Your Newest Minnesota Timberwolf
Chris Broussard seems to have first reported, but odds are it was a smaller source first and Broussard, per usual, replaced "(insert local reporter's name)" with "sources." The Wolves, after working him out in Dallas earlier this week, have signed 32-year old NBA veteran Josh Howard to a 1-year deal for the veterans minimum. All signs point to Will Conroy being waived to make room, but such news has yet to be reported. UPDATE: Conroy has indeed been waived.
Howard brings a scoring touch and defensive ability to the team as a guy who expects to log minutes immediately. Doogie Wolfson reports he is flying in today to take a physical (which, if the Wolves training staff are involved, he will obviously pass (sorry, below the belt shot…couldn't help myself)) and will be in uniform tomorrow night against Golden State. What he has left in the tank will again be up for us all to discover together. Howard played some decent ball in Utah last season averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 43 games. However, Howard isn't exactly known for being an NBA iron man himself, having missed major time over the past several seasons. His 2012 season with Utah was cut short due to knee issues. However, what this team needs at this point are able bodies, and Howard is apparently an able body at this point in the season. Sometimes it's as simple as that when you have nine healthy bodies, one of which was Will Conroy, who isn't exactly what you would call an NBA-caliber player.
With the addition of Howard, Wolves fans will continue to enjoy some redemption of a few of the team's most notorious draft-day moves (or non-moves in Howard's case). In addition to getting Roy back this offseason, Howard closes yet another circle. McHale famously picked Ndudi Ebi over Josh Howard in the 2003 draft, which was, well, an interesting decision at the time. Ebi of course never even played out his rookie deal in Minnesota, while Howard went on to become an excellent player and All-Star for the Dallas Mavericks. He certainly brings a wealth of experience to the team.
As for the move itself, I guess I have to say "approved." Howard can play. Hopefully. Some of the remaining free agents are still question marks or too young to take on such a critical role. Pietrus was allegedly unwilling to take the minimum to play here, so Kahn went with the next next option, which was most certainly Howard. He can come in and play the wing position for 20 minutes per game, and help give AK47 a rest so he does not over extend himself. He will be a welcome addition to what is simply a very awkward time for the team. What the major factor is (AGAIN), is whether he is healthy enough to play a regular role until Budinger returns in February. And whether he fits with the "win at all costs" mentality this team has developed.