Minnesota & Josh Howard agree to terms on 1- year, vets minimum deal, sources say— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) November 15, 2012
This news follows the report from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twin Cities) that the T-Wolves had worked out Howard on Tuesday. They elected to sign Howard after allegedly turning away PF Kenyon Martin and apparently not making any progress in their talks with free-agent wing Mickael Pietrus.
The injury bug certainly seems to have taken a liking to the Timberwolves at the outset of the 2012-13 campaign. Superstars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio have been sidelined since the start of the season, starting SG Brandon Roy has missed over a week with a sore knee, backup guard J.J. Barea is resting with a sprained foot, and role player Chase Budinger is now out three to four months with a torn meniscus.
Budinger’s injury was likely the deciding factor in team president David Kahn’s decision to reach into the free-agent pile and sign Howard.
The franchise is still 5-3 on the season and has high hopes to make the postseason this coming spring.
However, with so many injuries, coach Rick Adelman has had to make do with a razor-thin bench and numerous backups masquerading as starters. He’s done an admirable job, but this group won’t be able to hang on long in the competitive Western Conference without their stars.
While Howard isn’t going to make a major difference down the stretch, he’s a former All-Star and has nine years of NBA experience under his belt. The 6’7” guard/forward has career averages of 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He last played for the Utah Jazz in 2011-12, getting over 20 minutes a night and helping lead the youthful Salt Lake City-based squad to the postseason.
T-Wolves supporters are hoping that Howard can contribute in a pinch, take over Budinger's minutes and help them weather this torrent of injury.