they will try to use the bi-annual to secure another shooting guard in the wake of Ray Allen's departure to Miami, making Stiemsma's return far from guaranteed.
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