NBA notebook: Wolves, Josh Howard agree to one-year deal
BY Associated Press
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 2:31 AM
With only nine healthy players on the roster and six of their top seven out because of injuries, the Minnesota Timberwolves turned to a player many Wolves fans thought they should have drafted almost a decade ago.
The Wolves agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent forward Josh Howard on Thursday, pending a passed physical. Howard arrived in the Twin Cities on Thursday afternoon and the plan was for him to be in uniform against Golden State on Friday night.
"We need somebody at that spot," coach Rick Adelman said. "We looked around and he seemed to be a good candidate."
The 32-year-old Howard worked out for the Wolves on Monday in Dallas. Howard averaged 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 43 games with Utah last season. He has also played for Washington and Dallas, which drafted him 29th overall in 2003. The Timberwolves passed on Howard, who was a star at Wake Forest, in favor of high schooler Ndudi Ebi, who was a bust.
Howard went on to make an All-Star team in his seven seasons with the Mavericks, emerging as a potent scorer and athletic defender. He has dealt with numerous injuries in recent seasons, but the Wolves are hoping he can take some of the minutes from Andrei Kirilenko, who has played 44 minutes in each of the last two games.
"He's a versatile player. He's long. He's a good defender," Adelman said. "He should fit in and help us."
At this point, any forward will be welcome. All-Star forward Kevin Love (broken right hand) and dynamic point guard Ricky Rubio (left knee) aren't expected to make their season debuts until December. The Wolves also lost valuable swingman Chase Budinger for three to four months because of a torn meniscus in his left knee, have seen Brandon Roy's chronic knee issues return to keep him out of the last three games and also have been missing Nikola Pekovic (sprained left ankle) and JJ Barea (sprained left foot).
Despite the deluge of injuries, the Wolves won five of their first seven games. The issues appeared to finally catch up with them in an 89-87 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night, so the Wolves went out and added Howard for the veteran's minimum of $1.2 million.
They waived point guard Will Conroy to make room for Howard.
Winless Wizards waive Pargo, sign Livingston: The winless Washington Wizards waived Jannero Pargo and signed free-agent guard Shaun Livingston on Thursday, bringing back a player they hope can help fill the void until John Wall returns from injury.
The Wizards will try to avoid falling to 0-8 for the second consecutive season when they host the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
A post Thursday on Wizards owner Ted Leonsis' blog said: "We are certainly playing shorthanded, but we still should be a better team with better results than where we sit today."
Washington is the only club in the 30-franchise NBA without a victory this season.
Pargo appeared in all seven of Washington's games so far, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.
He was signed shortly after the Wizards announced that Wall would miss the first month or so of the regular season with a left knee injury.
Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, led the Wizards by averaging 16.3 points and eight assists last season. Neither he nor center Nene has played in a game this season.
The 6-foot-7 Livingston was waived by the Houston Rockets in late October after spending the preseason with them. He played for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, averaging 5.5 points, 2.1 assists and 2.1 rebounds and making 27 starts.
He was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.
He was with the Wizards in 2009-10, when he appeared in 26 games, with 18 starts, and averaged 9.2 points and 4.5 assists.